Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words
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Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  1,105 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Following the success of several recent inspirational and practical books for would-be writers, Poemcrazy is a perfect guide for everyone who ever wanted to write a poem but was afraid to try. Writing workshop leader Susan Wooldridge shows how to think, use one's senses, and practice exercises that will make poems more likely to happen.

From the Hardcover edition.

ebook, 224 pages
Published September 30th 2009 by Broadway Books (first published April 1st 1997)
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Local writer writes about "freeing your life with words." *two snaps in a zig-zag* LOVE HER!

I was wonderfully blessed to attend a free poetry-writing workshop taught by Susan G. Wooldridge at the public library in Oroville, CA in April 2011. Gods, how I love this woman and her Poemcrazy book! If I had to name one person who has had the biggest impact on my writing, it would be Wooldridge.

This book is a must if you write and are seeking inspiration.
Randolph Knackstedt
If you are new to poetry and would like to start writing your own poems for fun, but are not sure how to start, this book is for you. This is a great, unintimidating book for all ages. And a great introduction for those who might not have much interest in poetry, in general, because the author has included short, simple, exercises at the end of each chapter that is both creative and fun which ANYONE can try.

Even if you are an experienced poet, you might come across tips that could initiate the c...more
Elizabeth A
I'm not a huge fan of poetry. Had a teacher drain all the joy out of poems for me when I was a wee one. However, I am slowly finding my way back. This book is a fun creative tool for people who love words. Yes, there are lessons on how to put those words into poems, but it is the word play that hooked me. Love the idea of word banks. Interspersed with the lessons are anecdotes from the author's life and classes. And while I might not be rushing to my desk to write a poem, reading this book has c...more
This book is amazing! The key turned in the door of my mind and I am free to write with a playful heart and mind. This book will have a permanent place on my shelf and in my mind! If you want to free your creative self, unlock the poet within this is the book for you! Fall in love with the world through the magic of words, words, and more words! This book and the exercises within are a sheer pleasure!
This wasn't full of great prompts or theory or anything (compared, for example, to "In the Palm of Your Hand"), but I found this book really touching in its way, and inspiring. She writes as if she's having a conversation with the reader, and she provides some excellent example poems.
Clarity Jackson
This is an incredible little tool. I have filled several journals in the process of reading and rereading this book. Warm and encouraging with just enough truth and grit and anecdotes to inspire even the most reluctant writers to pick up a pen and tell their story.
I read this book, borrowed from someone else, over a number of months. It is a book to be savoured, pondered on and reread. Many of the author's suggestions I tried and considered successfully.
I’ve read many books about poetry that are a bit dry and hardly personal (A Poetry Handbook, while wonderful, is a good example of this). However, on one of my many Barnes and Noble excursions I found a lovely little book called Poemcrazy written by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge.

Poemcrazy is different from your average “this is how you write a poem” book. Each chapter tells a story in many ways; usually experiences from the author followed by a section called “practice”, which contains very creativ...more
I bought Poemcrazy at a book sale at my undergraduate university and used it after taking a few creative writing classes in poetry.

There's a give and take with this book I think people will weigh on a scale depending on how you approach the art of poetry writing. While she talks about her life in spurts in this book, and while I didn't find myself always stepping into her shoes, I found that her exercises were actually quite useful in their natural flow and simple approach. I used them in random...more
I came to this book skeptically because subtitles like "freeing your life with words" are usually ooky over-promises. And while your life may or may not be freed with words, your words may well be freed by this optimistic and helpful book.

Much of the book is made up of stories of Wooldridge's experiences with students and fellow-writers as they face challenges in life and writing. As a result, the mileage most people will get from the book will depend on you you feel about these episodes.

For me...more
Reading this book was like hanging out with an eccentric yet endearing aunt. You're not sure you totally buy into all of her New Age, hippie wisdom, but she's still fun to hang out with. Part instruction, part memoir, part self-help, Woolridge focuses not so much on technique as on inspiring the creative process. The writing exercises she provides throughout didn't quite resonate with me personally, but I enjoyed her personal anecdotes and whimsical style.
Jonathan Stemberger
Susan Wooldridge aspires to bring inspiration, encouragement and a challenge to writers in this book. She states real life experiences to explain her writing process. Wooldridge uses detailed imagery that not only tells of creativity in life, but also demonstrates it. She breaks down the subject of poetry and describes it with simple non intimidating language. The book is formatted into short 2-3 page chapters, which provide the reader time to take in each message. Wooldridge’s does not display...more
I am totally smitten with this book! It is an inspiring invitation to writing one's own poems, with creative "practices" at the end of each of the 60 short essay-like chapters that are fresh and very doable even for timid beginners. Wooldrige focuses on creative expression rather than on technical aspects of writing poems (if you are looking for the latter I can recommend the two books by Kim Addonizio) which I found liberating. A very enjoyable read that makes me want to put pen to paper right...more
I read through this quickly. More for beginners but it's always good to collect some interesting writing prompts and practice exercises of which there are many. Goldsmith Wooldridge's writing is colorful and full of the sort of play she's trying to encourage.
Mary Jo
This is the kind of book that reconnects my soul to my inner creative and my outer poet. Similar to Natalie Goldberg's books weaving true stories of life and teaching and writing mixed with fun and quirky writing exercises like cutting phrases from magazines and taping them to backs of tickets, creating a word pool and matching colors with abstract words & emotions. I found myself waking to write, linking opposite words in normal conversations and loving the taste of words on my tongue and s...more
This is a great book to get you writing poetry for yourself and with your students. It has great suggestions, examples, and advice. I used it in my classroom for several years. One of the teachers I worked with used this book to gain the courage to approach having her students write poetry. She did not write poetry herself, and this gave her the extra boost she needed to become unafraid of poetry.

