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Ordering the Storm: How to Put Together a Book of Poems (Imagination, No. 11)

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1880834701
ISBN-10: 1880834707
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Ordering the Storm empowers readers to see the poetry collection as an artistic medium in itself, and offers diverse perspectives on the subject. Experienced writers and beginners alike will find inspiration and encouragement in the words of exceptional poets such as Maggie Anderson, Wanda Coleman, and Beckian Fritz Goldberg. This book should be required reading for all graduate student poets, even those who are still in the process of writing their first collection, because it includes essential information on poetic sequencing and useful strategies for examining a manuscript's possibilities. One of the most exciting aspects of the book is the sense of community that readers feel upon exploring each essay. Ordering the Storm transforms the task of arranging poems from a solitary undertaking to a collaborative adventure. --Mary Biddinger, Associate Editor of RHINO

From the Publisher

When we have a problem, we look for advice -- what do others do? Not so we can replicate their strategies, but so we can listen, consider, begin to make wordless decisions deep in the cerebral mass, It is the conversation that is useful, rather than the single instruction. This quality of conversation, the many voices, is the most valuable thing about this book. . . .

In [these] essays . . . the reader learns not only how a poet thinks when putting together a collection but also what happens when being a poet intersects with time and livelihood -- the poet as teacher, the poet as editor, the poet in change.

-- from the Introduction, by Susan Grimm, editor

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Product Details

  • Series: Imagination (Book 11)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Cleveland State U Poetry Center (June 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880834707
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880834701
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joan Mazza on May 12, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent collection of essays about how to put a book of poetry together, offering differnt points of view by people who have had a book of poetry published (not self-published) or won a contest that resulted in publication of their manuscripts. Here we see several ways to think about your manuscript beyond the obvious ones such as chronological or by subject matter. Some suggesions will add energy, tension, and mystery to your collection. Very helpful.
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Format: Paperback
Ordering the Storm: How to Put Together a Book of Poems (Imagination, No. 11) (Imagination)
I had my first full collection of poems published two years ago, and could have really used this book then. As it is, I'm delighted to have found it now, as I work on my second collection.

ORDERING THE STORM is a collection of essays, each one by a noted poet in the United States, many of whom have also had extensive teaching experience in the field of creative writing. As such it provides not just one approach, but many approaches, to ordering a collection of poems. Some ideas strike me as very helpful ; some less so. That is in the nature of the book. It's very encouraging to hear that even much-published poets have trouble transforming a pile of decent poems into a unified whole.

The one idea I've been running with this last fortnight (I'm afraid I forget which poet suggests this) is : the first poem in the collection can be beautiful, while the last one is more effective if it is philosophical. It's not a dogma, just an idea, but one which I am finding very fruitful.There are no absolute "shoulds" in this book, and that's the joy of it.
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At last! a book to help poets sift, sort, and organize their work.... With each chapter written by a well-published poet, the book provides a mini-course with many ideas for putting together a book or chapbook of poetry. I've tried to do this on my own for ages but get so overwhelmed by the numbers and choices, I usually just throw up my hands! So I was especially glad to see that poets whose work I know had the same problem. Ordering The Storm calms that storm and gives this published poet the confidence to try and try again.
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Ordering the Storm: How to Put Together a Book of Poems is descriptive, rather than prescriptive. It features essays by several poets who talk about their process in making a collection. There is no one answer, not even for different books by the same writer. But after reading the essays, a poet might be able to get some ideas for approaching a body of work. I found it most helpful to pick and choose ideas from several essays than to follow one essay as if it were a recipe for success.
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