Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

by Allen K. Mears
Dear Editor,

Perhaps Poetry's book reviews and reviewers run in cycles, varying in tone and content from year to year, but we seem to have hit a bad patch recently. A few years ago it was common practice for me to buy books nearly every month based on or inspired by your reviews. Now I don't do that because the reviews leave a bitter taste; so many seem petty. Maybe the books being reviewed are flawed, as your critics say. But if that is the case, I much prefer that you publish reviews of books your critics can recommend with some enthusiasm. The reviews do not need to gush, but please, with all the good poetry out there, don't waste my time telling me all the books the reviewers think are poor. As a point of contrast, I have been reading American Poet and find their reviews a bit too glowing, but I did buy three books based on reviews in the last issue. That's how it used to be with Poetry reviews.

McLean, Virginia

Originally Published: October 30, 2005

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This prose originally appeared in the November 2004 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2004

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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