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The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop + The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice + Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry
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Editorial Reviews

Review

. . . this is a poetry exercise/craft tip book poets (and English instructors) only dream about, a collection divided into sections such as "Sound," "Voice," and "Syntax," each addressing the stated topic with relevant writing/revision suggestions, plus a poem provided as a springboard for writing a poem in a similar mode or form. There are even examples of poems written from the prompt. . . I look forward to the next time I teach introduction to poetry writing because I definitely think students will appreciate the specificity of Lockward's prompts. 
     --Martha Silano, Blue Positive

What I like about this book is that it offers you poems, prompts and even interviews. . . The book is definitely a portable workshop that you can use by yourself or with a group. 
     --Kelli Russell Agodon, Book of Kells

Written with a knowledgeable audience in mind, it's the kind of book that can both help a poet grow and grow with her, a valuable addition to any poet's shelves.
    --Ruth Foley, Five Things


. . . this is an important new resource for poets--those who are just beginning as well as the more seasoned poet.
    --Susan Rich, The Alchemist's Kitchen

The Crafty Poet should be on every poet's bookshelf. It brings us down to earth by pointing out that there is as much craft as inspiration in creating poetry.
     --Rose Mary Boehm, The Lazy Blogger


Here is a must for teachers of poetry. . . a feast of poems and instructions. 
      --Grace Cavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books 


Reading through this book, I find myself torn by competing desires: to linger over many of the poems, and to rush to my desk to try the prompts. A book that inspires me to do more than is possible--what a good book that is. I'm glad The Crafty Poet found its way to my hands, and I'm looking forward to leafing through my notebook in a year or so, counting up the poems that owe their conception to this book.
       --Lynn Domina

From the Inside Flap

Model poems with prompts, writing tips, and interviews contributed by 56 of our nation's finest poets, including 13 former and current state Poets Laureate: 
Kim Addonizio, JoAnn Balingit, Ellen Bass, Jan Beatty, Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Robert Bense, Pam Bernard, Michelle Bitting, Deborah Bogen, Kathryn Stripling Byer, Edward Byrne, Kelly Cherry, Philip F. Deaver, Bruce Dethlefsen, Caitlin Doyle, Patricia Fargnoli, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Amy Gerstler, Karin Gottshall, Jennifer Gresham, Bruce Guernsey, Marilyn Hacker, Jeffrey Harrison, Lola Haskins, Jane Hirshfield, Gray Jacobik, Rod Jellema, Richard Jones, Julie Kane, Adele Kenny, Dorianne Laux, Sydney Lea, Hailey Leithauser, Jeffrey Levine, Diane Lockward, Denise Low, Jennifer Maier, Marie-Elizabeth Mali, Jeffrey McDaniel, Wesley McNair, Susan Laughter Meyers, Bronwen Butter Newcott, Alicia Ostriker, Linda Pastan, Stanley Plumly, Vern Rutsala, Martha Silano, Marilyn L. Taylor, Matthew Thorburn, Lee Upton, Nance Van Winckel, Ingrid Wendt, Nancy White, Cecilia Woloch, Baron Wormser, Suzanne Zweizig

An additional 45 accomplished poets contributed sample poems inspired by the prompts in this book:
 
Joel Allegretti, Linda Benninghoff, Broeck Blumberg, Rose Mary Boehm, Bob Bradshaw, Kelly Cressio-Moeller, Rachel Dacus, Ann DeVenezia, Liz Dolan, Kristina England, Laura Freedgood, Gail Fishman Gerwin, Erica Goss, Jeanie Greensfelder, Constance Hanstedt, John Hutchinson, Penny Harter, Wendy Elizabeth Ingersoll, Tina Kelley, Claire Keyes, Laurie Kolp, Joan Mazza, Janet McCann, Antoinette Libro, Charlotte Mandel, Joan Mazza, Janet McCann, Nancy Bailey Miller, Thomas Moudry, Drew Myron, Shawnte Orion, Donna Pflueger, Wanda Praisner, Susanna Rich, Ken Ronkowitz, Basil Rouskas, Nancy Scott, Martha Silano, Linda Simone, Melissa Studdard, Lisken Van Pelt Dus, Jeanne Wagner, Ingrid Wendt, Scott Wiggerman, Bill Wunder, Michael T. Young, Sander Zulauf
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Wind Publications; 1st edition (August 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193613862X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936138623
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Diane Lockward is the author of three poetry books, most recently, Temptation by Water. Her previous books are What Feeds Us, which received the 2006 Quentin R. Howard Poetry Prize, and Eve's Red Dress. She is also the author of two chapbooks, Against Perfection and Greatest Hits: 1997-2010. Her poems have been included in such anthologies as Poetry Daily: 360 Poems from the World's Most Popular Poetry Website and Garrison Keillor's Good Poems for Hard Times, and have been published in such journals as Harvard Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. Her work has also been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Writer's Almanac. She is the recipient of a Poetry Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and has received awards from North American Review, Louisiana Literature, and the Journal of NJ Poets. www.dianelockward.com

