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
--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.
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.
From the Inside Flap
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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?"
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!Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent little book for a generative reading and writing practice.Published 2 months ago by jhbkny
This book is a generous gift to poets from a poet who collected input from many enthusiastic sources. It's a terrific source for inspiration and ideas.Published 3 months ago by Carol the T
I may give it five stars when I've worked with it a bit more. I like it very much, it has sparked my creativity, and I find I'm writing poetry, which is what the whole this is... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Wrapid Wreader
It was an honor to be included in this volume, which is a great resource. If the muse isn't singing for you, head to the exercises and you can be assured of getting a good day's... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
I have followed Diane Lockward's monthly newsletter with enthusiasm for several years, so I just HAD to have this book. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
A Terrific "kick in the butt" book to get the juices flowing. Love it!Published 7 months ago by Diana R.