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The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop
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The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop

4.67 of 5 stars 4.67  ·  rating details  ·  61 ratings  ·  19 reviews
A poetry tutorial to inform and inspire poets. Includes model poems and prompts, writing tips, and interviews with poets. Geared for the experienced poet as well as those just getting started. Ideal for individual use at home or group use in the classroom or workshop. Guaranteed to break through any writer's block.
Paperback, 282 pages
Published August 1st 2013 by Wind Publications
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Martha Silano
Oct 10, 2013 Martha Silano rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)

Diane Lockward's The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop is a poetry exercise/craft tip book poets (and English instructors) only dream about, a collection divided into sections such as "Sound," "Voice," and "Syntax," each addressing the stated topic with relevant writing/revision suggestions, plus a poem provided as a springboard for writing a poem in a similar mode or form. There are even examples of poems written from the prompt*.

The Crafty Poet is a brilliant book for teaching beginning poets t
I’ve been following Diane Lockward’s poetry blog/newsletter for several years, and I save each one into a folder on my computer with the intent of revisiting articles on craft, as well as writing suggestions and prompts. Notice I used the term “with the intent.” Only occasionally have I taken the time to sort back through and find a prompt that intrigued me at the initial reading. I have purchased several craft books based on Lockward’s recommendations, and each one has lived up to her comments. ...more
Michael Young
This is a book I recommend to all the poets I know because it is full of the kind of clear advice and inspiring prompts that keep a poet writing. In the end, that is the best kind of praise I can think of for a craft book: that it keeps the creative juices flowing and this book does it better than many others I have on my own shelf.
Rose Boehm
Would-be poets, young poets, those who write a poem a year or prolific poets, this book is an inspiration as well as a tool shed.

If you don’t use it as a workshop (which it is), use it to expand your range. THE CRAFTY POET is a book which should be on every poet’s bookshelves. It also brings us down to earth by pointing out that there is as much craft as there is inspiration in creating poetry.

Instead of a couple of quick-'n-dirty sentences and the odd prompt, Diane Lockward has created an outs
Joel Allegretti
The operative word in the title is "workshop." "The Crafty Poet" isn't another guidebook on writing poetry; it's an entire course. The poems, prompts and craft tips from renowned poets like Ellen Bass and Dorianne Laux will not only help you improve your technique, they'll help you broaden your range.
Most artists worry at one point or another that they will lose their creative spark, that if they are not working actively at their chosen art, they will find themselves alienated from whatever impetus that caused them to create art in the first place.

In The Crafty Poet by Diane Lockward, poet Michelle Biting writes, “I worry I will slip out of the creative zone I’ve worked so hard to tap–ideas will fade, metaphors atrophy–I’ll wake up an exile from my own poetry country” (19). Biting then sugg
Erika Dreifus
I would love to see my poetry practice perk up in 2014. Diane Lockward’s latest book, THE CRAFTY POET: A PORTABLE WORKSHOP (Wind Publications, $20) may be just the thing to help make that happen.

Disclosure: I’ve known Diane Lockward for quite some time. Earlier in her career, she taught English at the New Jersey high school I attended (in fact, she was one of my sister’s English teachers). This connection helps explain why I began following Diane avidly online, where she shares so much poetry kn
Not all poetry prompts are created equal. Diane Lockward’s are some of my favorites. I love the way she observes the poems from which she gets her inspiration (often with a dash of her sly humor), and how she leaves no stone unturned in delivering to us a range of places to look (within and around us) for something to write about.