Customer Reviews

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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Fargnoli, NH Poet Laureate 12/2006-3/2009 on August 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
I've written and taught poetry for over 30 years and I own at least a hundred books on poetic craft and poetry prompts. The wealth of exercises in this big generous book are the best I've seen anywhere. The craft articles and poet interviews teach me things that, even after all these years of writing, I either didn't know, or needed to be reminded of again. When I received the book, I sat right down and read until I couldn't read more, then, a day later, picked it up and read again straight through. I'll use this with my students and use it for myself. Here's a disclaimer: I have an interview among these...but truly, had I not, I would still be singing its praises.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Joan Mazza on September 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop by Diane Lockward

As I made my way through the pages of original tips and probing interviews, prompts, and sample poems, I kept asking myself what made this book stand out so well from the many others on writing poetry. Where most books offer long lists of prompts of a sentence or two, Lockward and the other poets who contribute to this volume make specific suggestions that coach you into writing your best work. She might say: here is a poem, notice the sounds or this repeating phase, see how this theme weaves through the stanzas, note the surprising images. Now do this and this. Go back and see if you can add this element. And then try this. This is followed by two sample poems and I'm happy to say one of my sonnets appears as one of them.

Most of the tips and prompts run one to three pages, enough to engage you to begin a poem, and not so much that you are overwhelmed or discouraged or for it to feel formulaic. Many of the suggestions can be used repeatedly, such as the word chain, and tips and strategies for fresher diction.

My writing in the margins told me I couldn't stop to get my notebook, and wanted to snag what was flying through my head before it flew out again.

THE CRAFTY POET belongs in the canon of texts on writing poetry next to THE POET'S COMPANION (Laux & Addonizio) and IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND (Kowit). Unlike those gems, this is not a beginner's book for those who need terms and techniques explained, but rather is for intermediate and advanced poets who are ready to take their work to the next level.

I'm already looking forward to Vol. II. In the meanwhile, I have drafts to revise and send out before working my way through this book again.

As Pam Bernard says at the end of her craft tip on words with muscle on page 33, "Will you give your reader a piece of white paper with words on it, or the small, warm animal of your hand?"
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M. Silano on September 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
Diane Lockward's The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop arrived in my mailbox last week, and I am so pumped! Why? Because this is a poetry exercise/craft tip book poets (and English instructors) only dream about, a collection divided into sections such as "Sound," "Voice," and "Syntax," each addressing the stated topic with relevant writing/revision suggestions, plus a poem provided as a springboard for writing a poem in a similar mode or form. There are even examples of poems written from the prompt*.

The Crafty Poet is a brilliant book for teaching beginning poets to examine poems carefully and learn/steal from them. Diane's clear and succinct descriptions and analysis assist inexperienced poets with handling mood/tone, stanza length, fixed forms, etc. But let's face it: even more seasoned writers (okay, just speaking for myself) need guidance (if not a kick in the pants) when it comes to putting words on the page, especially when subject/setting/situation/ formal considerations aren't immediately jumping to mind.

I don't know about you, but more often than not I arrive at my writing desk with perhaps a subject but no idea how I will translate my thoughts and/or gathered factual information, into poetry. The danger of this scenario, at least for me, is that I will invariably choose research (think Wikipedia, library websites, wherever Google happens to lead me), amassing pages and pages of notes on, say, mollusks or Leonardo Da Vinci, without writing a word of poetry. Definitely disheartening. One way to avoid this kind of stall out is to own a copy of The Crafty Poet!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By gigi p on August 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is a gift for new as well as seasoned poets. Find a quiet corner, grab pen, paper, laptop, whatever, and take workshops with poets that Diane Lockward has gathered for this am(azon)azing volume. The book is writer-friendly and filled with craft tips, sample poetry, interviews, prompts, and memorable tidbits that bring out the best from contributors as well as readers. On a personal note, I wrote several poem drafts while taking a long car trip (no, I don't write and drive). The Crafty Poet is a resource that should be on every poet's bookshelf.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nina Bennett on September 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been following Diane Lockward's poetry blog/newsletter for several years, and I save each one into a folder on my computer with the intent of revisiting articles on craft, as well as writing suggestions and prompts. Notice I used the term "with the intent." Only occasionally have I taken the time to sort back through and find a prompt that intrigued me at the initial reading. I have purchased several craft books based on Lockward's recommendations, and each one has lived up to her comments. I also enjoy Lockward's poetry.

The Crafty Poet places all of these tips and articles in one well-organized place. I have read it through several times, and have returned to specific prompts to stimulate my own writing.
There are sample poems that follow the original prompt, interviews with poets about their poem, and good information on specific aspects of craft. This is not a book for beginning poets, but rather an advanced portable workshop. I see this book as filling a rather large gap in poetry writing books-the poet who is actively writing and publishing-with invaluable exercises and articles. In her intro, Lockward states that this book "assumes a fairly knowledgeable reader."
The book is divided into 10 topical sections, such as Sound, Voice, Syntax, Revision. It would make an excellent gift for a poetry writer, and would be extremely useful in a poetry writing group. My critique group holds a writing retreat once or twice a year, and I've already flagged several prompts I want to suggest.
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