Poetry: Six Essential Principles

Here are six essential principles for writing lyric poetry. They are based on my many years of writing and studying “ars poetica,” the art of poetry. Keep these principles in mind when drafting and revising. 1. Poetry is Music A poem isn’t just words in a certain order. A poem is also made up ofContinue reading “Poetry: Six Essential Principles”

Resources for Creative Writers

My list of essential creative writing resources, from my local territory of Indiucky to beyond, periodically updated. Regional Opportunities (Indiucky and nearby) Our region is fortunate to offer many opportunities for writers. They include open mic readings, readings by guest authors, book signings, writers workshops, and programs of study. Many opportunities are free or lowContinue reading “Resources for Creative Writers”

Generative Exercise: “Sasha’s Flight”

LOL – this is not a poem I’m ever going to send out, I don’t think – so I’m sharing it with you. I promised to do a generative exercise along with my poetry students based on an assignment called “Twenty Little Poetry Projects” by Jim Simmerman in The Practice of Poetry. The exercise hasContinue reading “Generative Exercise: “Sasha’s Flight””

Muriel Rukeyser on Why People Hate Poetry

As a teacher of poetry, I often hear dislike of poetry expressed. When I hear it, I’m dismayed, and struggle to understand why. At least until I discovered Muriel Rukeyser’s The Life of Poetry at a conference presentation. Seventy years ago, Muriel Rukeyser wrote these words explaining why people hate poetry that seem to meContinue reading “Muriel Rukeyser on Why People Hate Poetry”

Four Points of Good Workshopping

Over decades of running and participating in writing workshops, I’ve found that the best workshops happen when they include simple but effective guidelines for responding. This Four Points of Good Workshopping handout has served me well for creating a community of writers. It helps authors take in critiques and it helps participants guide their responses.Continue reading “Four Points of Good Workshopping”

Poetry as Music: The Fundamental that Poets overlook

Music is so important to poetry, that not developing it is equivalent to being tone deaf and trying to create a song. Remember, Sonnet means “Little Song” in Italian, and lyric poetry is so named for its musical qualities. Yet so many poets omit taking the time to train the ear.