On Writing Poetry

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On Writing Poetry



Why write poetry

How to approach the learning of poetry writing

Why take poetry writing workshops

How do you know if your efforts are successful

Writing in defined forms such as sonnets and sestinas


Choosing a topic to write about

On the benefits of writing

The value of getting your poems published

What to do if your friends think poetry writing is stupid

Pursuing an MFA

Putting a book together


Poetry in the real world

Belonging to a poetry group

Getting your book published

The state of poetry publishing

Writing translations

Motivation to continue writing

About the author


This document contains mostly humorous (though true) riffs on the practice of writing poetry. They are intended for people who are interested in learning about poetry writing but are not sure if they want to be entertained or enlightened. As to what qualifies me to offer these insights, I can safely say that it is not the many years I've spent writing poetry, or the fact that I received an MFA from a prestigious college in Boston. Rather, it is that I was recently invited to read some of my stuff at Michelangelo's Rooftop Bar in Toad Suck Square, Conway, Arkansas. That, I believe, is qualification enough.

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2009, Ron A. Kalman