25 March 2016

Poetry Month Primer

Looking forward to April flowers and more snow showers.

Coming up fast is April, National Poetry Month. I don't do the poem a day thing any more, but I do still try and output a lot of poems. Sometimes I get caught up in editing what I've written, sometimes I get on a roll and produce a large body of interrelated work. One way I like to prime the pump for writing is by revisiting poetry how-to books I have.

I like books. I like collecting books. I really like collecting how-to books, mining for that one nugget of information that makes my brain tumblers click into place. Over the years I've ammassed a largish collection. Some I use religiously, some go in and out of style depending on my fickle needs. If you're going to write for poetry month, you need some inspiration to keep you going.

Listed below are an assortment of books on writing poetry, writing forms, exercises, essays and poetic dictionaries. I'm sure there's many I missed that I don't have in my collection. Leave a note in comments if you have a favorite book you use for inspiration. I didn't bother to link to a bookseller, we all have our favorites anyhow. Get reading. April is only a week away.

The Poetry Month Inspiration Collection

The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop
by Diane Lockward

Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within
by Kim Addonizio

The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry
by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux

The Discovery of Poetry: A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems
by Frances Mayes

A Poet's Guide to Poetry
by Mary Kinzie

The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms Paperback
by Eavan Boland (Editor), Mark Strand (Editor)

Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse
by Mary Oliver

The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide
by Robert Pinsky

A Poet's Glossary Hardcover
by Edward Hirsch

The Art of the Poetic Line
by James Longenbach

The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing
by Richard Hugo

In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet's Portable Workshop
by Steve Kowit

Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry
by Scott Wiggerman and David Meischen

Real Sofistikashun: Essays on Poetry and Craft
by Tony Hoagland


Kathleen Cassen Mickelson said...

I would add A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver, The Poetry Home Repair Manual by Ted Kooser, To Be the Poet by Maxine Hong Kingston. There are so many books to choose from out there! And maybe I'd throw in The Portable Beat Reader edited by Ann Charters just to keep things interesting.

Constance Brewer said...

Ah, I have the Kooser book, forgot about that one. It must have migrated off my poetry shelf. Anything by Mary Oliver is good. I don't know the ones by Kingston or Charters. Have to look them up. Oh, and that little book by Deborah Keenan is delightful.

Lisa Goyne said...

Snow showers? Try snowstorm. 8 inches and counting here in West! How's by you?

Constance Brewer said...

Hi Lisa, I bet you got more snow this week. We got a skiff and some rain, nothing big. We need all the moisture we can get!