My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Not all poetry prompts are created equal. Diane Lockward’s are some of my favorites. I love the way she observes the poems from which she gets her inspiration (often with a dash of her sly humor), and how she leaves no stone unturned in delivering to us a range of places to look (within and around us) for something to write about.
But The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop is much more than just prompts. It contains craft tips from established poets as well as explanations of how specific poems came to be written—the wisdom of fifty-six contemporary poets in all! On top of that, it has sample poems written for all but the bonus prompts, to give us an idea of how others tackled these prompts.
The craft tips, poem explanations, and prompts are organized in ten categories that include Generating Material, Diction, Sound, Voice, Revision, and Writer’s Block. Each piece is concise and to-the-point, reflecting its origin as part of Lockward’s free monthly newsletter (Interested in subscribing? You can do that from Lockward’s blog, Blogalicious.)
This is a book for both new and experienced poets. It’s poetry how-to plus the wisdom of one’s clan (poetry clan) all in a tidy 280-page volume.