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Peer Review
Try this process for exchanging feedback so that working together will be honest, helpful, and productive.

Make two copies of your work — one for both the poet and reviewer. During Part 1, each of you reviews the poem separately. For Part II, you come together for a workshop. In Part III the poet revises the work alone. If both people have poems, this can work as an exchange as well. Just be sure to focus on one poem at a time.

Part 1: THE SANDWICH (Poet and reviewer work independently)

1. Read the poem aloud to yourselves twice.
2. How would you express the meaning of this poem in one sentence?
3. Mark on the poem cool sound devices (rhyme, alliteration, assonance).
4. If any words seem out of place or interrupt the poem's flow, circle them.
5. Write or prepare comments, making a sandwich of your review:
Top layer: One compliment
Middle: One piece of constructive criticism/question that you have about the piece
Bottom: One more compliment

Part 2: THE CONFERENCE (Poet and reviewer come together)

1. The poet reads the poem aloud one more time so that the reviewer can hear how the poet emphasizes words and uses inflection and volume.
2. Discuss the reviewer's marks (sound devices and questions).
3. Look at the meaning. Did the reviewer understand the poet's intent? If not, what does the poet think? A rich poem will have dozens of interpretations, but if the reviewer and poet are way off on the poem’s intended meaning, discuss it.
4. Go over the sandwich. It’s nice for the poet to compliment his/her own piece first. Then, the reviewer gives a compliment. The poet gives critique, then the reviewer should offer criticism. The last piece of the sandwich is for each to compliment the poem.

Part 3: REVISE (Poet)

Now, the poet is left to revise. What did you take away from the conference? Are there changes you want to make? You might want to revise and then have a second, follow-up conference with the same reviewer. Or you may want to revise and get another opinion. If you have major questions after the conference, you may want to get a third opinion up front.

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