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on 16 April 2004
Very often, American books of this type have less to offer writers working in the UK. Many have a breathless, self-help tone and style, and (naturally) they use the work of great American writers as a starting point. This can be slightly disorientating and unproductive. Here, though, is a rigorously practical book which includes many very useful, straightforward exercises suited equally to writing alone or generating new ideas in a workshop. It does make reference to some American writers who are hard to find over here, but this is not usually an obstacle as the description of each exercise is clear enough to explain what is intended. It should help to take your work in new directions and give you a kick-start if you are in the doldrums. For a refreshing new approach, full of insight and good humour, I would also recommend Jo Bell's '52: Write a Poem a Week' which does what it says on the tin, without ever being superficial - and includes many fine examples of contemporary poems as illustrations for the exercises.
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on 26 August 1998
This book is a must-read for any poet, regardless of skill. It has exercises ranging from terribly technical to wildly free formed. They are fun, sometimes even silly, and lead the reader into mental places they might never have thought to go. The results of the exercises always suprise the reader, and I would say that if a poem doesn't suprise it's writer, nothing has been learned. I recommended this book to a freshman poetry class and they all did many, many exercises on their own time. (Not a small feat for time-pressed college students!) Overall, I rank this book right up there with other indispensible books for poets such as Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg and Letters to a Young Poet from Rilke. Read this book, but don't just read it--live in it, sip from it, allow it to lead you where you may not know you need to go. You will be better for it, both in your writing and in your spirit.
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on 3 April 1998
They tunnel into the imagination, from dark places to inner and outer journeys. They include exercises for several poetic forms I hadn't discovered. The group exercises, with a little finagling, can be used for lone desperado writers. I'm definitely hooked.
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on 27 March 2009
If you are a writer that teaches or leads workshops or a writer that is hungry for knowledge and skills to develop your craft this book is a valuable tool. It's one to carry around with you in your kit. It's got great exercises and is very well written.
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on 27 August 2009
I have come back to this book for a second time to come up with further ideas for my private language lessons, and again i found this book a bit irritating. Certainly, there are some interesting exercises here but I would have preferred less exercises and the space used to give further examples. Each entrant claims to practice the exercise they offer so why not give us a couple of examples from their students. A second issue I have is, in a few instances, a list of examples is given. Unfortunately, may of these are unavailable on the net, and my library of poetry books is not so extensive. I simply don't possess that many volumes of American poetry. This book tries to be user-friendly, and that is to be applauded, but some of the entries seem so vague that I lost patience in trying to work them out. I don't wish to be completely dismissive of this book but if you only wish to buy one book I would not make it this one.
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on 9 August 1999
I really liked this book! Though, I took three semesters of a creative writing class in high school, this book still gave me new ideas on how to write different varieties of poems. It is very useful, and I enjoy it!
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on 8 December 2014
A useful item
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on 2 November 1998
I found this book to be very helpful in guiding me to use my writing skills, as well as helping me to open my mind and extract deeper, truer, feelings and thoughts.
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