FREE Poetry email newsletter + interview with Erica Goss

Erica Goss recently told me about a new poetry email newsletter she’s starting for 2018, so of course, I needed to know more! See my interview with Goss along with how to sign up for the newsletter below.

Erica Goss served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, CA from 2013-2016. She is the author of Night Court, winner of the 2016 Lyrebird Award, Wild Place and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets. Recent work appears in Lake Effect, Atticus Review, Contrary, Convergence, Eclectica, The Red Wheelbarrow, and Main Street Rag, among others. She is co-founder of Media Poetry Studio, a poetry-and-film camp for teen girls: Please visit her at

HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about why you decided to start a poetry email newsletter?

GOSS: During one of my long drives between Oregon and California this fall, I had an epiphany: besides word-of-mouth, reviews are one of the best ways to spread the word about new books, and poets are always in need of reviews of their books. I used to review books regularly, but stopped a few years back due to family and work responsibilities. Now I have time to review books again, and instead of only submitting them to journals and waiting months to see them live, I thought I'd create a vehicle for getting them out faster. With the newsletter, I'm happy to say that I'll be able to send two reviews a month to my subscribers.

HOPKINSON: You mentioned that you’ll be including full length poetry book reviews. Why do you think reviewing poetry books is important for the literary community?

GOSS: A review, whether good or bad, is the ultimate validation for a writer: someone read your book and took the time to reply in writing. If I can do one thing to help raise poetry's profile in the world, it's giving poets, who put so much of themselves into literary art, a thoughtful, respectful response. Assembling a book of poems is no easy job; it takes years of writing the poems and then ordering them into a narrative. Then come untold numbers of rejections, and then the final triumph of getting accepted for publication. A review honors that cycle. It lets the world know that the book has arrived and that people should read it.

HOPKINSON: Do you enjoy writing reviews or is it a difficult process?

GOSS: As a reviewer, I read deeply, with the eye of a treasure-hunter. I look for the gems, those brilliant phrases I can uncover and share with my readers. I wouldn't review books if I didn't get excited about the possibilities in poetry, which delight and move me over and over. For me, poetry never gets old. However, sometimes I do experience a block when reviewing a book. I don't want to repeat phrases I've used before or resort to reviewer's clichés or restate blurbs. Re-reading previous reviews I've written sometimes helps unblock me. Sometimes I just need to take a break.

HOPKINSON: How can poets/presses submit a poetry book to you for review?

GOSS: Contact me through my blog:

HOPKINSON: What other information do you plan to include in the newsletter?

GOSS: Besides reviews, the other sections are:

  • THE READING LIFE Short pieces about the joys of reading
  • RANDOM POEM FROM THE BOOKSHELF A poem I've enjoyed selected from my personal library
  • QUOTES A quote or quotes from literature
  • WHAT I’M READING Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, travel, biography, humor, cookbooks, etc.
  • VIDEO Poetry videos - mine or others
  • SUBSCRIBER RECOMMENDATIONS/NEWS Newsletter subscriber contributions - send me your book announcements, publication news, and other news items

HOPKINSON: How can folks sign up to receive the newsletter?

GOSS: Contact me through my blog: or through Facebook at or send me an email at

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1 reply »

  1. Reblogged this on Erica Goss and commented:
    The first issue of Sticks & Stones, my bi-monthly newsletter, will be delivered to subscribers on Monday, January 1, 2018. Issue 1 features a review of Jenene Ravesloot’s poetry collection, titled Sliders, a random poem from the bookshelf, notes from the reading life, and a pithy quote or two. To subscribe, send me an email at with the subject “Newsletter.”

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