On behalf of Split This Rock Poetry Festival, I am writing to express my disappointment that Book World’s June 19 Summer Reading Issue did not include any poetry books. We, along with all poetry lovers, believe that poetry books make for excellent reading during the summer and every other season of the year.
As with the Best Books of 2010 issue released last winter, the Summer Reading Issue seems to highlight nearly every genre other than poetry, including picture books and “sharks.” I, for one, would find it much more relaxing to lie on the beach with a good book of poetry than a book about sharks.
While we appreciate that Book World runs occasional poetry reviews, this does not negate the importance of including poetry in any edition that gives a broad overview of recommended or forthcoming books in all genres. We do not understand why poetry seems to be treated differently from other genres.
The limited readership for poetry in this country is in part due to the fact that mainstream literary publications such as Book World — as well as large publishing houses and mainstream bookstores — do not do enough to promote poetry books. To remedy this, Book World should give equal treatment to the three major literary genres — fiction, nonfiction and poetry — in its weekly book reviews and special issues.
We also strongly encourage The Post to accept submissions of poetry for its op-ed pages. Some writers express their opinions in prose, others in verse. Both forms are valid and effective means of commenting on current events.
Yvette Neisser Moreno,
The writer is a member of the planning committee of Split This Rock Poetry Festival in Washington.