How to Write Poetry, Writing Poetry

No matter what form of poetry you write, you’ll find insights and advice here for improving your skill and word usage, enhancing your creativity, and mastering every form of poetry.

Poetry: The Leap

One of the earmarks of Spanish poetry is the use of a leap into seemingly unrelated imaginary material. Poets such as Federico García Lorca, Pablo Neruda, César Vallejo and Antonio Machado all use this technique to great effect.

by Dorianne Laux

Winners of the 2008 WD Poetry Awards

Lee Tupman’s “The Forest of Lost Husbands” took first place in WD’s 3rd Annual Poetry Awards competition, taking home $500 in prize money. The online contest, which pulled in nearly 3,800 entries, was open to poems of any style that were original, unpublished and 32 lines or fewer.

by Brian A. Klems

Poetry: Word Choice

“What’s in a name?” William Shakespeare asked this question more than 400 years ago and poets are still puzzling over it. Read this exchange between the Bard’s famous star-crossed lovers (at right) and remember when you first heard it.

The Four Commandments of Writing Good Sentences

If you want to write a good sentence, don’t pay any attention to your grammar. I don’t mean “a sentence this like OK is.” I mean don’t automatically think you’ve written a good sentence just because it’s grammatically correct. Lots of bad sentences are grammatically correct....

Challenging the Limits of Memory

In this excerpt from Writing Life Stories, Bill Roorbach teaches you how to pay attention to and translate your memories and how to overcome your resistance to remembered places and events.

April Poem-A-Day Challenge

Can you write one poem every day in April (National Poetry Month)? Join the editor of Writer's Market, Robert Brewer, as he offers prompts and encouragement—plus monitor his progress over at his blog, Poetic Asides!

Sylvia Plath’s Journals

One of the 20th century's most gifted and famous poets, Sylvia Plath kept extensive journals that spanned most of her adolescence and adulthood. The sorrow behind her tragic death at the age of 30 has made Plath a cult hero, and the secrecy of the contents of her journals has made their Fall 2000...

Creating a Poetry Anthology

It's a real thrill to find an excellent poetry collection like Boomer Girls: Poems by Women From the Baby Boom Generation (University of Iowa Press). Editors Pamela Gemin and Paula Sergi talked with Writer's Digest a bit about how they assembled this beautiful collection of talented poets.

Submitting Poems on the Internet

Is it safe to submit your poetry to an Internet site or online journal? What should you watch out for? Robin Travis-Murphree, executive editor of Poetic Voices, offers some advice.