September 25, 2008: In her article, “Award-winning slam poet to visit MSU,” Amanda Dyslin writes, “What becomes of a girl born into a family of government employees and scientists? She grows up to be a poet, of course. And not just any poet. A New York-based author of five books, founder and host of the three-time National Poetry Slam Championship venue, and an award- winning screenwriter… [Cristin] enjoys studying how people develop through art. Her poetry changes as her mood changes, from serious, funny, ranting, thoughtful or manic, she says. Her style is straight-forward, and she tries to convey her life as she lives it through poetry…” To read her article in Mankato Free Press, click here.
August 21, 2008: In her featured write-up of Cristin titled “Slam Poetry’s Wonder Woman”, Melissa Donovan writes, “[Cristin]‘s got all the ingredients — talent, spunk, and a penchant for performing. Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz is to slam poetry what Wonder Woman is to the Justice League. She can get down and dirty like a porn star and just as easily, she can wax literary about love…” To read her article on Writing Forward, click here.
August 18, 2008: In his review of Words In Your Face for City Limits, Curtis Stephen writes, “Words In Your Face combines rich oral history — slam champion Saul Williams articulates the motivations that ultimately drive the performers — with solid reporting to trace the genre’s humble origin at the Green Mill Tavern in Chicago to its later prominence in New York City during the early 1990s… Aptowicz is as a witty, if not dispassionate, guide who accomplishes the challenging task of appealing both to regular slam attendees and those who have never been to a session…” To read his full review of it in City Limits, click here.
July 20, 2008: In his review of Words In Your Face for Galatea Resurrects, Michael Layne Heath writes, “A longtime mainstay of NYC’s slam community, Aptowicz has constructed an objective yet passionate account of Slam’s impact on New York’s long reknown status as a prime energy center for poets… Aptowicz has done a most admirable job of getting NY Slam pathfinders, cheerleaders and exponents alike to talk candidly and honestly about about their experiences, and where they see it all headed in future. WORDS IN YOUR FACE may not inspire the detractors to check out their local Slam night, but for its equally legion fans, it is a vital window into that world, and as such, a perfect update and companion to 1996′s masterful documentary SLAM NATION.” To read his full review of it in Galatea Resurrects, click here.
May 27, 2008: In her BookSlut column Sticky Pages, reviewer Melissa Lion called Cristin’s poetry collection Hot Teen Slut, “the greatest book of poetry ever written.” She continues by writing: “It’s funny and I understand the poems. They have a beginning, a middle, and an end. The language is linear and clear and I don’t need to stare at a blank wall trying to muddle through a meaning, if there is one, or fight my need for a meaning if it’s postmodern. And the poems are all about sex.” To read the full review, check out the BookSlut column here.
April 20, 2008: In the Sunday 4/20 issue of the Washington Post, Cristin’s book Words In Your Face was named one of 5 Notable Books “Exploring Poetry” of 2008. In the write-up, they note: “The author, a poet herself, offers this first definitive look at the origins of the now ubiquitous poetry slam, from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in NYC to more mainstream outlets and a national audience.” To read all the 2008 selections, check out the article here.
April 2008: Cristin’s program with the Kelly Writers House, which was named as the Second annual Caroline Rothstein Oral Poetry Event garnered press in Philadelphia Weekly, Penn Current and the GSC / UPenn Newsletter.
April 2008: For the Best American Poetry Blog, Cristin is interviewed by novelist Janice Erlbaum. Cristin answers questions about slam, academia, and just how many poets made out with Courtney Love in 1994. To read the full interview, click here.
April 2008: In her review of Words In Your Face, Erica Varlese writes “Aptowicz seems like a cool older sister with the insider scoop on th hottest pop-cultural phenomenon this side of the 20th century… Words In Your Face is perfect for slam newbies and fans of the Big Apple’s seemingly endless supply of alterna-history tales. And for established fans, Aptowicz’s juicy info on teh competitive underbelly of slam gives an extra punch to an already perfectly researched read…” To read her full review in the awesome “Men We Love” issue of BUST, snag a copy at your local bookstore or better yet subscript here.
April 2008: In his review of WIYF, Matthew L. Moffett writes “Aptowicz uses anecdotes, stories, and interviews to chronicle the life of this unique art form. The general public holds an image of an aggressive, in-your-face poet shouting words on stage, but the author shows a movement with surprising levels of depth and diversity… Although many may know the backgrounds and names of the poets who made a big splash on popular TV programs like MTV’s Spoken Word Unplugged and Def Poetry Jam, the stories of Slam’s beginnings and how it continued to grow in spite of its sudden popularity are what make this book so fascinating…” To read his full review, please see the non-fiction section of the online issue found here.
April 1, 2008: Cristin and Shappy’s appearance at the College of Saint Rose is promoted in The Chronicle,the weekly student newspaper of the College of Saint Rose). To read the article, click here.
March 30, 2008: In her article on both Words In Your Face and Shaptowicz’s forthcoming appearance at the Frequency North reading series, journalist Amy Halloran writes “[Words In Your Face] covers the history of slam, which began at Chicago’s Green Mill in 1986 when Marc Smith invented a competition format to get audiences into the bar. The habit spread quickly to New York City, where Bob Holman enthusiastically birthed the NYC slam, which in turn pushed poets into the national spotlight in a fashion that had not occurred since Edna St. Vincent Millay toured to sold-out crowds in the early 20th century…” To read the full article — which features brief interviews with both Shappy and Cristin, please click here.
March 12, 2008: In his review of Words In Your Face, Nathan Logan writes “Aptowicz has put a wealth of information in Words in Your Face. First and foremost, she provides a history to this movement in New York City that is just as rich as any other poetry movement in the United States… Aptowicz should be congratulated for this rich collection. Anyone interested in poetry, of any kind, should give this book a good read.” To read his full review of it in Galatea Resurrects, click here.
March 3, 2008: Cristin and Shappy’s featured performance at the Mental Graffiti 10th Anniversary Party makes Time Out Chicago’s life of “Five Things to Do” for March 3rd. You can check it out here.