But The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop is much more than just prompts. It contains craft tips from established poets as well as explanations of how specific poems ca
Melanie Faith
I can't wait to use this text with my poetry students. Chock-full of writing exercises as well as interviews with various poets about their creation process and sample poems, this is an anthology that is as whimsical and inspiring as it is practical. :) I've also taken a few of the exercises for a spin with interesting results. The ten chapter divisions, from "Generating Material/Using Time" to "Going Deep/Adding Layers" to "Writer's Block/Recycling," make this text easy to pick up and use at al ...more
Susan Meyers
The Crafty Poet is now a favorite of mine as a teaching resource--plus as a go-to for my own writing inspiration. I love its variety of ideas!
Adele Kenny
Nov 14, 2013 Adele Kenny rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
The Crafty Poet is a practical, thoughtfully organized, and beautifully presented resource that will inspire poets of every stripe with prompts, writing tips, poet interviews, and numerous example and sample poems. It's the best book of its kind that I've seen and an excellent resource for poets, teachers, and students. If you enjoy reading and/or writing poetry, if you teach poetry, or if you'd like to learn about the process of poetry writing, go to Amazon and place an order. You won't be disa ...more
Antoinette Libro
Diane Lockward has created the ideal book many of us wished for but never quite had in the writing classroom or workshop until now. The Crafty Poet presents a wonderful array of poetic voices who generously share the ever mysterious and fascinating creative process with the reader. Model poems, sample poems, interviews, commentary, all blend together to inspire, encourage, and connect with the creative writer in specific and concrete ways. A cautionary warning: reading this book will result in t ...more
Lots of good things here. I enjoyed it and will return to try many of the exercises. Some have already resulted in poems. And I have lots of notes and ideas for others. I especially liked the model poems and exercises based on them. Many of the craft tips were very good, too. (Pleased to see Julie Kane represented here! And I really liked Lee Upton's Craft Tip on revision.) I was less keen on the author interviews about particular poems.
Karin Gottshall
Sep 08, 2013 Karin Gottshall rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm so honored that my poem "More Lies" is included in this book alongside a wonderful prompt by Cecilia Woloch. There are many really great exercises and examples in this book, and I know I will refer to it often in my teaching. Great work on this, Diane Lockward.
Tina Kelley
Very helpful collection of prompts, with inspiring poems and great exercises. The kind of book you'd take to a desert island, with lots of paper and no internet connection, to dive deep into. Diane has created a community of poets, in real life and on paper, that I'm honored to be part of!
Scott Wiggerman
Jan 23, 2014 Scott Wiggerman rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Poets
Better than the majority of writing books, this is filled with not only exercises, but also brief essays on craft and even interviews with poets about how they wrote a particular poem. Clear, accessible, and lucid, this is a book I'm ready to start rereading and working through the exercises.
I read this book, first page to last saving the exercises for later. Just reading it propelled me into stimulating new territory after which I wrote, rewrote, and revised my work. It helped me read other poets with new attention. A very valuable resource.
Aug 18, 2013 Drew rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: reference, poetry
This is an excellent and practical guide for practicing poets. This is a beyond-the-beginners book that skips fluff and cheering for hands-on writing prompts that get the mind working and the pen rolling.
Denise Low
Good variety and good examples.
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Poets Online: The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop 2 12 Oct 23, 2013 06:44PM  
  • Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within
  • The Life of Poetry
  • The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets
  • Best Words, Best Order: Essays on Poetry
  • The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises From Poets Who Teach
  • You Must Revise Your Life
  • Writing the Australian Crawl
  • A Brief History of Time
  • New and Selected Poems, 1975-1995
  • Stay, Illusion: Poems
  • The Boss
  • Book of Hours: Poems
  • Twenty Poems That Could Save America and Other Essays
  • The Art of Description: World into Word
  • Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry
  • Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying with the Masters
  • The Book of Goodbyes
  • The Making of a Poem
Diane Lockward is the author of The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop. She is also the author of three poetry books, most recently, Temptation by Water. Her previous books are What Feeds Us, which received the 2006 Quentin R. Howard Poetry Prize, and Eve's Red Dress (2003). Diane's poems have been published in several anthologies and in such journals as Harvard Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, an ...more
More about Diane Lockward...
What Feeds Us Eve's Red Dress Temptation by Water Twelve for the Record Eve's Confession

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