Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Purpose of Book Reviews

Probably most people reading poetry blogs already know, but just in case some don’t, over at the Lemon Hound blog, a number of writers have been responding to a series of questions Lemon Hound has asked regarding their ideas about book reviewing.

I agree with some of the responses more than others, but all are worth reading.

The list of writers who are responding is quite impressive. Lemon Hound manages, as usual, to be one of the few bloggers who can reach across many of the most well-worn dividing lines among contemporary poets.

My own response went up on Saturday, January 9.

Many of my first published pieces of writing were reviews. My first reviews were music reviews, written for college newspapers and then for some other small publications around Washington, DC. In graduate school I eventually began reviewing books. Reading books of contemporary poetry with an eye towards reviewing them really helped me at the time to learn about what was out there, and I still think reviewing books is an excellent way to become involved in the world of literature. But rather than talk more about book reviews here, I’ll just stop here and encourage you to go read what’s over there.

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