Eric Marin wrote to let me know about his new venture, MultiVerse: Speculative Poetry Reviews, and graciously offered to be quizzed about what he's up to:
Q: What's the genesis of the site? Was there one particular moment that made you say, "Hey, I should review SF poems!"?
A: Over the past year, I realized that speculative poetry garners very little critical attention, particularly online. I didn't know where I could request reviews of the poetry I publish in my webzine, Lone Star Stories, and, athough I knew that I couldn't review my webzine's selections, I felt that other speculative poetry publications should have a reviewing venue. So I started MultiVerse. My hope is that the reviews on MultiVerse will attract readers to strong speculative poetry that they might not otherwise read.
Q: How do you determine what to review?
A: I peruse magazines, mostly online but some in print, that publish speculative poetry, looking for strong poems that warrant positive comments. If I don't like a poem, I won't review it. It's a subjective process.
Q: Other than just "go read this, it's good!", what sorts of positive things do you try to say?
A: When I write a review, I try to point out the poem's strengths without giving away too much of what the poem is about in order to intrigue potential readers. I might briefly discuss the structure, the language, the topic, or the mood of the poem.
Q:. How do you think the site will develop? What's in store for the future?
A: I'm unsure how the site will develop; it's a work in progress. If the site garners enough interest, I'll add a links page and a discussion board. I'm open to suggestions and requests.
Q: Do you think you'll add other reviewers? Multiple reviews of a poem could be interesting.
A: I'm very open to other reviewers contributing to MultiVerse. In fact, Samantha Henderson is already providing reviews for MultiVerse. Her style is a bit different than mine, and, in contrast to me, she reviews all of the pieces in a particular magazine issue. The idea of more than one reviewer examining a poem is something to consider.
Q: What do you look for in a poem? What's a good poem to you?
A: I look for speculative poetry (poetry with elements of the fantastic and the surreal or of science fiction) that leaves a strong impact on me as a reader, whether through vivid language, compelling theme, intriguing topic, or other means. A poem that manages that is a good poem to me.
Q: Have you found any speculative poetry outside the SF field, or are you pretty much just looking at places that label themselves as SF?
A: I will review speculative poetry wherever I can find it. If you have any suggestions for markets to examine, please let me know!
For more information on Eric and his various projects, check out his website, which also includes contact information.
Eric also passed on the good news that Tangent Online will now be reviewing poetry.