If you’re a poet and interested in writing reviews on the latest poetry releases, then listen up! We’ve decided to make a few tentative tip-toes into the poetry reviewing game, and we want YOU to help.
We will pay £60 for a review of one collection or poetry book, at a blog-friendly length of at least 600 words (not including quotations). The reviews will offer a quick, ‘first look’ at the latest publications, offering smart, snap judgments before the mainstream reviewers come in with more in depth analyses. All the reviews will go up on our blog and our social media channels.
Many journals do a very fine job in their reviews sections, but having to wait 6 months post-publication for a review can drag. With no Billboard for poetry and little to go on other than listings and publisher press catalogues, it’s hard to get a sense of what book is out when. There are bloggers who react to the latest releases in near real time – assured citizen journalists of poetry doing good work to cover those names that don’t make Big Print – but many of them do this work unpaid, which limits what they can offer.
The Poetry School, with its ready-built community of informed and enquiring poetry minds, is perfectly placed to correct the time lag between book launch and reception. Your thoughts will help us whack the poetry reviews cycle on spin dry, and to discuss diverse new voices and work more than a few seasonal times a year.
What exactly are we looking for in a reviewer? Well, we’re looking for good, honest readers with a knack for getting under the hood of any poem and seeing how its engine works. We’d also like to meet those with strong descriptive skills, an economic sense of phrasing, and a practical, non-academic way of receiving work. We want fast turnarounds, so nimble assessment and organisation skills are another essential. Finally – an individual sense of style and playfulness are desirable.
As for books – we have our own wish list of what we’d like to see reviewed, and we’re contacting publishers to secure review copies of upcoming publications, but we’re also open to suggestions. This is going to be a fast –paced project, so any book published more than 6 months ago is unlikely to be considered, although for 2016 we will be accepting older titles.
Oh, needless to add, all reviews should be original, and previously unpublished in any language.
If you’re interested in joining our reviews squad, then email immediately [email protected] for more details. Please include a very brief paragraph about your background and experience. No previous reviewing experience is required, and we welcome poets from all backgrounds, perspectives and languages.