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Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words [Kindle Edition]

Susan G. Wooldridge
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $3.96 (28%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Following the success of several recent inspirational and practical books for would-be writers, Poemcrazy is a perfect guide for everyone who ever wanted to write a poem but was afraid to try. Writing workshop leader Susan Wooldridge shows how to think, use one's senses, and practice exercises that will make poems more likely to happen.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews Review

Poemcrazy is the poetic analog to Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird or Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones, two classic works on how to forget that you "can't write" and just start the pen moving. Susan Wooldridge is a swimming instructor in the wide ocean of language, encouraging us to move ever farther from the shore, dive deep, and dance on the waves.


Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life With Words invites the readers into a realm where poetry is accessible, where poems are moments of discovery that often arrive unexpectedly (in parking lots, at the grocery store, on walks) and makes ordinary lives extraordinary. Susan Wooldridge plays with language as she shows how to create "wordpools", helping the reader to understand that we are all immersed in an ocean of words used but largely ignored. The reader learns to create images, begins to develop metaphor, and gradually moves into "dreamsense" where an exploration of who we are in poems carries us to deeper levels within. Wooldridge shares stories of how she and others discovered their own poems through delightful and often amusing vignettes of her life and experiences as a writer. In practice sessions through Poemcrazy, Wooldridge demonstrates how to craft poems using a poet's tools such as journal writing, imagery, comparison, exaggeration, awareness of detail, and playful juxtaposition. Poemcrazy is a wonderfully original and motivating addition to any literary or writer's reference shelf! -- Midwest Book Review

This is a wonderful book, smart, wide-eyed, joyful, helpful, inspiring. You're going to love it and love writing poetry more for having read it. -- Anne Lamott

Product Details

  • File Size: 377 KB
  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (September 30, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002QJZ9K4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,814 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
107 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading this is like striking oil April 25, 2000
I was one of five people who started a weekly writing group last year. At first we languished a bit, trying to find a way to get ourselves going. Then one week I brought in my little stash of word tickets I had made after reading Poemcrazy. It was as though a sudden rain had made the desert bloom. We have been pouring out poems and stories and vignettes at a rare clip ever since.
One of the most important things about the techniques the author presents is that they force one away from contemplating one's own belly-button, so to speak, and bring one's attention to the limitless possibilities for poetry that spring forth when chance words and phrases put the imagination in overdrive. Too often writers of my generation think that poetry has to be about our deepest and most dramatic emotions, which often leads to some pretty deadly stuff being committed to paper. But when you pull out word tickets that say things like "fronds" and "slashed" and "cutting up the remnants," it's hard to be self-absorbed. In fact, it's hard to be anything but deeply original.
Everyone I have introduced to the author's exercises and methods has fallen in love with them. Even my six-year-old nephew became enamored and proceeded to rename everything and everyone in his environment--a procedure that created some hilarious yet apposite new names. (I am now "Needs to sing," his sister is "Pistachio," his grandmother is "Finding secrets....")
I adore this book.
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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Soothed My Spirit! August 19, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Reading this book was soothing to my spirit, calming, a balm.

I like Wooldridge's writing style very much; I would describe it as gentle, casual and very clear.

I love how she consistently makes references to the outdoors, nature and the pastoral way of living throughout.

Within its pages you will become acquainted with such things as: wordpools, word tickets and the image angel.

The book is divided into 5 sections; each section averages right around 10 to 12 chapters. All the chapters are either short or very short. I found that very refreshing, like sips of cool water. Take a small drink, stop and think. Take another sip... At the end of most chapters there is a "Practice" which is nothing more than a simple non-threatening creative exercise or suggestion; they are genuinely good ideas in my opinion, practical and clear.

I think that the overall message from the author is that poetry is freedom when all the restrictions are removed and when you allow yourself to look for poems everywhere, because that's where they are, everywhere.

I recommend this book without any reservations.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poemcrazy: The Best Book I've Ever Read! March 22, 2001
By Crystal
A friend of mine picked up this book when we were in a book store, knowing that I had come to an almost sudden halt in my poetry writing for the past year or so after having been a poet for four or five years. I was pretty depressed about my writer's block, so I thought, "What the heck," and I bought the book. Not long into the book, which is magnificently written, I began to write again. I haven't stopped since, and my poetry has made massive improvement. The book helps to inspire and recreate that passion that writers can sometimes lose in the midst of the stresses of our days and our constant state of change and growth. --And best of all, it's fun, easy reading!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The title "Poemcrazy" caught my eye at the bookstore, and it has proven to become the most valuabe book on writing I have. Susan Wooldridge enabled me to write more introspective, symbolic poems. I began playfully collecting words, and concentrating for the first time on their music, instead of limiting myself to only their meanings. Following her simple directions and creative activities I began arranging words, finally tossing aside the internal editor that often cripples many a poet. The results were so astounding, so unlike my previous poetry, that I asked myself "Who wrote this?" In fact, the product from one interview activity (Who was I in your dream?) resulted in a poem that I submitted to a literary magazine, and the editor applauded the vivid imagery and rich symbolism. She enthusiastically accepted this poem for publication.

I hope that Susan Wooldridge continues to produce books full of similar exercises that prod the unconscious of the poet. The methods she presents are embraced with as much enthusiasm by the third graders I teach, as by the adults in my writing workshop.

This book is a MUST HAVE!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for poets and creative writing teachers June 30, 1999
Poemcrazy smoothly integrates Susan Wooldridge's personal experiences and observations with wonderful suggestions for writing exercises! As a high school creative writing teacher, I find the book to be particularly useful when I am searching for ways to help me and my students approach familiar subjects from unexpected directions. Poemcrazy also helps get the mental ink flowing when it seems to be running dry. In terms of exercises, Poemcrazy is comparable to, but not quite on par with, Natalie Goldberg's "Writing Down the Bones." Still, even if you don't actually use the exercises, the narrative makes for interesting enough reading on its own.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Expands Ones Horizons with Words
Amazing way to get you thinking out of the box and helping you get flowing with words. I've only read a few chapters yet, but I am already excited and my horizons have been opened... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars Creativity At Its Best
A great introduction to writing poetry. One of my favorite books.
Published 1 month ago by Barbara J Vaughn
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Carol Gianunzio
3.0 out of 5 stars Is it possible to see samples of the writer's poetry? That would help...
I considered purchasing this book, but after more than 30 minutes of research I could not locate even a single published poem by this author on the internet. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Charles Kern Kruger
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reading for poetic inspiration.
A great book - very inspirational for poets.
Published 3 months ago by Cara L Spanel-Weber
5.0 out of 5 stars play with words
Inspirational! This book always inspires me, I first read this book around five years ago, and whenever I read it I feel the bravery to just go for it, try something new, something... Read more
Published 4 months ago by harmony
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Too Light Reading For Me
Well, as one who has practiced and taught poetry, though this book offers a take on encouraging writing poetry, it isn't anything I would regard as a serious book about writing... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mike Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book if you love words, poetry and wonderful anecdotes.
I was an avid reader from early childhood on. I devoured books and would become lost in the worlds between the pages. In the last three years or so, I lost that connection. Read more
Published 6 months ago by tina zappone
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST BOOK ON POETRY WRITTEN
Okay, you won't see anything Walt Whitman or Robert Frost like in these pages, but if you're struggling to write a poem this is the book to free you up. Easy reading. Read more
Published 7 months ago by C. J. Clark
3.0 out of 5 stars Poemcrazy: Freeing your life with words
I've only read about half of it. It's not one of "page turners." My sister wanted me to read it, she loved it, but then she writes poetry and I don't. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Nancy S.
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