Writing Reviews: Curiosity Over Verdict
We often turn to reviews with a bottom-line attitude: thumbs-up or thumbs-down. In this workshop, we’ll consider that the purpose of a review is more to stimulate curiosity and inspire engagement in a reader, observer, or listener than it is to offer a verdict. We’ll examine templates we can use to fertilely offer critical commentary, including thematic, comparative, and historical approaches. The techniques with which we experiment will have broad applicability, relevant to various types of reviewing, including literary, film, music, and art.
About the Instructor: John Amen is the author of several collections of poetry, most recently Illusion of an Overwhelm (New York Quarterly, 2017). His poetry and reviews have appeared in various publications, including Rattle, Prairie Schooner, Los Angeles Review, Exclaim!, PopMatters, The Brooklyn Rail, and Colorado Review. He is a staff reviewer for the music magazine and website No Depression. He founded and edits Pedestal Magazine.