The reading window is about to open. Look back, look out, look forward.
On HappenStance's sister website, Sphinx review, this year we OPOI-reviewed 92 pamphlets. They came in through the front door. But we received far more than we OPOI-ed.
The stated aim is to write about each and every one that's sent in, but it's an impossible aim.
Besides, who will read all the reviews? Let's be honest. Reviews are not top of the reading list for most people, unless the review is of their own book.
Sometimes it occurs to me to offer authors an OPOI review of their publication provided they write one (of somebody else's pamphlet). But then some of the authors might write thoughtlessly or carelessly because their hearts weren't in it.
Still, a mammoth number of poetry pamphlets now appears every year. Of course the authors like critical notice. But how is it to be managed? We did 92. I have 68 more pamphlets sitting here right this minute unwritten-about. I need Rumpelstiltskin.
Besides, there are more, far more. We weren't even sent copies of all the pamphlets that were produced. There must be 200-300 every year in the UK, at a guess. How would anybody ever know the real number? Many of them don't have ISB numbers.
But the OPOI reviews are (yes, I am biassed) rather interesting to read, and writing reviews (especially OPOIs) is good for poets. I really think that. And if you've never done anything like this before, it's good training. You have a couple of kindly hands-on editors here to help. They're nice.
This one is also currently sharpening her pencils for another purpose.
The poetry reading window is open from January 2nd to January 29th. Yay!
The window for offering OPOI reviews is open all year round.
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Making a comment on my own blog, it occurs to me how interesting it would be if a reading group took a particular pamphlet and each of them did an OPOI (wrote about their own single point of interest, which could be tiny) before sitting down to talk. Of course you couldn't sustain that all the time, but as a one-off it might be fascinating. I can send sets of pamphlets to reading groups as a special discounted price! (This is neither a secret sales tack or total desperation.)