Poetry Information

Rules for Writing Poetry


You've been writing poetry since that first assignment in your high school writing class. You know the rules about writing poetry, right? Are there rules? Well, if you frequent the poetry forums across the Internet as much as I do, you'd find that there are a lot of amateur poets who adamantly declare that there are no rules for writing poetry and if someone even suggests reading poetry or books on poetry, many of the amateur poets will throw up a defensive front. My opinion seems to swing fervently toward the opposition. You have to know the rules before you break them; at least that's what I always say.

I know that writing a sonnet in iambic pentameter is an art that has been buried in the tombs of the renaissance, but understanding it, along with the numerous other dying closed forms of poetry, is a powerful tool when writing that prosy contemporary piece. Being a great poet demands an intricate understanding of the way in which language works its edges into a reader's conscience. A poem is a mosaic of sounds, syncopations, and images. All of the little fragments of a poem must work together in a unified fashion to culminate in something refreshing and new.

Refreshing and new? Well, you might wonder how understanding such archaic attributes of poetry such as meter and rhyme might help a contemporary poet craft a refreshing new poem. It is all about the sound and the innovation of it. Even scientists stand on the shoulders of those before them. You don't have to manage a perfect rhyme or a measured foot in a poem to be jumping from the inspiration of Shakespeare's sonnets, but having those rhythms and rhymes teetering in and out of the wrinkles in your brain will send a very subtle vibration of sound through your very own pieces.

In summary, read, read, read, know the rules, and then break the rules. Goodness help you, please break them.

Here are some references to help you along the way:

-Books:

The Practice of Poetry: by Robin Behn

Writing Poems: by Robert Wallace and Michelle Boisseau

A Poetry Handbook: by Mary Oliver

-Websites:

www.poetrylessons.org

www.poetrymagic.co.uk

http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/poetry-explication.html

http://www.poetry-portal.com/poetry.html

-And don't forget to read some contemporary poetry:

www.poems.com

http://www.pedestalmagazine.com/

Devrie Paradowski is a freelance writer and poet. Her poetry has been published by several literary journals and she has written dozens of articles for various publications including "Poetry Renewal Magazine," and "Poetryscams.com." She is the author of the chapbook, "Something In the Dirt," which can be found at http://www.lulu.com/content/108560 . In 2001, Devrie founded a popular online literary community ( http://www.LiteraryEscape.com ) that has become highly respected for some of the most honest and in-depth poetic critique on the Internet. In keeping with her commitment to inspire amateur writers to hone their skills, she also founded a local writer's group called, "The Fire and Ice Writer's Group."


MORE RESOURCES:
Celebrate National Poetry Month With the New Yorker Poetry Bot  The New Yorker

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In ‘Swift,’ David Baker’s Poetry Stitches the Fractured World Into Art  The New York Times

For almost 40 years, in the extreme suburbs and the diminishing countryside, Baker has worked to see and describe things as though for the first time.


These Poets Are Dedicated to Elevating and Preserving the Artform  The Root

Editor's note: This week, for National Poetry Month, we're featuring 37 up-and-coming black poets who we expect do amazing work over the next decade.


Washington poet laureate to use $100000 award to bring poetry to Columbia River  The Columbian

Washington poet laureate Claudia Castro Luna, who visited Vancouver earlier this month to give a reading at the downtown community library, has won a ...


“Poetry,” by Greg Jackson  The New Yorker

Fiction by Greg Jackson: “The volcano was there, and so we had to climb it. That was how things shook out for me.”


Poetry from Independent Voices  JSTOR Daily

Reveal Digital's open access "Independent Voices" collection includes many digitized literary magazines. Those interested in poetry should take note.


Poet Karla Huston brings 'a sparkling enthusiasm' to arts leadership  Appleton Post Crescent

"Karla is one of the hardest working, most genuine artists I know."


These Queer Poets Expand on Black Life Through Their Work  The Root

Editor's note: For National Poetry Month, we're featuring 37 up-and-coming black poets this week who we expect to do amazing work over the next decade.


