Writing in the Asylum: Student Poets in City Schools


reviewed by Timothy Cheeseman - 2005

coverTitle: Writing in the Asylum: Student Poets in City Schools
Author(s): Jennifer McCormick
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 0807744891, Pages: 124, Year: 2004
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Do not be mistaken, this book is not about poetry. Jennifer McCormick’s Writing in the Asylum: Student Poets in City Schools is an indictment of urban, inner city educational policy, institutions, and process. Therein is the major flaw of this book; the arguments it puts forward are couched in adolescent cliché and academic doublespeak, and the writing never establishes a focus or provides epiphany. The book is divided into five chapters with no apparent scheme, including cryptic titles such as She Gave Me a Poet’s Name, Discard and Permanence in Postindustrial New York, and Escape Routes. Without a clear organization, the book never finds its soul or establishes a controlling idea of any kind.  The text is essentially pieced out in three different strategies: analytical text about the failure of urban schooling, samples of student poetry, and obtuse attempts to connect writing poetry to the pain and despair of poverty.... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 107 Number 11, 2005, p. 2487-2489
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11828, Date Accessed: 9/21/2021 10:39:12 AM

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