Reviews tell us as much about their author as about the books they're assessing, something that's made even clearer than normal by Sphinx and its idiosyncratic format of providing three different reviews for each chapbook.
Snippets from Issue 12 are now up at the Happenstance site (including three reviews by myself), and they're well worth a look. Not only do we get varied perspectives on the books in question, but we also find an implicit dialogue and debate developing between the different reviews and reviewers. There are opinions which coincide, others which clash, others which cast fresh light on each other. Each review has been written in isolation, before all three are brought together for the first time in Sphinx.
This process must involve a huge amount of work for Helena Nelson, but a great deal of pleasure is generated for the reader.
I talked to Amali Rodrigo about her first collection ‘Lotus Gatherers’ (Bloodaxe). PART ONE: THE POET Paul: What was it like growing up in Sri Lanka? Amali...