Greg Jackson Reads “Poetry”  The New Yorker

Deborah Treisman hosts the author Greg Jackson, who reads his short story “Poetry,” from the April 29, 2019, issue of The New Yorker.


Ed Madden Named an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow, Plots Interactive 'Story Map'  Free Times

Ed Madden dislikes restricting poems to books. He's been Columbia's poet laureate since 2015, elected to a second four-year term in February. In his role, he's ...


Langston’s Legacy: These Young Black Poets Rep Their Cultures to the Fullest  The Root

While in his early 20s and a student at Lincoln University, Langston Hughes published his first book of poetry, The Weary Blues, and penned his landmark essay ...


Off the Shelf: Celebrate Poetry Month | News, Sports, Jobs  NUjournal

April is National Poetry Month and it's not too late to celebrate. If you're looking to join a book group, all are invited to the library's Poetry Readi.


The Joys of Yiddish Poetry  Tablet Magazine

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Throwing Weight Into Sound: Kaveh Akbar on Poetry and Power  The New Yorker

Kevin Young interviews the poet Kaveh Akbar about politics, poetry, and his poem “The Palace,” which appears on newyorker.com.


Shepherdstown prepares town-wide poetry sharing on Friday  Martinsburg Journal

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Shepherdstown poets and other residents plan to bring poetry to the streets Friday in a celebration of National Poetry Month.


English Department's Carter to give poetry reading at Asheville bookstore  Western Carolina University News

As part of a poetry celebration at Malaprop's Bookstore in Asheville, Catherine Carter, a professor of English at Western Carolina University, will present a ...


Library Lagniappe: Poetry in the spotlight in Metairie | East Jefferson  The Advocate

Six local poets — Esme Franklin, Benjamin Aleshire, Elizabeth Gross, Brad Richard, Benjamin Morris and Cassie Pruyn — will discuss and read from their works ...


Klara du Plessis gets two short list nods for Canada’s top poetry prizes  Toronto Star

League of Canadian poets releases prize short lists for Gerald Lampert, Pat Lowther and Raymond Souster awards, each worth $2000.


Graveside poetry: Xiao Hong, Dai Wangshu, and the dead among us  SupChina

April is National Poetry Month, and we're celebrating with a series of articles that looks at Chinese poetry, both past and present. Drawing from her experiences ...


'They deserve to be heard’: Poetry project gives a voice to English language learners  Hawaii News Now

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An Abuse Victim Turns Her Pain Into Poetry  NY City Lens

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Theater Piece combines Emily Dickinson poetry with music  Biddeford Journal Tribune

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Victorian women poets of WW1: capturing the reverberations of loss  The Conversation AU

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'It's not my poetry that matters, it's poetry that matters'  Oregon ArtsWatch

Here are two ways to know a poet:One is to read the work, which in the case of José Angel Araguz, offers an astonishingly in.


Perspective: Poetry Is The Thing With Feathers | WNIJ and WNIU  WNIJ and WNIU

Occasionally, Perspectives regular Elsa Glover hands the mic over to a fellow teacher in the Kaneland School District and they record a guest Perspective.


"Poetry on the Porch" will host two poets to discuss poetry in the South  The Daily Tar Heel

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'We have more poets for the people' says Nottingham Poetry Festival 2019 creative director Georgina Wilding  Nottinghamshire Live

'We are opening doors to people who think differently and want to have a go'


For the Country’s Most Promising Teen Poets, Poetry Is Activism  Vulture

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Logan searches for new poet laureate | Government  The Herald Journal

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Poetry That Bears Witness to a Changing Natural World  The New Yorker

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Lydia Sigourney’s poetry  Hartford Courant

The commentary about Connecticut poet Lydia Sigourney unfortunately repeats tired old cliches regarding Sigourney and women authors in general.


Houston Poet: We’re All Like Tequila  Houston Public Media

Poet Lupe Mendez talks about his new collection, Why I Am Like Tequila.


