Poetry Chapbook Reviews

Chapbook Reviews

I write poetry chapbook reviews as a free service for both emerging and established authors. I enjoy the chapbook form for its brevity and conciseness, its ability to be focused and expansive all at once. And of course I enjoy reading poetry. (If you have a longer work, please see “Longer Works” below.) For an example of my work, read my review of Lesley Clinton’s “Calling the Garden from the Grave.

Before submitting a review request, please be sure that your work meets the following guidelines:

  • Published within the past two years (or forthcoming within the same).
  • Contains no more than 30 poems.
  • Includes at least one formal poem (e.g., a sonnet or a villanelle).

The work of a critic is to criticize; that is, to praise a poem’s strengths, to consider its weaknesses, to pass judgment on its merit, and to use that poem’s strengths and weaknesses to suggest improvements to the poetic art. I strive to do this in my reviews, as well. I take to heart Dana Gioia’s statement that professional courtesy has no place in poetic criticism — instead, a critic must candidly discuss a poem’s faults, not just its achievements. By submitting your chapbook, you affirm that you understand that I will write an honest review, not necessarily a flattering one.

If you would like me to review your work, please send an email to john[at]jdgrahamauthor[dot]com with “Poetry Review Request” in the subject line. Do not attach any files to your initial email. In the body, please write a brief description of your chapbook and a very short biographical statement. As I am able, I will return your email with a request for a review copy of your chapbook (either physical or digital will work, I am not picky).

Longer Works

I am open to writing reviews of longer collections of poetry, or of short story or essay collections. If you have a longer piece that you would like me to review, please email john[at]jdgrahamauthor[dot]com and put “Review Query” in the subject line.