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Of Critiques and Developing Your Skills as a Critic

And finally, this is part three of my introduction to critique! I look forward to your feedback and will definitely be posting more on this topic in the future. 
 
 
Once you're comfortable with critique and you’re ready to go more in depth with your offerings (hey, if you’re one who doesn’t like the word “critique”, “offerings” sounds quite lovely!), then it’s time to take off the training wheels! If you began by using Review Requests as a starting point (as I suggested in Of Critique and Where to Begin), the next step in increasing your skills is to go outside the lines! When you post a comment, don’t rely on the Review Requests to guide you. Read the poem and dissect it enough that you can determine the strengths and weaknesses of the poem without prompts. From there, you essentially follow the same protocol as with using the Review Requests, with whatever strengths and weaknesses you’ve found.
 
It can take a bit of practice to get comfortable with this step. It can be difficult to put a name to the trouble spots in a poem! Don’t be afraid or ashamed to tell the poet you’re practicing your critiquing and this is one of the first times you’ve tried critiquing without a guide. Try not to feel like you don’t know enough about poetry to offer them good advise. We’re all peers here and we’re all here to learn and grow!  
 
Another suggestion at this level of critique is to read and learn about lots of different kinds of poetry. Expand your knowledge of poetry lingo and technique to help you provide in-depth critiques. 
 
A recap:
-Draw outside the lines.
-Study writing lingo, poetry technique and anything else that will help you write more in-depth critique.
-Practice! Practice! Practice!
 
And there you have it folks! I hope this has been enjoyable, easy to read, and above all, helpful! 
 
 

Comments

i liked the conversational tone of your write Kelsey and summing it up at the end which is a good place to go to during revisions rather than reading the entire note again....
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raj (sublime_ocean)

Thank you for being here. There will be recaps in the workshop as well.

Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

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