GB ArtWeek: Spoken-word performance by slam poet Kofi Dadzie plus youth poetry slam and open mic at Fuel Bistro |  theberkshireedge.com

Great Barrington — “At the end of the day, there is no wrong way to tell your story.” At least that's how slam poet Kofi Dadzie sees it. “Everything that I have in my ...


Local voices featured in Kent State’s poetry book  Record-Courier

David Hassler furiously wrote on the chalkboard as third graders in Kate Walley's class at Seville Intermediate School raised their hands and shouted out words ...


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EASTHAMPTON – At the start of a lesson on African Caribbean history, Jodi Alatalo asked students, “How many of you have heard of the Caribbean?” Hands ...


8 More of the Best Poetry Podcasts for Your Ears  Book Riot

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'Don't Be Late for Poetry'  Afro American

Baltimore has some of the most talented, raw, award-winning poets in the nation. In acknowledgement of National Poetry Month. The AFRO kicked off our ...


Linda Gregg, award-winning poet of lines like ‘chiseled marble,’ dies at 76  Washington Post

Linda Gregg, an award-winning poet whose muse followed her in her wanderings from the wilds of California to the rugged hills of Greece, from the Texas desert ...


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Happy Monday. It's Levi, driving the GMSV bus again for the week. Behold the axolotis, sea sapphire, horror frog and other “real animals that shouldn't exist.


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Good morning, Loveland! I hope you had a pleasant Easter, if that's something you celebrate. If not, hope you simply had a relaxing Sunday and enjoyed that ...


A Poetic Body of Work Grapples With the Physical Body at Risk  The New York Times

In “The Tradition,” Jericho Brown witnesses and celebrates vulnerability and resilience in a country that too often scorns or condemns them.


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Stanley Plumly, Lyrical Poet Influenced by Keats, Dies at 79  The New York Times

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Instagram Poetry: You Might As Well Accept It  Daily Utah Chronicle

Judgment call — minimalist and profound, or formulaic and maudlin? If you've run into Rupi Kaur's “Milk and Honey” or have ever opened Instagram, you've ...


A Conversation With U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy Smith  NPR

To kick off National Poetry Month, NPR's Korva Coleman talks with the nation's two-term poet laureate about the importance of poetry during divisive times.


These New Orleans students are poets. Order pizza this Friday and you’ll know it  The Advocate

When you order your next pizza, try extra cheese and a rhyming stanza.


8 excellent Latino poetry books for National Poetry Month  NBCNews.com

April is National Poetry Month, and we look at the diversity and breadth of the Latino experience through books and anthologies by acclaimed poets like Richard ...


Linda Gregg, award-winning poet who explored love and loss, dies at 76  Los Angeles Times

Linda Gregg, an award-winning poet whose muse followed her in her wanderings from the wilds of Northern California to the rugged hills of Greece, from the ...


Robots and poetry come alive at Black Imagination conference  The Architect's Newspaper

The Architect's Newspaper is the most authoritative voice on architecture and design in the United States.


Poetry at work  strategy+business Today

The brilliant poet Wallace Stevens spent his career in the insurance industry. To what extent did these two aspects of his life nourish one another?


Rain poetry to be introduced at Arts Festival  Stillwater News Press

The Stillwater Public Library will be promoting poetry while bringing a new arts concept new to Stillwater during this weekend's Arts Festival.


Metaphors, Medicine, And The Poetry Of Science  Science Friday

April is National Poetry Month, a time of readings, outreach programs, and enthusiastic celebration of the craft. And for a special Science Friday celebration, we'll ...


Review: Kelly Fordon's new poetry is an unsentimental look at marriage and motherhood  Michigan Radio

In her new collection of poems, Goodbye Toothless House, Michigan writer Kelly Fordon takes aim at the idealized facade of marriage and motherhood. Ann.


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A Night Of Exploring Caribbean Narratives Through Food And Poetry  WJCT NEWS

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San Jose students give new meaning to ‘trashy poetry’  The Mercury News

Inspirational verses written by the 20 student winners of the "Litter-ature" competition are being installed on 500 trash cans in the city.


