I have no idea how to be a poet. Maybe that’s why I’m a total sucker for books that try to answer that question. The 2012 Poet’s Market has all kinds of great suggestions, answers, and articles. I’m in love with the chapter, “101 Poetry Prompts,” which includes the prompts: Write a Worry Poem, Write an Apology Poem, Write an Insult Poem, Write a Farewell Poem. I’m still hoping someone will write The Recipe Poem, complete with fail-safe directions on how-to-write-a poem . . .
Of course there are also chapters full of helpful advice on publishing and marketing, advice I could use, plus essays and interviews by poets including Diane Lockward, Collin Kelley, Jeanine Hall Gailey, Erika Meitner, and Sandra Beasley.
Sandra Beasley’s essay, “ A Different Take on Truth and Poetry,” is particularly interesting. I love how she celebrates the art of lying. She writes: “I became a better poet when I stopped congratulating myself for being honest; when I stopped casting my heart’s shadow on the page and calling it a poem.”
Nin Andrews is the author of 5 full collections of poetry and 6 chapbooks. She is also the editor of a book of translations of the Belgian poet, Henri Michaux. Her literary comics are posted on Best American Poetry's Blog on Monday mornings.