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Uptown in the News  

June 15, 2003
Chicago Tribune
The rebirth of spoken-word poetry
New book offers incisive overview of fresh and invigorating art form
By Donna Seaman

The title "The Spoken Word Revolution" elicits thoughts of revolution as a radical change or the overthrow of an oppressive regime. Readers with even the fuzziest notion of the poetry slam, the brainchild of visionary Chicago poet Marc Smith in which poets perform their work in competition with other poets before a vocal, even vociferous audience in bars, cafes and coffeehouses, would agree that the spoken-word movement has indeed been revolutionary.

And now, thanks to the ardor and talents of Mark Eleveld, a tireless poetry advocate, English teacher at Joliet West High School and co-publisher at EM Press, fans and skeptics alike can learn about the movement's inception and evolution.

Published, fittingly enough, by a Chicago-area publisher and accompanied by a terrific CD that showcases the great variety of styles of performance poetry, "The Spoken Work Revolution embodies the rapprochement between the traditionalists and the slammers, something that seemed about as likely 10 years ago as that proverbial cold day in hell.

To view the entire article for a fee, please visit the Chicago Tribune website at www.chicagotribune.com.

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