Cole Swensen, author of 14 books of poetry; ten years on the faculty of the Iowa Writer s Workshop; winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, the New American Poetry Series Award, and the National Poetry Series competition --Letter to the editors of Wingbeats from Cole Swensen
I opened Wingbeats and fell in headfirst, caught in the feathers of the creative impulse. Wingbeats proves that poetry matters, that writing is an experimental discovery process, that there are many avenues to success, that writing poems is a gift we can all claim. The wealth of enabling nudges by the poets of Wingbeats who share their energy, wisdom, and examples opens the door wide to our creative Selves. No teacher, no aspiring poet should be without the gentle guidance of this book.
Gabriele Rico, Ph.D., author of Writing the Natural Way --Letter to the editors of Wingbeats from Gabriele Rico
Like agility training for athletes, some poets gain metaphorical muscle from performing writing exercises and drills. In this sense, agility is the ability to move and change direction and position of the pen quickly while effectively maintaining control. There are numerous poetry exercise books that are practical for these drills: The Poet's Companion, In the Palm of Your Hand, The Practice of Poetry, The Poetry Home Repair Manual, etc. All wonderful! But if you are looking for optimum poetry performance with increased strength of mind, inaction reduction and enhanced inspiration, Wingbeats: Exercises & Practice in Poetry is a manual to power lift off the bookshelf. It has 61 exercises by poets with a wide range of poetic styles and approaches to the process: Annie Finch, David Kirby, Naomi Shihab Nye, Harryette Mullen, Matthew Zapruder, et al. The exercise titles are fun and flip—A Crack in the Cup, Lyrical Bees, Scissors & Glue Sticks, Two Sides of the Same Coil, Thrift Shop, Over My Dead Body—but most have a deceivingly well-developed way of exploring craft and process. This is sophisticated play. I found exercises that have taken me beyond my ordinary patterns and limitations. Wingbeats will get your pen moving. This book is buff! --The Coachella Review
About the Author
David Meischen has been writing poetry and teaching the writing of poetry for twenty- five years. He was the Master Teacher in English for UTeach-Liberal Arts, the teacher preparation program in the College of Liberal Arts, University of Texas, Austin, 2002- 2006. He has had poems in The Southern Review, Southern Poetry Review, Borderlands, Cider Press Review, and other journals, as well as Two Southwests (Virtual Artists Collective, 2008), which features poets from the southwest of China and the United States. Meischen is a co-founder and Managing Editor of Dos Gatos Press.