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The poetry mountain

Poetry is flourishing, but how much of it is really good? Very little judging by my postbag as the Observer's poetry reader

By Kate Kellaway   November 1999

There is nothing more personal than poetry. It can go deeper than any love letter. It can be the most disciplined form of writing and the freest. For the past ten years, I have been poetry reader at the Observer. (I read and return–almost always–the unsolicited poems that come in). It is a strange thing to send poems to an editor you have never met. I know, because I have done it.

I know what it is like to fold up white A4 pages and entrust them, with hope, to their envelopes. And I know that they have a way…

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