Friday, May 27, 2016

Sum gets some love

My book Sum was published over a year ago. It got one review right away, in Quill & Quire, but not much noise about it since. Until today, thanks to reviewer Alison Goodwin in Arc Poetry Magazine. I don't usually comment on my reviews, but this one is uncommonly perceptive. I know how challenging it can be, how much work it takes, to say much of substance in a 500 word piece, having written a lot of them myself, and Goodwin, whose work I don't recall having seen before, really nails it here.

As a writer and editor, I've always felt that if you are conscientious about how you put your book together, it will lead a good reader to make connections and hear rhymes you didn't necessarily know were there to be heard. A lot of my critical work has involved ferreting out such correspondences (the title of my next prose collection will be Correspondences, in fact). There are a lot of intentional echoes and references in Sum and I arranged the poems deliberately to make the most of the book's motifs, to make the book itself a poem. Goodwin has picked out a couple of things I hadn't consciously considered before, which is a real treat.

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