Beginning 1 September I will read a book of poetry each day for a year, writing 140-character reviews on Twitter, at http://twitter.com/yearofpoetry and on Molossus. I hope to accomplish more than compile 365 pithy back cover blurbs, to truly experiment with the medium as an effective venue for contemporary book reviewing.
I remember once, during my early interest in poetry, explaining to my mother in a bookstore that collections of poetry shouldn’t be read through—that poems should be enjoyed by themselves and that collections, even by single authors, were basically anthologies of one hit wonders. By graduate school I was vehemently opposed to the one hit wonder made popular by the MFA—what Donald Hall calls the McPoem—and interested in interconnected sequences of lyrics and the framework that connected them. I read collections straight through, often in a single sitting, trying to understand how the poems worked together.
As an online broadside, our interest in electronic media is obvious. As a critic, I am especially interested in new networks of media exposure: blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and the like. With the recent upsurge in literary content on Twitter—ranging from Penguin Poetry news updates to the alleged musings Edgar Allen Poe—I wondered if poetry, a medium known for its succinctness, could be effectively reviewed in 140 characters. Rather than experimenting with an occasional Twitter review, I have decided to commit myself to developing an effective format for the medium, by reviewing a collection each day for a year.
Please do follow me on Twitter. To read the book list, which will be periodically updated, click here.