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Writing the Life Poetic: An Invitation to Read and Write Poetry Paperback – April 20, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1582975573 ISBN-10: 1582975574 Edition: 1st

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Writing the Life Poetic: An Invitation to Read and Write Poetry + Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words + The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; 1 edition (April 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582975574
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582975573
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #510,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sage Cohen is the author of the poetry collection Like the Heart, the World. Her poems and essays have appeared in dozens of publications, including The Sunday Oregonian, Poetry Flash, Oregon Literary Review, VoiceCatcher, and Greater Good. In 2008 she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and in 2006 she won first prize in the Ghost Road Press poetry contest. Sage teaches poetry e-courses and writes a monthly column about the life poetic for Writers on the Rise, where she also serves as managing editor. A speaker at writing conferences, festivals, bookstores and libraries, she hosts the Barnes & Noble Reading Series in Portland, Oregon. To learn more about Sage, visit www.writingthelifepoetic.com.

More About the Author

Sage Cohen is the author of The Productive Writer: Tips & Tools to Help You Write More, Stress Less & Create Success; Writing the Life Poetic: An Invitation to Read and Write Poetry and the poetry collection Like the Heart, the World. Her insights about the writing life are featured in multiple issues of Writer's Market and Poet's Market. Her poetry, essays and articles appear in dozens of magazines, journals and anthologies. Sage holds a BA in comparative literature from Brown University and an MA in creative writing from New York University. A frequent speaker, reader and lecturer, she teaches a range of online, interactive classes--from poetry to productivity to writing for businesses--through www.pathofpossibility.com. Sage lives in Portland, Oregon with a muse menagerie of one dog, three cats and a precocious four-year-old."

Customer Reviews

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I absolutely loved this book and am loving it again on my second read.
Terri V
When I ran my fingers over the cover of the book I was pleasantly surprised by the raised designs (especially on the back cover) and the raised text.
Sarah Joyce Bryant
I sat down with Sage Cohen's Writing the Life Poetic, expecting to be inspired to read and write more poetry.
Alirambles

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Fiona Robyn on April 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
What a treasure trove. Cohen's book is exquisitely written, and packed full with wonderful poems and quotes, practical excercises and wise advice on how to live well (and write better poems).

I couldn't recommend this enough - to complete beginners, or to those of us who've already been around the poetry block. You won't be disappointed!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Sorensen on April 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
While reading Sage Cohen's guide to creating poetry, Writing the Life Poetic, I saw a bridge open up before me, crossing the Willamette River into western Portland. I was on one side, ruminating about my literary insecurities, my smooth poems and the many that, to put it politely, needed work (read: jackhammer and saw) and what my writing voice could become. On the other side of the bridge was Cohen, waving at me to come across, where all the words I had put to paper and would put to paper were floating around, like the trees going up the hills of Forest Park, where in fact an entire poetry community was waiting for me like an welcoming, empowering Verizon Wireless "It's the Network" commercial (but without the two year contract). I found a quote in the middle of Sage Cohen's book that I kept returning to:

"In a culture where we like things black and white, right and wrong, poetry says YES. What if there were no right or wrong - only poetry? What if everything we could possibly dream up were acceptable? Fabulous? Enough? Poetry can be your own personal oasis of invention, where you can do no wrong."

What Cohen strives for is no less an encouraging, powerful, limitless manifesto to poets and writers everywhere. Instructional without being text-bookish, inspirational without being preachy, suggestive without being demanding, Writing the Life Poetic goes beyond the assemblage of quality how-to poetry books to become a work of art - with endless rows of blank canvasses on either side for the reader's own brush strokes.

I was most impressed by Cohen's adroit ability to turn so many poetic stereotypes on their head and give them a welcome burst of light and warmth. Not knowing everything about writing or other poets gives one an endless set of possibilities.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Chloe De Segonzac on February 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Sage Cohen's book educated me in the craft of writing poetry.
She gave me prompts, and encouragements.
Showed me how to revise.
Nudged me towards publication, and
left me to fly off with her website where more learning, and practice could be found with just a click of the mouse.

All that in 250 pages for under $20.00. Works for me.

I'm looking forward to Sage's new book 'The Productive Writer'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary Harwell Sayler on January 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
Filled with ideas and exercises, this inviting book coaxes poets at all levels to observe, listen, think, feel, and remember the countless ways to get into a poem. For example, Chapter 3 encourages poets to dive "Deep Into the Ordinary," while Chapter 6 explores means of "Attracting Your True Subjects." Other titles include "Seeing Your Self in Your World," "Writing Out Loud," "The Art of Revision," and "Who's Talking to Whom?"

Beginning poets will find basic information that every poet needs to know, of course, but the book also invites published poets to "Trust Your Instincts" and "To Thine Own Self Be True." For the poet-professional, "Blogging to Build an Audience" and "How to Run a Reading Series" may be especially helpful in discovering ways to market a manuscript or promote a book of poetry.

Overall, the 80 chapters of this highly recommended resource for poets provide sound advice, professional insights, and creative yet practical suggestions for writing, revising, and marketing poems. What I particularly appreciate, though, is the emphasis on enjoying poetry and tapping into a sense of play, rather than being overly anxious, as so many poets are, about getting published. For example, the author says, "As I turned my attention away from what I thought I was supposed to be writing and toward what I felt called to write, my poetry took on a new momentum" (p. 22.) Yes! Although I've said something similar to poetry students for years, I found myself needing to hear this Sage advice myself.

Thankfully, Sage Cohen addresses many workable ways into a poem - especially important since poets often get locked into a rhyme, rhythm, image or idea long before the poetic lines have revealed their full intent or impact.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Joyce Bryant on August 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first thing I noticed about Writing the Life Poetic when I opened up my package was the beautiful cover. Already, before even opening the book up to the first page, my senses were heightened by the brilliant designs and colors. When I ran my fingers over the cover of the book I was pleasantly surprised by the raised designs (especially on the back cover) and the raised text. Just holding the book was a poetic experience. Then I opened it - Wow! I was struck by the contrast between the bright white paper, the text, the colors, and the illustrations. Without reading a word my creative mind had already been given a jumpstart.

I was a closet poet for nearly twenty years and when I finally had the courage to submit some poetry for critique I realized how much I did not know about poetry. I was discouraged and even considered not writing poetry anymore because it all seemed too complicated and then I saw an advertisement in Writer's Digest for this book. I thought I would give it a try and I am so glad that I did. My reading of Writing the Life Poetic coincided with a 30-day poetry writing regimen that I participated in and I had the chance to incorporate much of Sage Cohen's advice with great results.

Her instructions are clear and concise and so easy to understand even for a beginner like me. The chapters are short but provide a wealth of information and encouragement. I read one chapter per day and this easily fit into my hectic schedule. Eighty days later I was not only writing more poetically, I was living more poetically. What Cohen has taught me through these beautiful pages has helped me in all of my writing: poetry, personal essays, and memoir.
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