Crime poetry...sounds like an oxymoron. Poetry is refined. And literary. It’s not something usually associated with crime. But “the ultimate economy” is an art form that lends itself surprisingly well to the subject, to the damage crime inflicts, to the emotions crime arouses. We like crime fiction because it deals with the most serious subjects. And it’s dramatic. It plays with our fears, threatens our hopes. It lets us deal with horrifying subjects at a little distance. Poetry does all that too—but more economically. In good poetry, the point is never lost in a forest of verbiage, the plot never wanders. Far more than in prose, each word has to be precisely right, a sniper’s killshot.
Dymmoch went on to cite poems by Jackie Sheeler and Francine Witte, summing up as follows:
The Lineup represents crime from a number of points of view—criminals', cops' and victims'. What’s common to all the poems is the way a story is presented and emotion evoked with an amazing economy of language.