Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I just turned down an opportunity to review a book for a leading print poetry review journal. The book is by a prize-winning poet hailed as among the most important in contemporary poetry. The collection, which I was asked to review, was respectable (if a bit pallid relative to the poet's national reputation). I decided not to review it as I realized I was already bored with the prospect of writing the review -- gads, it'd be one thing to be unmoved by something you read, but then you gotta what, keep diving into the boredom writing about it?

And I guess all this made me think two things:

1) It must be awful to HAVE TO REVIEW a poetry book.

2) What I like about doing Galatea Resurrects is that I only review the books that incite the required passion that specifically makes me want to spend the time publicly saying something about them. (Which is not to say I'm able to review everything I want, but that those that I bother to review are books that first compelled me to review them rather than that they were assignments.)

Anyway, there's a lot to be said about not having to hack out those poetry reviews. Come to think of it, there's a lot to be said about not having to hack out ... anything. Which is yet another reason why I am a poet.