From David Lehman's Foreword:
Poetry criticism at its worst today is mean in spirit and spiteful in intent, as if determined to inflict the wound that will spur the artist to new heights if it does not cripple him or her. Somewhere along the line, the notion took hold that poets were reluctant to write honestly about their peers. But in the absence of critics who are not themselves poets, surely the antidote is not to encourage the habit of rejection without explanation, denunciation without reasoned argument, and a slam of the gavel in high dudgeon as if a poem were a felony. Hostile criticism, criticism by insult, may have entertainment value, but animus does not guarantee honesty. As one who knows from firsthand experience what a book reviewer faces when writing on deadline, I can tell the real thing when I see it, and the hysterical over-the-top attack is often the product of a pose. Every critic knows it's easier (and more fun) to write a ruthless review rather than a measured one . . .
From Ashbery to Zapruder: The Best American Poetry 2009 launch reading on September 24. Details here. (Books will be available for purchase.)
And don't miss the first time ever reading by the North Atlantic Poetry Organization Tea Club. Details here.