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on November 7, 2015
I really don't want to write poems or free verse so much as read about poetry and read poems. Hugo here is so much fun. He is so wise --"Maybe there is something here to influence a few immediate poems of your own. The dump my ideas, you'll develop better ideas for you, on your own."
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on October 2, 2011
The Triggering Town by Richard Hugo is a great book for poetry fans and fiction fans alike. It'll help you think creatively with the help of exercises offered by Mr. Hugo and it's not a stuffy book on poetry. I enjoyed reading this book because Richard Hugo is very down to earth and funny.
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on March 22, 2014
This is purportedly a class in poetry writing. Lots of rules here. What riveted me is his description of an experience of something like samadhi on a hillside during the second world war, after flying too many terrifying bomber raids. I was struch by the beauty of the man, Richard Hugo.
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on January 13, 2013
Hugo's simple presentation is very accessible and provides amazing insight into the creation of poetry, and I assume would help anyone be able to appreciate poetry they read as well. He is a remarkable person, and his personal commentary is just as insightful as his lectures and articles about his craft. I strongly recommend it to any would-be poet.
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on December 26, 2013
There are some amazing lines in this book. Any teacher (or advanced student) of creative writing should definitely check it out. It's a reminder of a lot of things we know, but can definitely bear reading again. The first page is worth the purchase price.

Keep reading.
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on January 20, 2016
The compassionate guidance contained in this great Collection is so rare. No mere handholding, he depicts specific anecdotes that will steer you to find Your Own Way. I read it and immediately read this short book once more......something I do not do frequently. Even if you are not a fan of Hugo's poetry you will be enriched from reading The Triggering Town. Let it sink in deep.
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on November 4, 2006
Poet and college professor Richard Hugo, a one time student of Theodore Roethke, offers practical advice for any writer in this short book of essays and commentaries. His wit and wisdom, garnered through years of teaching, are like finding diamonds on every page. This has proven to be a priceless book for me. Especially compelling to me was Ci Vediamo, stories about his time in Italy and a subsequent visit many years later. This is some of the finest writing I have every had the joy of reading The downside is that he died in 1982 and there will never be more writing like this.
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on August 9, 2000
I must have started this book 8 times before I finally finished it. Each time I'd start I'd become so interested in writing, I'd have to put the book down and grab some paper. His writing as served as a triggering town for me that seems very familiar and friendly. Only half the book "teaches you to teach yourself how to write" -- the rest offers tidbits about writing, or tells stories about his time in World War II as a professional writer. Good stuff if you're interested in the art of the written word!
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on April 16, 1998
Twenty years after it's original copyright, Hugo's book The Triggering Town is still the best hands on approach to writing poetry ever published. Hugo's advice is understandable and relatively painless to apply. His philosophy of allowing poems to write themselves is the surest road to music and truth.
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on October 6, 2010
Richard Hugo's a bit in eclipse now, maybe because he died way too young, but the Triggering Town remains a book all poets and poetry teachers read. If you want to read a book on how to write poetry, maybe this isn't for you, but if you want to read the mind of a poet, of his thought, ideas, creative processes and his experiences of life, then this book could be for you. Hugo workshops two student poems and speaking as a workshop teacher myself, he offers gentle correction to the natural solipsism of many young writers of all genres. I used some of his ideas is assumptions with a student who could not write a real poem for the life of her until she used one of Hugo's stances to approach the material of her own life.

Maybe this book is more for teachers or working writers than the general public, but I think that if you approach this great collections with an open mind you will see that it is a book-length poem worthy of its own reading.

Too bad the Norton Anthology of Modern/Contemporary cut down Hugo's space for some truly dubious additions. Ah well.
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