cover of book

Stand Up Poetry: An Expanded Anthology
edited by Charles Harper Webb
University of Iowa Press, 2002
Paper: 978-0-87745-795-4
Library of Congress Classification PS572.L6S83 2002
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.5408097494



Kim Addonizio
Dorothy Barresi
Charles Bukowski
Maxine Chernoff
Lucille Clifton
Billy Collins
Philip Dacey
Stephen Dunn
Deborah Harding
Edward Hirsch
Tony Hoagland
Allison Joseph
Jesse Lee Kercheval
Lisa Lewis
Bill Mohr
Ed Ochester
Lawrence Raab
Maureen Seaton
James Tate
Rafael Zepeda
plus many more

Witty, sexy, gritty, outrageous, emotional, hilarious, honest, courageous. What do these words describe? A growing movement in American literary circles: Stand Up Poetry.

Over twenty years ago, Charles Harper Webb discovered a vibrant and invigorating poetry scene in southern California. Featuring some of America's best contemporary poets, this scene, according to Webb, “showed insight, imagination, craft, philosophical depth, but most of all, it was funny, and it was fun.” Stand Up Poetry: The Poetry of Los Angeles and Beyond (1990) was the result of Webb's enthusiasm for this poetic genre.

A decade later, the popularity of performance poetry, poetry slams, and poetry readings is on the rise, and Webb has expanded his anthology to include a greater sampling of poets from across the country. From Charles Bukowski to Billy Collins and Allison Joseph, the poets included in this collection are popular and emerging, classical and experimental, young and old; yet all exhibit the characteristics so important to Stand Up Poetry—humor, performability, accessibility, individuality. Most important, these poems are enjoyable when read silently or aloud, on the page or on the stage.

Stand Up Poetry: An Expanded Anthology is at its core a celebration of poetry offering readers a wonderful lesson in the power of words to entertain and inspire.

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