The Strategic Poet: Honing the Craft focuses on the craft of poetry and is based on the belief that craft can be taught and the best teacher of craft is a good poem. This book assumes a knowledgeable reader, that is, one who already knows the language of poetry and already practices the craft. This book is organized into thirteen sections, each one devoted to a specific poetic strategy. While only thirteen strategies are used for organizational purposes, the reader will find many additional strategies referred to and discussed within the sections. There is a progression from one section to the next, but each section also stands alone, so the reader or teacher can follow the order of the Contents or move about freely among the sections.
Each section begins with a Craft Talk solicited from a well-known poet with a clear mastery of craft. Each Craft Talk is followed by Model Poems and Prompts. Each Model Poem is followed by an analysis of its craft elements, especially its use of the section's strategy. One Model Poem in each section is followed by a Commentary from the poet who wrote the poem and is focused on a particular strategy used in the poem.
Each of the thirty-six Prompts is followed by two Sample Poems written to the prompts. These seventy-two poems demonstrate that the prompts are not mere exercises and can produce terrific poems.
Each section ends with three Bonus Prompts. There thirty-nine additional prompts were contributed by thirteen contemporary poets. These short prompts provide additional practice with the strategies, can be used multiple times, and should lead to some good poems.
Contributors include 114 of our best contemporary poets.
This book is suitable for use by poets working independently, by poets in writing groups, and by teachers in the classroom.
About the Author
Diane Lockward is the editor of three earlier craft books: The Practicing Poet: Writing Beyond the Basics (Terrapin Books, 2018), The Crafty Poet II: A Portable Workshop (Terrapin Books, 2016), and The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop (Terrapin Books, rev. ed., 2016). She is also the author of four poetry books, most recently The Uneaten Carrots of Atonement (Wind Publications, 2016). Her awards include the Quentin R. Howard Poetry Prize, a poetry fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and a Woman of Achievement Award. Her poems have been included in such journals as the Harvard Review, Southern Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. Her work has also been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Writer's Almanac, and Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry. She is the publisher of Terrapin Books.