Poetry Information

Mechanical Poetry

Do you ever stare at the paper, waiting for poetic inspiration? Well, you can stop waiting and start using systematic techniques for creating poetry. If it seems too mechanical or artificial at first, don't worry. The point is just to get you writing, because creativity is stimulated by work.

When You Have A Poem In Mind

If you have your topic, ask yourself why it's important, and write down your answer. How do you feel about it? Write down those feelings. Write a line or a scene that exemplifies what you are trying to point out. Then, start rearranging the words into a poem. The main thing is to do anything other than waiting to stimulate your creativity.

Sometimes poems can come from a simple description. Write down a description of an event, and then find a way to form it into something more succinct and poetic. The poem below, "Religion," was created in this way:

On the shoulder of Keystone Road
A woman was laying in the dirt
Calling out for help
While ninety-three christians
Fourteen muslims
And five jews
Drove by
On a sunny afternoon

When You Need Ideas For Poems

1. Look around and write down what you see.

2. Write about anything that you felt today.

3. Ask anyone for a topic and start writing.

4. Use random words, one per line, to create a verse.

The following verse was written in a few minutes using four randomly chosen words:

Our dirty little secret
Our sorrow none can see
Is not
For things we cannot have
But for things we cannot be

Poets can break through the worst writers-block, by simply using any "tricks" available to start writing poems. Try it. Even very artificial, or "mechanical" techniques will get your creativity flowing. You'll find more of these poetic techniques in part two.

Steve Gillman has been playing with poetry for thirty years. He and his wife Ana created the game "Deal-A-Poem," which can be accessed for free at: http://www.dealapoem.com

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New York Times

She Dared to Write Poetry About Sex. Iranians Loved and Hated Her for It.
New York Times
Farrokhzad was Iran's most celebrated — and controversial — female poet, and Darznik, the Iranian-born author of the memoir “The Good Daughter,” recreates her sexual and creative liberation while exploring the threat she posed to social order in ...

and more »

Waco Tribune-Herald

Beall Poetry Festival begins with prize-winners' readings, discussions
Waco Tribune-Herald
A poet who is an expert in Bob Marley reggae lyrics, a former National Endowment for the Arts chairman and a prize-winning Vanderbilt University professor highlight the lineup of this year's Beall Poetry Festival, which runs Wednesday through Friday at ...

and more »

San Francisco Chronicle

State Lines: California poetry: Lawrence Ferlinghetti's 'I Am Waiting'
San Francisco Chronicle
In some sense, Ferlinghetti is the root source of this poetry column. Since the beginning of his writing life, he has promoted the idea that art and civic responsibility are not mutually exclusive. Many of the poets we've featured in State Lines carry ...

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The Independent

World Poetry Day 2018: Video of Stephen Hawking reading 'Relativity' by Sarah Howe
The Independent
On World Poetry Day, it seems only apt to reflect on how its work can infiltrate every corner of the mind. That art and science can have such a harmonious union, for example, as represented in a reading by the late Stephen Hawking of Sarah Howe's poem ...
Poetry reconceives the traumas children take casuallySan Francisco Chronicle
Prairie Lights hosts poetry reading from two Iowa graduatesThe Daily Iowan
On World Poetry Day, Some Verses Straight From Persia's HeartGlobal Voices Online
Irish Times -Hawaii Tribune-Herald
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Central Michigan Life

RSO helps students express emotions, find confidence through poetry
Central Michigan Life
Word Hammer participants — from left to right, top row: Elizabeth O'Donnell, Zachary Strozewski, Dustin Drew; middle row: Ahsha Davis, Eric Heinrich, Danielle Francis, Jo Kelingos; bottom row: Jasmine Merritt, Brandii-Mikayla Washington, Tiffany ...


'Like A Jazz Musician': Past Poet Laureate Philip Levine's ... - NPR
Before his death in 2015, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet collaborated with saxophonist Benjamin Boone in the recording studio. The results have finally been released as The Poetry Of Jazz.
Jazz Artist Benjamin Boone Celebrates Poetry Of Philip Levine With ...Valley Public Radio
'Like A Jazz Musician': Past Poet Laureate Philip Levine's Posthumous LPCommunity Idea Stations

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Odessa American

Poetry slam set Friday
Odessa American
A poetry slam sponsored by the Permian Basin Poetry Society will offer prizes of $100, $75 and $50 for the first, second and third place performers beginning 8 p.m. Friday at Dee's Bistro Grill, 622 N. Lee Ave. Registration is at 7 p.m.. Admission is ...


Meet Poet Laureate of Ohio Dave Lucas: Minister of Culture
He teaches a course called "Poetry for People Who Hate Poetry." One of Lucas' missions during his term as poet laureate is to expand the definition of poetry and help people see poetry in everyday life. Lucas first became enamored with language when ...
City's fourth poet laureate announcedmySanAntonio.com

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Library events planned for National Poetry Month
Toledo Blade
The Toledo Lucas County Public Library is hosting a series of events to mark National Poetry Month in April. Def Poetry Jam poet Kevin Coval will speak from 7 to 8:30 p.m. April 12 at the Main Library. Erin Adair-Hodges, visiting assistant professor of ...

PBS NewsHour

Parkland students pour their feelings into poetry | PBS NewsHour
PBS NewsHour
A 14-year-old student who was killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School wrote about life's "ups and downs" soon before his death. After the shooting, a classmate writes that "nothing about this feels normal."

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