Archive for February, 2010
The Pedestal Magazine Reviews Ellyn Maybe’s Rodeo for the Sheepish
Reviewer: JoSelle Vanderhooft
Of all the things I review for Pedestal, spoken word CDs are my favorite, both because of their rarity (few poets, after all, have the resources to put one together) and the ingenuity with which they blend visual art, music, and, of course, poetry read aloud. The best of these CDs blend all of these disparate elements to make something that is neither music nor poetry but which uses the common roots of each to create something bold, new, and frequently difficult to categorize, save for the term “performance.” Indeed, the successful spoken word poet is one who does not just read his or her work, but performs it as if it were a stand-up routine, a monologue, part of a “Happening,” or simply as something meant to live beyond the confines of the page.
Ellyn Maybe is a poet who knows how to do just that. Not only a strong poet on paper, she is also a consummate performer with a warm, full voice that is as friendly and inviting as it is delightfully quirky. Few poets—indeed, few performers of any stripe—have the personality, honesty and, yes, unabashed geekiness which Maybe displays in her readings of the ten poems on Rodeo for the Sheepish. Her voice is not only entrancing but unforgettable; indeed, I would very much like to hear her perform live someday.