excerpt: "For me, poetry is related to walking. Words and images fill me when I wander somewhere al...more
Lisa Jones england
Great book with short sections I can read on a break at work. I keep it in my desk and have read it several times over at this point.Has helped me out of many writers block moments.
In a moment of panic, I feared I'd written my last good poem. So I bought poemcrazy. About halfway through the book, I grabbed a paper and pen and began scrawling out a poem with more passion than ever before. It's one of my best.

Allow yourself to melt into these pages, and they'll work like magic. Through her insights, poetic prose, gentle encouragement, and fun exercises, Susan Wooldridge brings out the poet in all of us. Moreover, she offers a way of interacting with the world that instills a...more
Susan took the time to write me a postcard, which I have stapled inside the book.
"Be sloppy. Steal words. Carry a journal."
I was extremely skeptical of this book when I first picked it up, but I was desperate for materials to use in teaching a high school creative writing course. Poemcrazy ended up being perfect! Susan Wooldridge encourages students to look at words and the world in a new way. This little book gave me and the students a few good ideas, including running around the school with random favorite words on post-its and labeling (and mislabeling) different objects and surfaces. Need a little inspiration to...more
This book found me at Barnes & Nobles. I had actually been looking for a book on how to navigate through facebook, which I really didn't want to do. I turned around and looked at the shelf behind me. When I did this book Poemcrazy jumped out at me. I picked it up opening to a random page. As I began to read I knew I had to read the whole book, because what I read sounded just like me, the way words flow through me and onto paper or if not with pen and paper in hand words flow through not sto...more
Theresa Deoliveira
high school creative words classes what what
I bought this book because I love the cover.I have read many books about writing and the creative process, yet few have reached me the way Poemcrazy has. Woolridge's love of life and words sings out from every page. Her writing is alive and enthusiastic, and her practice suggestions are stimulating. She gives enough detail, guidance and encouragement that it is easy to start writing.

Her enthusiasm is contagious;where many books portray writing practice as a dreaded but necessary chore, Woolridg...more
Surprisingly helpful.
I've read and re-read this book several times and it's helpful in understanding where poems come from and how they are made. You are a poet if you take the time to use language to describe and express the world around you and how you feel about it. Poems come from any where and are born everyday. It's the readers who keep them alive.
I've been reading poems by Percy Shelly, and John Milton, and William Shakespeare lately.There are so many good poets. I'll have to move on to more recent poets. Any...more
I loved this book - I good introduction to poetry for those who feel they don't understand it, or somehow have not inherited the "poetry gene." (Ahem. NANCY.) I found it very inspiring, and I loved her suggestions of ways to bring poetry into everyday life, e.g. pasting words onto ticket stubs, creating poems from dreams, etc. It's short - I recommend reading it, if only to gain new insight into the often misunderstood world of poetry.
Kate Rice
The author is from Chico! :)
This is a great book to get we wannabe poets inspired. For those of us who tend to be frightened by the rules of poetry, this encourages us to ignore them, a while, and work instead with the essence of poetry- imagination and a playfulness with words.

This is not a book you read once and discard. Rather, its like a friend who's content to sit on the side lines till you need them, again.

Liz Murray
I love the enthusiasm Susan Wooldridge brings to her work. There is a lot here to take in all at once. I probably should have read it slowly or at least have left time between some of the chapters instead of getting about half-way before trying out some of the exercises. I look forward to putting more of her practice ideas to work. She has an encouraging voice and many great ideas to try out.
Dec 05, 2008 Cynthia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers, lovers of words
from chapter 4, "The answer squash"
"It's important to narrow everything down, make it as specific as you can, down to the tip of a blade of grass, or you'll leave the reader out. For emotion to arise, writing has to be very specific, describing a particular moment or experience in a particular place."

This reminds me of Mr. Forssman in high school, talking about "concrete imagery."
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