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

Poetry is looking for thought-provoking responses to work published in the magazine, as well as letters that raise new questions about the state of contemporary poetry. To send us your letter, please fill out all the fields below.

If we choose to use your letter, we will notify you by phone. If you have not heard from us within two weeks of sending your letter, you may assume we will not be using it. All letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may appear online, in print, or both.

Please do NOT send poetry submissions to this account. See Submission Guidelines for further information and policies regarding poetry submissions.


* All fields are required


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

November 2004

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.