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Art of Poetry Writing

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Poet, novelist, scholar, translator, playwright, and teacher, William Packard has known every side of a writer's life. As founder and editor of "The New York Quarterly, "a national magazine devoted to the craft of poetry, he reads some 50,000 poems each year-most of them sadly deficient in sound, metrics, form, voice, and quality. This book is written to help poets address Poet, novelist, scholar, translator, playwright, and teacher, William Packard has known every side of a writer's life. As founder and editor of "The New York Quarterly, "a national magazine devoted to the craft of poetry, he reads some 50,000 poems each year-most of them sadly deficient in sound, metrics, form, voice, and quality. This book is written to help poets address the central concerns of their craft and art. Lively, inspiring, opinionated, and sometimes curmudgeonly, "The Art of Poetry Writing "covers a broad range of topics, both technical and personal, that all poets need to consider: -Poetic devices and diction -Verse forms and free verse -Rhyme and metrics -Creative vision and revision -The benefits and problems of workshops and writing classes -30 writing challenges to develop form and style and technique -When to seek publication-and when not to -What to read while writing -The life of the poet, including keeping a journal, giving readings, applying for grants, and more. Remarks by and excerpts from the work of Coleridge, Wordsworth, Keats, Dickinson, Yeats, Auden, Stevens, Moore, Thomas, Ginsberg, Sexton, Plath, Dickey, Bukowski, Ashbery, and dozens of other poets make this an essential companion for students, teachers and anyone who writes or reads poetry.


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Poet, novelist, scholar, translator, playwright, and teacher, William Packard has known every side of a writer's life. As founder and editor of "The New York Quarterly, "a national magazine devoted to the craft of poetry, he reads some 50,000 poems each year-most of them sadly deficient in sound, metrics, form, voice, and quality. This book is written to help poets address Poet, novelist, scholar, translator, playwright, and teacher, William Packard has known every side of a writer's life. As founder and editor of "The New York Quarterly, "a national magazine devoted to the craft of poetry, he reads some 50,000 poems each year-most of them sadly deficient in sound, metrics, form, voice, and quality. This book is written to help poets address the central concerns of their craft and art. Lively, inspiring, opinionated, and sometimes curmudgeonly, "The Art of Poetry Writing "covers a broad range of topics, both technical and personal, that all poets need to consider: -Poetic devices and diction -Verse forms and free verse -Rhyme and metrics -Creative vision and revision -The benefits and problems of workshops and writing classes -30 writing challenges to develop form and style and technique -When to seek publication-and when not to -What to read while writing -The life of the poet, including keeping a journal, giving readings, applying for grants, and more. Remarks by and excerpts from the work of Coleridge, Wordsworth, Keats, Dickinson, Yeats, Auden, Stevens, Moore, Thomas, Ginsberg, Sexton, Plath, Dickey, Bukowski, Ashbery, and dozens of other poets make this an essential companion for students, teachers and anyone who writes or reads poetry.

30 review for Art of Poetry Writing

  1. 5 out of 5

    Luke

    This is a short, pretty easy book on the main aspects of poetry: rhyme, form, meter, sound, all of that is there. Some of Packard's writing comes off as the crotchety writings of a conservative old man, but at times he can be right--careerism is a problem. Nevertheless, I find poetry slams to be such interesting events that don't deserve the derision given here. This is a short, pretty easy book on the main aspects of poetry: rhyme, form, meter, sound, all of that is there. Some of Packard's writing comes off as the crotchety writings of a conservative old man, but at times he can be right--careerism is a problem. Nevertheless, I find poetry slams to be such interesting events that don't deserve the derision given here.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gerry LaFemina

    In many ways the book is a little dates, and Packard wears his contempt for certain trends in 80's Poetry (a general mistrust of the workshop, a legitimate fear of careerism, a gripe with English departments for not teaching the classics...) pretty heavily. But the book is also filled with great quotes, and terrific advice for poets. In many ways the book is a little dates, and Packard wears his contempt for certain trends in 80's Poetry (a general mistrust of the workshop, a legitimate fear of careerism, a gripe with English departments for not teaching the classics...) pretty heavily. But the book is also filled with great quotes, and terrific advice for poets.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Fireflydances

    Founder and editor of The New York Quarterly, a highly regarded national poetry magazine. I was fortunate enough to know Bill. His advice about writing still guides me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    Not unsound. The "History of Poetry" chapter is a good short refresher. In general, this book could be helpful if viewed as a reference book, full of lists: a list of Shakespeare's plays, a list of the six types of consonant sounds (plosives, dentals, sibilants, etc.), a list of the twelve birthstones, and what-have-you. As for whether I would recommend this book to beginning writers: the best poetry teacher I had in college was nothing like this, and I'm not sure I personally would have taken we Not unsound. The "History of Poetry" chapter is a good short refresher. In general, this book could be helpful if viewed as a reference book, full of lists: a list of Shakespeare's plays, a list of the six types of consonant sounds (plosives, dentals, sibilants, etc.), a list of the twelve birthstones, and what-have-you. As for whether I would recommend this book to beginning writers: the best poetry teacher I had in college was nothing like this, and I'm not sure I personally would have taken well to the rather curmudgeonly tone of this book at the tender age of 16 or 17 or 18. Different strokes for different folks, though.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I liked this book. Some of the reviews are mixed, but if you want to know more about the basics, then this is a good starting point. Very thorough, lots of examples as well as techniques to try on your own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    If you read or write poetry, this is as close as you'll get to having been in one of Packard's legendary classes. If you read or write poetry, this is as close as you'll get to having been in one of Packard's legendary classes.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    Loved it. Will read it over and over as lond as I am alive and still writing poems. Great history, explanation of all forms, and writing exercises.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Claire Murr

  9. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  11. 4 out of 5

    Richard Badalamente

  12. 5 out of 5

    Xenophon Hendrix

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hans-Henrik Ohlsen

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Stice

  15. 5 out of 5

    john

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Sudo

  17. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Kennedy

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stokely Klasovsky

  20. 4 out of 5

    Colin Wright

  21. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  22. 4 out of 5

    katherine

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Moro-Huber

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Lawrence

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jim Manis

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lawrence

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas DiGiovanni

  29. 5 out of 5

    Oji Uchenna

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

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