Monday, 22 January 2018

How to be a Poet - Jo Bell and Jane Commane

So much to read, so little time - but I'm glad I've spent time reading this - and that it will be there for me to return to as I carry on writing. Things I particularly liked/found useful:
  • it's practical, down-to-earth and realistic
  • there are detailed ways to improve your writing - stage by stage - and exercises/ideas to try
  • different perspectives are given - which is refreshing - and although the writers are all very well qualified to give advice, they in no way assert that theirs is the only view
  • progression - it helps you think about where you want to be and how to give yourself the best chance of getting there
  • it gives additional resources for reading, writing and getting your poetry out there
I think it's really difficult to balance encouragement with realism. Certainly if anyone thought this poetry business is easy they'd be in for a shock. The writers do keep reiterating the positive, just in case you were staggering under the weight of the reality and work involved. It's also written with humour and conveys the creative satisfaction poetry can bring - but it's still about the work.

As it says in The Final Word, I'd better get on with it.

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