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Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry first Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0976005193
ISBN-10: 0976005190
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry
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  • Wingbeats II: Exercises and Practice in Poetry
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  • The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice
Total price: $59.89
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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.
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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 (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #408,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback
1. Write a poem of at least 100 words.
2. Let the poem be a single sentence.
3. Let the poem be at least 14 lines long.

As an editor/proofreader, a sentence of 100 words is a nightmare in itself. This is something we NEVER want to see in a piece of writing; don't writers realize that there are such things as commas, and semi colons, and periods (OH MY!)? As a poet, however, this prompt ("Stretching the Sentence," William Wenthe, Page 288) drew me in immediately. It is free form at its best, with a bit of structure thrown in (and what writer worth their salt wouldn't love a challenge?).

While not all of the prompts in Wingbeats were this succinct, there were quite a few that I will gladly use for my own personal use, and maybe even adapt to use alongside my own prompts in my writing workshops. I am a free write poet at heart, but even I have to admit that you gain so much more from your writing when you broaden your base by writing through structure...and structure can be fun and brain challenging, as in "A Manipulated Fourteen-Line Poem," (Ravi Shankar, page 269) that was “designed to help stimulate the imagination and provide a launching pad for a potential poem- also to introduce poets to some of the basic techniques of prosody and poetic composition...”

A Manipulated Fourteen-Line Poem (The Guidelines)

•Write a line that has a smell in it.
•Make a one-line, end-stopped statement about a city.
•Comment on the time of year, season, or the weather.
•Use an internal off rhyme.
•Use syntax in an unexpected way.
•Write a line with personification and a color in it.
•Finish a sentence that begins: “Next year at this time...”
•Make an allusion to a book, movie, or artwork.
Read more ›
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