I’m talking, of course, about the books that came across my desk—a limiting factor because I almost never receive a “review copy.” (They’re always welcome, though!) I buy all but a handful of the books I read, so my reading is skewed by my own interests right up front. This unprofessional status frees me from the angst suffered by professional critics, according to Stephen Burt and Marjorie Perloff, as they fight to stay atop the wave of new poetry books that maliciously seeks to drown them. Poets themselves? Most, I think, feel the same as most musicians feel about other musicians: the more the merrier. If poetry is generally a good thing, and writing poetry is a cathartic practice (at the very least), why shouldn’t everybody write it?
One more reason a book I liked may have slipped off the list is my distaste for record keeping, so you can guess at the duds, but just because something isn’t mentioned doesn’t mean it’s among them.
David Giannini, Inverse Mirror