I have just figured out that Sphinx Reviews were the work of one person at Happenstance Press and that this excellent reviewer’s forum has sadly closed.

I had four reviews of my Salt pamphlet when it came out three on Sphinx. Without Helena Nelson I would have had just one. Helena makes good points on her blog about the necessity of good reviewing as part of the process of good writing.

I only reviewed poetry when living in Scotland and did a few for Lines Review.
My impression of the current poetry scene after a decade away is that it full of boosterism and a lot of social media ‘liking’ but that the overall standard of writing and reviewing has fallen. Ironically the amount actually published has multiplied a lot of it because now funded because it fulfills certain stakeholder’s targets which not the same as published because it good.

I intend to start reviewing again and I can assure Helena my reviews will be damning and crushing if needs be…..positive and supportive if needs be.

My sum total of personal reviews (minus a ‘crushing’ one I still think so bad it annoying as the writer hopelessly misread everything ) are posted here…

tight lines….


For further interesting posts on this subject see Helena’s blog here:


The original Sphinx reviews of my pamphlet including the stinker…ironically a poetry event I help out with featured the writer I was unavailable that evening 🙂