Sunday, August 28, 2011

Review of Graham Clifford

I have a review of an English poet named Graham Clifford over at Todd Swift’s blog. Writing this review led me to think about the issue of reviewing friends or acquaintances, but not because Clifford is a friend nor an acquaintance. He’s neither. I’ve never met him and had never heard of him before Swift sent me the chapbook to review. Clifford is someone I probably never would have read otherwise. Lately, though, it sometimes (though certainly not always) has been someone I know or have some connection with who I end up reviewing or writing about (as in my McGrath review below). It is natural that your colleagues or friends will send you their books, and vice-versa. I think it’s also a good thing to have such poetry friends. There are seemingly so few readers of poetry to begin with, and so it’s understandable that you will want some kind of response from somewhere, and usually your literary associates are going to be good readers. We should be thankful to have any readers at all, really. But reviewing someone completely unknown to me again was interesting. Perhaps in retrospect this review is a bit didactic. But decide for yourself if you’ve got the time to click the link.

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