when criticism is actually critical we call it MEAN
I wish I could tell you how many people–editors, event hosts, other writers–have approached me privately, strictly off-the-record, and complained about how much they disliked Valzhyna Mort’s Factory of Tears. But nobody wants to be the one to call Franz Wright and his Pulitzer out on their bullshit, much less risk ruffling the feathers of her otherwise highly venerable and respectable publisher, Copper Canyon. (Note: those are non-ironic assessments of CC. They publish Ben Lerner, Erin Belieu, and all sorts of other writers I love.)
Anyway, The Poets&Writers May/June covergirl has, as near as I can tell, racked up exactly ONE critical review. It was written by yours truly, for Coldfront magazine in April. I think Mean Week is a good time for everyone to revisit my work and tell me how brave I am.