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116 of 117 people found the following review helpful
on 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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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2005
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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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2001
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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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 1997
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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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 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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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 18, 2006
This little book of writing wisdom is for poets, writers and anyone creative enough to open their wings.

Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge offers a world of advice for dreamers and the like in her book filled with writing anecdotes. Each chapter is written in beautiful prose and relates her seeds of inspiration along with tips for finding ones own. The book is often funny yet also deeply profound and it is written with a fondness for the writing life, including all of its insanity. Wooldridge inspires her readers with simple exercises that capture those moments of imagination during walks in the woods, in dreams and in calculated thought as well.

"poemcrazy" is a wonderful gift as well as that special book for every writer to have at their fingertips during those static moments of blocked thought. Wooldridge will bring you right back to a clever thought with one or more of her inspirational practices. This is a book you can come back to again and again reaping the benefits as you go. I wouldn't call it crazy but rather a dreamer's logic for getting the job done.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 14, 1998
Poemcrazy is a decent book covering ways to create the environment in which one will write poetry. However, there is nothing special about the book. Those interested in poetry in the schools are better off with the works of Kenneth Koch. Those interested in publishing poetry are better served by In the Palm of My Hand (the "my" in the title may be incorrect). Those interested in poetry for self-discovery may find the approach of Poemcrazy to be useful - for this purpose Poemcrazy's central technique - word tickets - may be the technique appropriate for them. In this context the book is better than many in that it illustrates the technique across a wide variety of interests. Everyone should be able to find some chapters (with the related exercises) that speak directly to their needs.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2004
Easy and fun to read, not only for beginners. You'll read little short poems and thoughts in here that will make you think, and sometimes laugh, and will always inspire you to write. It has actually cheered me up in many ways, esp. unblock my writer's block when i have it. I sometimes just open to any page and there's the exact words, talking to only me. That's the sign of a great book. Here's another special thing about this book; it's not just for poets. I'm interested in screenplays and 'poemcrazy' has helped my writing's quality and quanity.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2006
This highly personal work is not only a delight to read, it is also a great textbook on writing poems, creativity, and word crafting using imagery. The book appears thin, but its 60 short chapters spanning 200 pages are jammed with creative ways to write poetically. These exercises interrupt your reading and force you to do (sometimes embarrassingly) creative things that unearth rich word details.

The author's approach to active creativity and her delightful exercises force me to return to this book often. Highly recommended for anyone who writes.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2004
I'm a visual artist, not a poet or fiction artist. This small book made more difference in my artistic output this winter than any other influence. I've ordered copies for my walking buddy (so we can share the excercises) and a writer friend in the cold north. Heart-full and not hokey...these chapters appeal to the 7th grade child in all of us. Before we knew what was "cool", we knew how to tap the muse.
Order extra copies for all your friends!
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