Annotations of the writers, by the writers, for the writers.
Welcome to Annotation Nation, Poetry!
Annotation Nation was founded in 2009 by fiction writers Kate Maruyama and Diane Sherlock. Ramona Pilar Gonzales edits the Creative Non-Fiction page. Lisa Cheby has come aboard to edit this Poetry page.
In annotating books for our MFA program in Creative Writing, we learned to examine books in terms of craft. These aren’t reviews (although you will hear definite opinions expressed) or critical essays, but a closer look at writing, answering questions such as, “What made that so great?” “Why didn’t this work for me?” or, more importantly, “How’d they do that and how can I use it in my own writing?”
You can look up annotations by title or by author to find the link. We will continue to post and invite you to submit your own annotations (see guidelines below). We are hoping to amass a comprehensive and diverse look at literature through the eyes of writers looking more closely at the tools of the craft.
Please submit your annotations of poetry books; we don’t promise to post everything, but we will post what we can. You don’t have to love every book. We certainly don’t! Sometimes the most useful annotations are those of flawed books or those not to our taste. We want to read everything out there, but simply don’t have the time. Sound familiar?
Then welcome to the Annotation Nation, poetry
submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject Matter These aren’t book reviews. We are interested in your response to the work as a writer. While we want the annotations to focus on a book of poetry, you will muse upon the quirks of craft that book reveals about the writer and how that writer has dared you to try something new in your own writing or provided a possible solution to a writing dilemma. You will do all this with specific references to the text.
Length 1-3 pages is a general guide (250-1,000 words). Keep in mind that most people will not read long pieces online.
Please include the book title and author’s name at the top of your submission and “annotation by your full name.” The subject line of the email should be your last name and the title of the book (i.e. Cheby Leaves of Grass).
Annotations may be edited. We may edit annotations submitted for language, content or length. You retain the copyright on your annotations. If you would like to view your edited piece before we post it, just let us know.
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Lisa Cheby is a high school librarian and poet. She earned an MFA from Antioch and has a forthcoming chapbook, Love Lessons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, from Dancing Girl Press. Her poems and reviews have appeared in various journals including The Rumpus, Eclipse, The Mom Egg, The Citron Review, Askew, and Tidal Basin Review and in the anthologies Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Book and The Burden of Light: Poems on Illness and Loss.