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Poetry Writing: The Expert Guide [Hardcover]

Fiona Sampson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.05 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Oct 2009
Written by the editor of Poetry Review, this book leads you from first explorations through to the business of getting published. Systematic, it provides exercises and practical information and builds up to a complete method but also allows real individual literary merit. This is a volume which is inspiring and well-written and it is this which will distinguish the book and give it a long shelf-life both with individual purchasers and in the market. The book has to be something to which aspiring poets return again and again. That creative writing teachers and group members recommend. How does it do this? By including motivational techniques, examples and the attitude that poetry is a fascinating imaginative adventure.

Frequently Bought Together

Poetry Writing: The Expert Guide + Poetry in the Making: A Handbook for Writing and Teaching + The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within
Price For All Three: 24.13

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd (30 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0709085419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0709085416
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 280,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Fiona Sampson has published fourteen books - including poetry, philosophy of language and books on writing process - of which the most recent are Common Prayer (Carcanet, 2007), On Listening (essays, Salt, 2007) and Writing: Self and Reflexivity (with Celia Hunt, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). Other prizes include writers' awards form the Arts Councils of England and Wales and the Society of Authors, and, in the US, the Literary Review's annual Charles Angoff Award. She has a PhD in the philosophy of language and was AHRC Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts at Oxford Brookes University in 2002-05. She is Creative Fellow at the University of Warwick/RSC Capital Centre for 2008-09. Fiona is also the editor of Poetry Review.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
I wish this book had been available many, many years ago. Reading 'Poetry Writing: the expert guide' has made me aware of just how naive my own attempts at writing poetry have been. This is the most wonderful guidebook with a text that is so rich and enjoyable I decided to postpone all the exercises the author suggests so that I could quickly move on and reach the end-point of the book.

Having been so stimulated and inspired by the book's content I have now returned to the beginning again, this time to work my way through it slowly and systematically in order to utilize the author's suggestions to try and improve my own poetry.

'Poetry Writing' is such a comprehensive book written by a credible and highly respected prize-winning poet. Starting with the question 'What is poetry', the author goes on to identify and explore all the ingredients necessary to create a poem and, perhaps most importantly, how to combine those ingredients to best effect so that the poem sits and flows like a well-balanced boat in the water.

Whatever level you currently feel to be at - from novice to accomplished/published poet - there is definitely something in this book for everyone. Whilst each chapter aroused and intrigued me, I found the chapters on 'Meter', 'Beat', and 'Register' invaluable and, in particular, the chapter 'On Difficulty, which addresses the issues involved when writing about highly personal and emotional material.

The author's writing style is sagacious and supportive and her love and deep passion for poetry shines so brightly from every page of the text. I can't wait to begin re-working my old poems and birthing new ones in the light of all the insight and realization this marvellous book has already given and continues to give to me.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and informative 7 Mar 2010
This is an easy to read, but extremely helpful book. I have no complaints about it, only compliments. The author treats the reader as an adult whilst appreciating that the reader may be new to poetry, she strikes the perfect balance in speaking to the reader. This should be a part of any poetry fan's book collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I haven't found a better one: really great! 16 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There are several very good guides but none beats this one for me. I liked Glyn Maxwell's which is full of originality and strong views - a literary achievement in itself. Eavan Boland's (with Mark Strand) The Making of a Poem is a super guide. The old Teach Yourself by Robin Skelton is still inspiring. But with the advantage of Sampson's incisive style (as in her survey of recent poetic movements) with excellent practical explanations, I tried improving a poem I was working on: I found it was like having the ideal teacher at my elbow and felt it was improving what I could produce. It's a book I have already been able to dip into again to find advice on areas and look forward to reading it through again. Definitely buy it. Dare I mention Homer nodded? .Page 187 mentions Chaucer's Tristan and Isolde: I haven't read all Chaucer but did this refer to Troilus and Criseyde? And page 171 shouldn't Auden/ Isherwood's Letters from Iceland be Auden/MacNeice? Being picky, do you patch up with WD-40? (Page 147). And surprising that Shakespeare's sonnet "Shall I compare thee" is to a girl (Page 141).Teensy quibbles in a wonderful book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful 26 Nov 2011
I found this an excellent resource during editing stages, and to give new direction to poems that are faltering in some way.
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0 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful 29 Mar 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Total waste of time and money. Don't have a clue what the other reviewers were talking about. Unclear, wishy washy.
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