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Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics

Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics is a collection of poems and lyrics written by American recording artist Alicia Keys. It was first issued in the United States as a hardcover edition by G. P. Putnam's Sons, on November 4, 2004. Later in November 2005, it was issued in Canada and Europe in paperback format by Berkley Books. The book consists of twenty-seven poems and lyrics to songs from her studio albums Songs in A Minor (2001) and The Diary of Alicia Keys (2003).

Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics
Tears for Water Songbook of Poems and Lyrics.jpg
Author Alicia Keys
Country United States
Language English
Genre Poetry
Publisher G. P. Putnam's Sons
Publication date
November 4, 2004 (2004-11-04)
Pages 179
ISBN 0-425-20560-6

The book appeared on The New York Times Best Seller list and has generated over 500.000 dollars in sales.[1][2] Another volume was planned for release in fall 2005.[3] To promote the book, Keys appeared on The Early Show and at Barnes & Noble store where she signed copies of it.[4][5] In 2006, she appeard on the television series Def Poetry Jam, citing the poem "P.O.W.".[6]

Contents

Background and releaseEdit

In late 2003, Keys released her second studio album The Diary of Alicia Keys to commercial and critical success.[7] Following was a tour from March to April 2004, The Verizon Ladies First Tour, that she co-headlined with Beyoncé and Missy Elliott.[7][8] In May 2004. it was announced thet Keys had singned deal to publish two books with G.P. Putnam's Sons, "Songbook" and "The Diary of Alicia Keys".[9] The president of G.P. Putnam's Sons, Carole Baron, commented that "It isn't everyday you are offered the opportunity to publish someone as unbelievably talented as Alicia Keys. Her story is as inspiring as it is astonishing, and we are excited to be publishing her story, in her own words".[9]

Keys explained that "[the book] won't be exactly autobiography, but I love to read so much that I want to make sure the story is really powerful, like Catcher in the Rye or one of the books I love".[10] The title of the book is derived from one of the poems, "Love and Chains", which contains the line: "I don't mind drinking my tears for water".[7] In an interview with The Early Show, Keys further explained that:

And when I read that, it resonated in me because I said, 'Wow, I realized at that moment that all of the songs I write, all of the poetry that I write, every way that I express myself comes from some form of my tears, my pain, my happiness, my joy, my frustration, my confusion.' And I drink them for water to be nourished and to survive, in a way."[11]

Keys described the book as "very personal and intense".[7] The poetry slam themed release party for the book was held at the Harlem Grill in New York City.[12] The release party was hosted by Mums and featured appearances by Kanye West, Mos Def and Common.[12]

ContentEdit

Critical receptionEdit

Troy Patterson from Entertainment Weekly gave the book a C.[14] He stated that "her work would not pass muster in an introductory writing course at a four-year college. She’s roughly on the level of Maya Angelou. Thus, the patient reader winces mildly at flat laments about alienation (”Sometimes I feel/like I don’t belong anywhere”) and emotional reticence (”I’m a prisoner/Of words unsaid/Just lonely feelings/Locked away in my head”) — poems sometimes followed by Keys’ own explanations of their ”meanings.” Serviceable metric patterns are as scarce as vivid images, or signs of shame".[14] Publishers Weekly gave the book a positive review and wrote "nearly half of the book consists of lyrics from her two albums, Songs in A Minor and The Diary of Alicia Keys; while they make a nice complement to the poems, the words feel a bit flat without the blaxploitation beat of "Heartburn", say, or the impassioned vocal delivery of "Fallin'"".[3] The review concluded that "for the Keys completist, however, this will be a compelling book of rock ephemera".[3]

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format Publisher
Canada[15] November 1, 2005 Paperback Berkley
Finland[16] November 1, 2005 Paperback Berkley
France[17] November 1, 2005 Paperback Berkley
Germany[18] November 1, 2005 Paperback Berkley
Japan[19] November 1, 2005 Paperback Berkley
Spain[20] November 1, 2005 Paperback Berkley
Sweden[21] November 1, 2005 Paperback Berkley
United Kingdom[22] November 1, 2005 Paperback Berkley
United States[23] November 4, 2004 Hardcover G. P. Putnam's Sons

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Garner, Dwight (2004-11-24). "Inside the List". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  2. ^ Lafranco, Robert (2005-02-10). "Money Makers". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  3. ^ a b c "Nonfiction Book Review: Tears For Water: Songbook of Poems & Lyrics by Alicia Keys". Publishers Weekly. 2004-10-24. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  4. ^ "Alicia Keys Talks New Book". CBS News. 2004-11-11. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  5. ^ "StarTracks- Nov. 10, 2004". People. Time Inc. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  6. ^ Norsworty, Cameron (2016-08-29). "Alicia Keys' VMAs Poem Was Met With A Standing Ovation". Romper. Retrieved 2017-09-09. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Alicia Keys Wraps Up Busy Year with Awards, Hit CD, Tour and Poetry Book". Jet. 2004-12-13. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  8. ^ "The Verizon Ladies First Tour Starring Beyonce, Alicia Keys, & Missy Elliott With Special Guest Tamia" (Press release). PR Newswire. 10 February 2004. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 2016-11-12. 
  9. ^ a b Cohen, Jonathan (2004-05-20). "Alicia Keys Signs Putnam Book Deal". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  10. ^ Merritt, Sephanie (2004-03-21). "Soul Sister Number One". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  11. ^ "The Poetry of Alicia Keys". CBS News. 2004-11-11. Archived from the original on December 7, 2008. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  12. ^ a b "For the Record: Quick News on Fabulous, Alicia Keys, Courtney Love, Nicky Hilton, Glassjaw, Cream & More". MTV News. Viacom. 2004-11-10. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  13. ^ a b c "Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics". WorldCat. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  14. ^ a b Patterson, Troy (2004-11-05). "Tears for Water". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  15. ^ "Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics". Amazon.ca. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  16. ^ "Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics" (in Finnish). Booky. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  17. ^ "Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics" (in French). Amazon.fr. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  18. ^ "Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics" (in German). Amazon.de. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  19. ^ "Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  20. ^ "Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics" (in Spanish). Amazon.es. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  21. ^ "Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics - Alicia Keys". Bokus (in Swedish). Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  22. ^ "Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics". Amazon.uk. Retrieved 2017-11-01. 
  23. ^ "Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics (Hardcover)". Tower Books. Retrieved 2016-09-03.