So... the conventional writerly wisdom is to not read your reviews.
I ignored this advice. Last Thursday, my local newspaper, the Monitor, ran a super review of The Garden Uprooted (alongside a review of Brenda Nettles Riojas' La Primera Voz Que Oi). I knew the review was going to run, and I had been thinking about it since their reviewer, David Bowles, asked me for a review copy. It was a little agonizing.
Come Thursday morning, I was on my way to work and of course, the review was on my mind. I was obsessing. I ended up buying a copy along the way, before my first class even began. I opened it up, scanned through the paper, and there it was, the review.
I think David hits my book spot on, calling my book " a rich hybrid verse." That's exactly right, both in content and form. I love it.
Truth be told, I'm a little self-conscious about The Garden Uprooted. I know, I know, I shouldn't admit that in public but here I am, admitting it. I mean, I'm happy with the book, but these poems are the ones that taught me how to write. I'm a different poet today for having completed that manuscript. Maybe all books are like that. Maybe I need to get over myself.
I'm really grateful and happy for this review. This inspires ME to write another review, which I will, for the next issue of Boxcar :-)