The best poetry that I've produced almost always comes during or after a period of intense reading. I'm working on a new book project and challenging myself to read four or five poetry books per month. To keep myself accountable, every month I will post two 500-word reviews of books, and list the other books I've read. Because who better to keep you accountable than the entire internet? I will also read prose, but I won't review it.
Writing the reviews is a way to say to other poets: hey, I see you, and I'm reading your work. It's also a way to make sure that I stay engaged with the material and learn everything I can from it. I hope that it will give readers who aren't poets some tools to help them approach poetry. Unfortunately, poetry, which is a kind of prayer, is often taught as if it were a word problem, an equation to solve. But poetry is about what cannot be solved or explained. The poem itself is the solution. That is why we need it so badly, and why I'm excited to challenge myself to read more of the amazing work that poets are making every day.