Friday, March 07, 2008

The Poet's Companion

Recommended reading:

From Kim Addonizio's website:

Kim Addonozio and Dorianne Laux
The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry

Thoughtful, generous, and accurate to both deeper truths and the craftwork it takes to hold them, The Poet's Companion is a superb guide for the working poet. —Jane Hirshfield

This feels like the book we've been waiting for: rigorous, generous, in love with the art of poetry, aware of the inner architecture of poems-and maybe it couldn't have been written by anyone but Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux, two passionate poets. —Marie Howe

Poets Addonizio and Laux warn against cliche, and although textbooks on writing come a dime a dozen these days, theirs is head and shoulders above the rest. There are three main sections: "Subjects for Writing" (e.g. death, the erotic), "The Poet's Craft" (metaphor, rhyme), and "The Writing Life" (self-doubt, writer's block); four separate appendixes list other writing texts, anthologies, marketing tips, and electronic resources. The many exercises offered emerge largely from the intensive one-day workshops conducted by Addonizio and Laux. Both knowledgeable and practical in their approach, the authors offer everything a poet needs, including one feature more necessary than ever in the postliterate age yet absent from other writing texts: a gentle yet insistent lesson on grammar. Highly recommended for all libraries. —David Kirby, Library Journal
Quotes from accessed 3/7/08.

From the publisher:

Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux
The Poet's Companion A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry

From the nuts and bolts of craft to the sources of inspiration, this book is for anyone who wants to write poetry-and do it well. In this fortuitous collaboration, two spirited poets, themselves teachers of poetry, offer guidance to aspiring beginners and those who have already published. Brief essays on the elements of poetry, technique, and suggested subjects for writing are each followed by distinctive writing exercises. ("Compare an actual family photograph with one that was never taken, but might have been.") The ups and downs of the writing life—including the inevitable visitations of self-doubt and writer's block—are here, along with tips about getting published. A special section contains twenty-minute writing exercises, and valuable appendixes cover further reading and marketing advice. On your own, this book can be your "teacher," while groups, in or out of the classroom, can profit from sharing weekly assignments. Numerous examples of contemporary poetry, chosen for relevance and freshness, illustrate salient points and stimulate the imagination. By calling on their own experience and focusing on living American writers for their models, the authors introduce you to poetry as it is right now.

Kim Addonizio lives in San Francisco; Dorianne Laux lives in Eugene, Oregon. Her first collection, The Philosopher's Club, was selected by Dana Gioia as one of the ten best books of 1994 for the Washington Post. Dorianne Laux's What We Carry (1994) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Both poets are the recipients of NEA grants.

1997 / paperback original / ISBN 0-393-31654-8 / 6" x 8" / 224 pages / Reference/Writing, Poetry
Description taken from accessed 3/7/08.

Phyllis, who joined our group the other day to read poems by Richard Wilbur, has used this book with her students at Saginaw Valley State University. She told me so herself when she gave a copy of the book to me as a gift. Yes! The enthusiasm Addonizio and Laux have for the craft of poetry is contagious in the pages of this book. Catch that enthusiasm and the world will never be the same again. You have my word on it.

-- "It is our goal to appreciate and improve our talents, to share our own work and to communicate the joys of poetry with others. Everyone's poetry is valued."
River Junction Poets Mission Statement

No comments: