Removals Inc

As you can see from New Book(s) post below, some changes have been made to a review I wrote of Where the River Goes, editor Allan Burns (Snapshot Press 2013). Well, only one change really, the review has been removed from Haiku NewZ and won’t be reposted.

The editor wrote one of those more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger letters basically telling me I had screwed up by not understanding this, that or the other. He has a PhD in English and I have a degree in nothing. He wanted a better review and I had none to give as I believed I had written my piece honestly in the first place. He disliked the opinion in the review, I believe a review should contain opinion. Etc and so on.

Let me say clearly Dr Burns wasn’t unkind, and he wasn’t shouty. But we were not going to meet in the middle on most things.

The way things are at the moment with me personally (and I don’t want to sound melodramatic because it isn’t) I haven’t got the energy, the will or anything else to get into a debate. So the easiest thing is just to remove it and wish the book well. Yeah, it’s censorship but I’m doing it to myself.

Which brings me to the next point.

Haiku NewZ will no longer publish reviews. It was never intended as a point of first publication and so I will stick to that first principle. Books being published may or may not be noted, the Reviews archive will remain (minus the review in question, of course), as will the list of books that are free to download or read online.

6 thoughts on “Removals Inc

    • Hi Roberta,
      For the record I stand by the review but I have been told by more than one person that it was no good on many levels. I didn’t want to get into a fight about it. Needless to say, the discussion on THF about reviewing now reads ironically in places to me. The editor in question is pleased the review has been deleted. Presumably, it will receive rave reviews from everyone else and I will therefore be proved to not only be wrong but an incompetent reviewer to boot! Oh well, worse things happen at sea (apparently). Thanks for your support, it means a lot.

  1. I haven’t read the review, or the book, but this is one reason why other poets don’t respect haiku as much as they should. Yes, partly it’s because they don’t understand haiku. But more it’s because the haiku world seems insular, and overly sensitive to criticism.

    If you don’t want to hear what someone has to say about your work, don’t publish. It’s pretty simple. If you’re going to publish, negative reviews come with the territory. To complain about it seems childish.

    • Hello Richard,

      Thanks for the comment. In the past I was a regular reviewer of books for a newspaper so “get” that a negative review can be hurtful. However, I also understood that a) People could make their own minds up about a review (whether they chose to agree with it or not) and b) No matter how well-known the author/publishing house, the book was not necessarily going to be a new masterpiece and the reviewer had the right to say so, notwithstanding point a).

      Anyhow, all a moot point. As I said in my post I chose to take the review down.

  2. Hi Sandra – I’m sorry you pulled it. Can you think about putting it back into the archive? It’s a loss to the critical development of haiku if stated opinions of published books are allowed to be changed/removed. No one person has the ‘right’ opinion about any work. Yours is as valid as the next person’s regardless whether an author/editor disagrees with you.

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