Maria Carillo sophomore wins top prize in statewide poetry contest  Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Zoya Ahmed, a sophomore at Maria Carrillo High, was awarded the top prize for a poem blending sound and spice.


Poet-Tea at Madelyn Helling Library this afternoon – YubaNet  YubaNet

April 23, 2019 – The Madelyn Helling Library will be hosting a Poetry Teatime with local poets on Tuesday, April 23rd at 4:00 p.m. in the Gene Albaugh ...


In age of fast Twitter fame, these poets work in slow obscurity. They're on to something.  NorthJersey.com

In Rutherford, in a building named for William Carlos Williams, group members meet in obscurity to argue and perfect their work.


A maudlin poet in ‘Huckleberry Finn’  Hartford Courant

After reading Norma Buchanan's piece about the poet Lydia Sigourney, I had a sudden revelation. Her poetry bears a striking resemblance to that of the ...


Award-winning poet performs, honoring Asian heritage | News  Standard Online

Snaps filled Carrington Hall's auditorium as award-winning poet, Terisa Siagatonu, performed spoken word poetry in honor of Asian Heritage Month.


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The Universal Notebook: The art of poetry  The Forecaster

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Richard Blanco builds on his role as a civic poet in his new book, “How to Love a Country," tackling national issues such as gun violence, immigration, gay ...


Let us make poetry a 'Feast of April' in our classrooms: Ramnath Subramanian  El Paso Times

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Kate Clanchy: ‘Poetry makes children feel important, that they’re heard’  The Guardian

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Deaf poet Raymond Antrobus wins Ted Hughes award  BBC News

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As a doctor in the ICU, I sometimes feel helpless. Poetry provides solace  STAT

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Lady Brion: Power Through Poetry  Afro American

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Poetry round-up: McCarthy delights with second collection in two years  The Irish Times

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Coffeehouse Poets: If Walter Mitty Were a Cat  Yakima Herald-Republic

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Ann Cannon: Poetry recommendations for the kids in your life  Salt Lake Tribune

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Poetry Festival to feature Kansas poets laureate and others  Salina Journal

The Heart of the Heartland Small Press Poetry Fest is a three-day poetry festival from Friday through Sunday that will feature poets representing independent ...


The best recent poetry – review roundup  The Guardian

Witch by Rebecca Tamás; Near Future by Suzannah Evans; O Positive by Joe Dunthorne; Discipline by Jane Yeh. Ben Wilkinson. Sat 6 Apr 2019 06.00 EDT.


Pitts: Regional poetry festival set this week for downtown Fayetteville venues  The Fayetteville Observer

Don't tell LeJuane Bowens, more popularly known by his stage name, El'Ja Bowens, that there is no arts scene in Fayetteville. He knows differently. This former ...


Sportswriting on Deadline: The Underappreciated Art  The Atlantic

A new anthology of sportswriting celebrates the poetry written in the press box.


The return of Michael Redhill, and two other books to celebrate poetry month  The Globe and Mail

Twitch Force is Michael Redhill's first book of poetry in 18 years. But he's been busy. Already well known as a literary novelist, playwright and editor, and as the ...


Framingham High Seniors To Battle at 16th Annual Poetry Slam Thursday  framinghamsource.com

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Hanif Abdurraqib and Morgan Parker Chat Poetry and Blackness in America  VICE

By now, you should know about Morgan Parker—she's a tour de force in the world of poetry, author of the collections Other People's Comfort Keeps Me Up at ...


A Poet and Essayist Meditates on the Deep Roots Binding Humans and Trees  The New York Times

C.D. Wright's posthumous book “Casting Deep Shade” offers a guided walk through beech forests and her own wide-ranging mind.


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A conversation between Indian poet Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee and Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish.


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Stanley Plumly, a poet and University of Maryland professor who served as the state's poet laureate for nine years and also published well-regarded nonfiction ...


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