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How we critique

Every workshop or critique group functions a little differently. Here's how we run our critique group. We meet for two hours per session to provide enough time to read, review, and discuss each member's poem(s). We break the time up into one-hour increments, and we have a few rules we live by.

Critique group structure

Poets are asked to bring a maximum of 2 pages of poetry (to allow for maximum quality review time) either digitally via Google Docs or a Word Doc or printed out with enough copies for the group.


The first hour is for reading others' poems on your own and writing down your comments. This is where you take note of your interpretations, questions you're left with, techniques/images/lines that worked well and ones that could be improved, etc. 

The second hour is for the discussion. We divide the hour into time slots based on the number of poets in the session. We ask the poet being workshopped to not speak during their time slot. This allows them to understand how their work is being read and adjust as they see fit.

Critique group rules

As in all civilized societies, we have a few rules. These rules ensure we maintain our safe, welcoming atmosphere and provide a quality workshop experience for everyone in the group.

  1. Be a respectful human. Need we say more?

  2. K*LL ALL CLICHES (said in the most loving way possible). We're going to hold you to a higher standard in this group because we know you're capable of greatness.

  3. Have an open mind. No need to defend your pieces or choices. We're not criticizing you as a person; we're offering perspectives to help you improve what's on the page. Ultimately, you choose which pieces of feedback you implement and which you ignore. 

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