Why I Write Poetry Reviews
I’ve always wanted to read poems more deeply and with greater compassion.
Writing reviews teaches me to read closely.
It forces me to read slowly, to re-read, to scribble marginalia.
Reading closely engenders intimacy.
Compassionate reading opens the text to diverse interpretations.
It’s helped me to love poems that I’ve always thought I couldn’t love.
I feel an intimacy with the poets whose books I review, even though I may never meet them in person. I imagine them reading my reviews and feeling known.
It was such a lovely surprise to find out I am good at it.
Writing reviews has become my own self-guided MFA program.
I think the poetry world needs more personable, less academic, book reviews.
I love seeing my reviews in print. It makes me feel less marginalized as a poet.
It’s a thrill to receive advance review copies.
So many books of poetry never get reviewed.
So many small independent presses deserve more love. Reviewing the books and chapbooks of presses I admire is my way of showing them some love.
Some days I think, “if my poems don’t reach readers, at least my reviews will.”