The Crafty Poet and Ways to Kickstart Your Writing

Diane Lockward's wonderful book to jump-start your creative process, The Crafty Poet, has had a great mention in Poets & Writers as one of the "best books for writers." I'm pleased to have a poem of mine included in this juicy craft collection, "Worst," under the Prompt: Missing You. Diane's prompts and tips are richly illustrated with poems from so many poets I love I can't begin to name them all.

I especially love the chapters on Revision and Recycling poems. Adele Kenny, whose blog The Music In It gives weekly prompts, has a poem, "Snake Lady," illustrates the principle of revising a poem by adding layers of complication. This is a favorite trick of mine when considering a poem whose heartbeat is so faint I can barely hear it loud enough not to consign it to the morgue.

Here's one, "Scared Birds," that I revived with the above technique of layering, and it made its way into Deep Water Literary Journal. It's also included in my new book, Gods of Water and Air. This one was a case of two poems that collided in the night, with great cacophony and surreal mangling of metaphors in a sort of fairytale way. It scared me when I wrote it, hence the title.