Book Reviews

The book review is a particular genre of literary criticism. They are not easy to write. Don't be dismayed if you find yourself frustrated. Keep working, keep trying. As always, you can run drafts by me, and you should always avail yourself of Fordham's Writing Center.

One way to think about your book review is as a macrotheme. Book reviews should give the reader a good sense of what the book is about. And they usually say directly this in the first line or so. While they should use snippets of poems, these snippets are often used as demonstrative of the reviewers larger point about the book. In your book review, you want to be a critic in at least two senses:

  1. as a purveyor of literary taste who weighs the merits or demerits of a work, but also
  2. someone who justifies her or his opinions through careful literary analysis.

Your book reviews about be about 4-6 pages. They should be posted on our Forums, under the respective category, as well as handed in to me in hard copy.

You can find book reviews of poetry all over the web, but here are a couple places to start:

The Constant Critic
The Rumpus
(This review of Chole Honum's The Tulip Flame is a good example of a review.)
Poetry Magazine
(especially these reviews by Rebecca Hazelton.)
Rain Taxi
The Volta

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