Michael Prior discusses his preference for poetry books that are eclectic rather than conceptual:
I wouldn't exactly say I'm wary about books that begin as conceptual projects (there are so many excellent, conceptually focused or "project"-based books) but in general, I tend to prefer a collection’s eclectic approach, its arbitrary, temporal origins (a poet’s most engaging poems written during a given period). I like to see a mind’s motifs and predilections not only in conversation, but also in heated argument—and in my experience, this seems to happen more surprisingly when a poet hasn’t set out to write a “project,” but rather, when individual poems, written without pretense of future assembly, end up in restless dialogue. Of course, I’m being a little facile: the boundaries between collection and project are undeniably porous: where does one end and the other begin? I very well may have written a book that could be categorized as a project, but while drafting the poems in Model Disciple, I avoided thinking of the book that way because I was worried that a conscious conceptual focus might influence the sort of poems I was writing, or, ultimately, which poems made it into the book: I was afraid that if I were writing toward a set of thematic and theoretical end goals, I would distract myself from saying what I needed to, in the way I needed to.