I’m not a poet, but I’ve read enough bad poetry to recognise what poets shouldn’t do…
I’m not a poet. In fact, one of the exercises in my guide to creative writing* is called the I-don’t-want-to-wrie-a-poem poetry exercise. The fact that I’m not a poet makes me well-qualified to support a writer taking their first tentative steps (you wouldn’t want to sit next to Bill Gates if you were just beginning to learn word processing, would you?) But how can I help someone who doesn’t need to be persuaded that poetry is a good thing, someone itching to write a prize-winning poem?
Well, I love poetry and I’ve also read enough bad poems to recognise some of the pitfalls. I’m writer in residence at the Hysterectomy Association and if you nip over to their blog devoted to Hysteria, their annual writing competition for women, you will find my list of five things poets shouldn’t do…(such as only choosing ‘poetic’ subjects to write about).
*Back to Creative Writing School is available in paperback and as an ebook
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