What a Poetry Reviewer looks for

This helps to bring light through the fog.

Emma Lee's Blog

I recently came across a suggestion that self-published poetry books could be seen as lacking credibility or editorial rigour. That’s not my experience as a reviewer. It’s fair to say a self-published poet is more likely to make a negative comment about my review, but that’s usually because a self-published poet places more importance on reviews than they deserve.

What does a Poetry Reviewer look for?

  • Poet’s name – not because established poets get a more favourable reaction but because if I’ve seen the name before as someone getting regularly published in poetry magazines (regardless of how many poetry books they have or haven’t published), then the poems in the book are more likely to be of a good standard.
  • Publisher – not because of a bias towards certain publishers but just to see whether the book is self, vanity or traditionally published. At this stage it’s about production values…

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About Harry Nicholson

I'm an enameller who works with a kiln, fusing pictures in glass onto copper. I write a few poems and short stories. There is an eBook anthology of them, 'Green Linnet' on Amazon. Also a novel, 'Tom Fleck', set in the North of England of 1513 - the year of Flodden. A sequel to 'Tom Fleck' is 'The Black Caravel' published in 2016. My anthology of poems came out in 2015: 'Wandering About.' I've a blog of poems, stories and art at: https://1513fusion.wordpress.com/
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