Tower Poetry Reviews 2004–2014: selected and introduced by Peter McDonald
Tower Poetry’s website has hosted reviews of new volumes of verse (along with very occasional reviews of books about poetry). By no means everything has been covered: 126 reviews over a decade isn’t all that many but Tower has hosted some exceptionally interesting and searching pieces of criticism over the ten years, and provided a platform on which a number of emerging critical talents could find their feet.
This selection of Tower reviews gives a certain amount of insight into what has been happening (over the last ten years), but by no means a comprehensive one: there are gaps, and some of those gaps look pretty big to me (can we really never have reviewed Don Paterson?), though these are all the results of accident, not design.
Nevertheless, the pieces that follow here do encompass a lot, and they manage this (I believe) intelligently, searchingly, and often wittily: whether they’re ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in their judgements really isn’t for me to say – nor indeed for anyone to decide for quite a few years to come. In the meantime, I hope they offer at least a glimpse of what good poetry reviewing might look like, and provide a measure of intellectual stimulation, thought-provoking attentiveness, and (why not?) literate entertainment that goes beyond their immediate occasions.
(Taken from Peter McDonald’s Introduction)