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Words, Words, Words: How to Write Poetry

National Poetry Month only happens in April, but dedicated poets work all year long. This list collects highly recommended guides to writing poetry.

 

Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within
808.1 ADD

Addonizio is an accomplished poet and prose writer, and her second guide is loaded with creative poetry writing exercises and examples from her own and other poets' work.

 

The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry
PN1042.A35 1997

The two authors set out to go beyond the maxim "write what you know" to figuring out what that is, how to write it, and what to do when doubt sets in.

 

The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing
PN1042 .H8

In Hugo's opinionated lectures, he maintains that the poet is her own best teacher, but he offers plenty of guidance and personal experience from his own self-taught lessons.

 
Poet's Market edited by Writer's Digest Books
PN1059.M3 P59 2011

Poet's Market publishes its comprehensive guide yearly, including detailed submission and publication information on thousands of literary magazines and several essays and articles with advice for poets seeking publication.

 
The Portable MFA in Creative Writing: Improve Your Craft with the Core Essentials Taught to MFA Students edited by New York Times Writers Workshop
PE1408.P665 2006

With a poetry section that includes a self-driven eight-week lesson plan, this book provides instruction, inspiration, and tips on everything from what to write to how to workshop.

 
The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises from Poets Who Teach edited by Robin Behn and Chase Twichell
808.1 Pra

This book compiles articles, essays and exercises on myriad aspects of poetry from dozens of experienced poetry writers and teachers.

 

The Art of Attention: A Poet's Eye
PN1064.R48 2007

More of a meditation than a guide, this slim book explores the element of attention and presence in a poet's consciousness.

 

Letters to a Young Poet
PT2635.I65 Z53713 2000

This heartfelt advice from a tremendously important poet has earned its place as a classic in thousands of poets' hearts.

 

The Elements of Style
PE1408.S772 2009

Generations of writers have relied on the simple, clear grammar and style guidelines of the Strunk and White guide. Even if you're going to subvert the rules of grammar, it helps to know them well.