A Review of The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop


Kelli Russell Agodon


A book which I think is hugely beneficial for poets is The Crafty Poet A Portable Workshop, by Diane Lockward.

What I like about this book is that it offers you poems, prompts and even interviews.

The book is definitely a portable workshop that you can use by yourself or with a group. The other cool thing is that once you read the poetry prompt, you can read a couple sample poems created from the prompts.

One other surprising thing in this book is the interviews. As someone who loves interviews, I found this to be one of my favorite parts of the book (yes, even more than the prompts!)

For example, Diane Lockward interviews Cecilia Woloch, asking, "I like the simplicity of your title. How did you arrive at "Blazon?" To which Woloch replies, "This question makes me smile because I think that I'm very bad at titles and therefore I always just go for the simplest, most obvious and least potentially embarrassing thing."

I love the honesty in these interviews and the wisdom. I actually went through and read the interviews first.

I remember when this book was coming into being and there were calls for submissions for poems written from the exercises and honestly, I'm bummed I never got my act together to submit as I feel The Crafty Poet will be making the rounds for a long time as there is a lot of information included for poets of all levels, though beginners may have a bit of a learning-curve if not familiar with poetic terms. Recommended for the poet's shelf!