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Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry Paperback – August 1, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0976005193 ISBN-10: 0976005190 Edition: first

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

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Dos Gatos Press; first edition (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976005190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976005193
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Wingbeats is a fabulous toolbox of innovative and practical ideas that literally every teacher of poetry workshops and at every level, from elementary poets-in-the-schools through the graduate MFA, will find indispensible. Covering a vast range from image to sound to form, the exercises are all concrete and clearly presented—a marvelous way to mine the imaginations and experiences of today s most dynamic poets. Invaluable!
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

Scott Wiggerman is the author of two books of poetry, Vegetables and Other Relationships (Plain View Press, 2000) and Presence (Pecan Grove Press, 2011). Recent publications with poems by Wiggerman include Switched-on Gutenberg, BorderSenses, Poemeleon, Broad River Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, and Southwestern American Literature. Wiggerman has edited several anthologies and books, including Big Land, Big Sky, Big Hair. A frequent workshop instructor, he is lead editor of Dos Gatos Press, publisher of the annual Texas Poetry Calendar, now in its fourteenth year.

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.

More About the Author

Scott Wiggerman (1954-) was born on a Marine base in North Carolina to two Chicago-born and bred parents. His formative years were spent in Chicago and a nearby suburb, McHenry, with four other siblings. Scott moved to Michigan, where he received a B.A. from Grand Valley State University (1975), and both an M.A. and an M.L.S. from Western Michigan University (1980). He moved to Texas in 1980, where he has lived for the last three decades. Recently retired from the Austin I.S.D., where he served as a high school librarian, he has devoted himself full-time to writing, editing, and teaching. In 2000, Vegetables and Other Relationships came out from Plain View Press, and in 2011, Presence was published by Pecan Grove Press. In between books, he edited several anthologies, including Big Land, Big Sky, Big Hair, and several editions of the annual Texas Poetry Calendar, through his small press venture, Dos Gatos Press. In 2011, he and partner David Meischen produced Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Thank you to Dos Gatos Press for this incredible collection.
ALG
A poetry critique group I participate in bases monthly meeting prompts on a different exercise each time, which has been great.
Claire V. Camargo
I highly recommend this book for any lover and writer of poetry no matter if you are a beginner or an expert.
Laura

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Leah Billingsley on August 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've purchased and tried to use many creative writing books over the years and I have to say that Wingbeats is one of the best because it has exercises from so many different authors. Some of the exercises are very involved, some are quite simple, all of them will challenge you to think about words and how you put them together into a poem in a new way. I really like a lot of the exercises because they appeal to my sense of word-play and fun and those are always great ways to enter into writing a poem. Not only are there a variety of exercises but each exercise can be varied in the way you do it. I was lucky enough to take a writing workshop with one of the editors, Scott Wiggerman, so I had a week of firsthand, hands on use with the exercises in the book. I don't think I've ever come up with so many great ideas in such a short amount of time. I highly recommend the book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Laura on August 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
I am a writer of poetry and am always looking for books that help me improve my craft. Wingbeats is a great book filled with exercises that will challenge you to leave your comfort zone and experiment with new forms and styles. The book is filled with poetry from the contributers themselves which adds a personal touch to it. I highly recommend this book for any lover and writer of poetry no matter if you are a beginner or an expert. It is also a fabulous resource for any poetry workshop or group. One of the exercises by Wendy Barker is "A Crack in the Cup". After I went through the exercise I found myself writing a poem about a childhood memory of eating a late-night snack out of my father's deep cereal bowl. You never know where these exercises will lead you but the journey is bound to bring up deeply rich experiences.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ALG on September 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Wingbeats is an amazing gift to anyone wishing to learn and practice the art of poetry. For a price far less than attending a single poetry class, the reader gets to study with dozens of skilled teachers and poets. Each exercise includes examples of poems resulting from the described technique, and those poems alone make the book worth buying. My volume is already dog-eared, and I've barely scratched the surface. Thank you to Dos Gatos Press for this incredible collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jacquelyn Langetieg on July 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
I've had Wingbeats for about six months and have yet to run out of ideas. Even when I'm not looking at a blank page, I use one of the exercises and it warms me up for my morning poems. I particularly like the Andrea Hollander Budy, The Postcard Poem. I have tagged a new poem onto this two or three times. This book is a great help to me as a poet.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Claire V. Camargo on August 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
From the perspective of one relatively new to poetry, and vice-versa, I can highly recommend WINGBEATS: Exercises & Practice in Poetry. The beautiful cover had me salivating from the start! I had the good fortune to experience classes taught by Scott Wiggerman and David Meischen using some exercises from it. Their teaching, enthusiasm, encouragement, and non-judgementalism come through in person as they do in the book. A poetry critique group I participate in bases monthly meeting prompts on a different exercise each time, which has been great. WINGBEATS provides helpful jump-starts and practice for poetry writers of any level; individually or in groups. Don't miss out!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Allyson Whipple on July 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
The exercises in this book are not single-serving prompts. I have been using Wingbeats for about a year now, and have gotten so much use out if it that the book will probably need a new cover at some point, if trends continue. I have already gotten more than my money's worth.

Some of my best published pieces have come out of Wingbeats. Andrea Hollander Buddy's "The Postcard Poem" and Kurt Heinzelman's "The Window Poem" inspired two of my favorite pieces. I've made ample use of the entire book, however, and the margins in my table of contents are filled with checkmarks, circles, highlights, and other indications of the exercises I've repeated over and over.

I always take Wingbeats with me when I travel. Being in a new place is inspiring, and I like having my trusty book to guide and shape my imagination. This book also has a permanent spot in my writing area so I can always access it, and has been known to live in my tote bag for long stretches at a time, when I'm in a creative dry spell and in need of a little help. Where other writing guides gather dust on my shelf, this one gets dog-eared pages, personal annotations, and creased covers from all the use.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By sandy stark on July 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
I bought this collection of poetry exercises after I'd attended a workshop led by David Meischen in Madison WI that produced some amazing drafts and new directions for the participants. Since then, my poets' group has used this book as a resource for generating drafts to polish and bring back later for critique. It works! I appreciate that the contibutors are experienced poets and workshop teachers, and that following their suggestions gets us good results sooner or later. What more can you ask?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robin Chapman on July 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
I bought Wingbeats on the recommendation of a poet friend who'd been to Scott and David's workshop and have carried it with me to writing retreat days ever since--where its varied exercises have been the source of new directions for poem starts, and where it keeps disappearing into the hands of fellow poets looking for ideas! More than prompts, these are keys to creative explorations.
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