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Sunday, June 4, 2017 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM EDT
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Split This Rock
1301 Connecticut Ave NW
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036

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Split This Rock


Writing Book Reviews: A Workshop led by Joshua Weiner

Sunday, June 4, 1-5 pm
1301 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC

Cost: $25
Space is limited. Register by Friday, June 2.
Scholarships are available. Submit an online request by 12 pm on Friday, May 25.


If you're interested in writing reviews of new books of poetry, but are not sure how to get started, now's the time. We'll begin by considering some different models of how it's done, with an emphasis on how you might do it. Then we'll get to work beginning to craft an opening for a review you'd want to write, quickly sketching the outline of the piece, we hope, for you to take home. Participants should be ready to talk and ready to write; and, in addition, everyone should bring a particular book that they are enthusiastic about, and would like to think about further, and critically--which is to say, with the aim of evaluating. You may be asked to read a few pieces provided, prior to our meeting.

Some of the questions we'll consider: Where does one get the authority to criticize the work of another? What is fair and unfair criticism? How do you write an effective opening? What are some of the crucial questions driving a good review? How do you exercise the competing interests of candor and tact in a review? What does the writer of a review get out of writing a review? What are the different motives that lead one to review? What's the function of criticism? Why does it matter what you or what anyone thinks about a book of poems? How do you pitch a review proposal to an editor?  What are some of the venues that publish reviews? 


  A white man in a black and white photo slightly smiling into the camera









Joshua Weiner is the author of three books of poetry, and the editor of a volume of essays on Thom Gunn (all from Chicago).  His "Berlin Notebook," prose about the refugee crisis, appeared in 2016 from Los Angeles Review of Books, and was funded by a Guggenheim Fellowship.  His reviews and essays about poetry have been published widely in journals, magazines, and newspapers, such as Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Village Voice, Boston Review, Threepenny Review, Poetry, Brick, Ploughshares,, American Scholar, and American Poetry Review.  He is also the poetry editor of Tikkun magazine.  Josh teaches in  the MFA Program at University of Maryland and lives in Washington D.C.                  Photo by Ralph Alswang

The nearest metro station is DuPont Circle. The building is wheelchair accessible. A volunteer will be available at the door as the building locks on weekends. Participants are encouraged to arrive a few minutes early. Those who arrive late may need to text or call 202-445-0536 to be let in.

Contact us at or 202-787-5210 should you have any questions.