Sources Writers Poetry / PREPARATION




Always start with your local College and University courses. Normally they will offer extensive courses in writing techniques. You may consult our file on Graduate Schools or seek help through many private school offerings. Although many regard the writing of Poetry as the basis of all writing many regard it as a highly specialised craft. We hope that the below links will provide you with proper guidance and valuable information.

This is just one writers opinion but in my research I believe that the following site has the very best explanations of Poetry and the most comprehensive information on Poetry and its Society. Before you go too far please be sure to examine what this site has on offer.


Creative Writing - Poetry

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Study online with Gotham Writers Workshop. "Best of Web" – rating by Forbes


The following will provide a crash course in a basic understanding of the structure of Poetry:

Cinquain Poems


Five-line poems that are very easy to write.
Submit one through an automatic PIZZAZ form.

Diamante Poems


Diamond-shaped poems - real gems! Seven lines in all.
Submit one through an automatic PIZZAZ form.

Haiku Poems


A short, three-line poem (originally from Japan ) with the form: 5,7,5 syllables. Resources, examples, publishing opportunities.
Submit one through an automatic PIZZAZ form.

Headline Poems


Use popular media to create these interesting poems. Content courtesy of my University of Oregon colleague Iris Moye.



Resources, teaching ideas and contests.



A structured 8-line poem, biographical in nature. Works well as a pairs activity.

Renga and Renku Poems


Multi-authored poems from Japan

Sausage Poems


For vegetarians and carnivores alike, these simple chained poems are easy to write and fun to read.

Twist of Fate


A bi-directional poem or narrative.

Up and Down Poems


Adapted from Sylvia Helmer. A great finish-up for a recent theme/topic or event.

20 Consonant Poems


Quite a challenge to create! The site I originally used has gone offline. I offer this one in its place.

Writing Poetry: Approaches

No infallible advice can be given on how to write a poem. Poets develop their own approaches in time. Nonetheless, here are a few exercises to generate the raw copy.


1. Plan. Ask yourself:

How much time is available? Opening lines can be dashed off in minutes but completion may take days or weeks. Be cautious, and aim perhaps for 5-10 lines in an evening. Don't wait for the muse, but write what you can when you can. Odd phrases and lines are at least something to work from, and more inspiring than a blank page.

When you write letters or tell stories, do you usually start from a newspaper article you've read, an anecdote told or overheard, something witnessed, a general reflection? Start a poem in the way you're most comfortable with.

What sort of poem had you in mind? A story, a comment, a tribute, a protest, an elegy, a character study, a memorial? Skim through contemporary examples to start yourself off.

About the issues involved. Imagine the poem were a newspaper article: what points would you make, with what evidence and resounding arguments? Got it together? Go on then: let yourself go. Something will emerge.

2. Make sure the subject's important to you. Death of a friend or family member, rites of passage, the bitter sweetness of first love, one of life's turning points, old transgressions, a childhood incident, injustices, unacknowledged fears... Use a mask of the second or third person if the content is too personal or painful.

3. Give yourself up to reverie. Go for a walk, lie on the sofa and close your eyes, go to bed, cut out the surrounding world. Jot down the things that come you, in whatever order or confusion. Put the scribblings away for the present, and only open the folder hours or weeks later to see what you've got. You'll be amazed at what's inside you.

4. Free the imagination. Try:

Automatic writing. Say 5 minutes at a stretch, continuously, never stopping. Go through the material when you've collected in ten pages or so, and circle anything interesting.

Get a friend to say words at random. Write down the first response that comes to you. Build a poem around three of the words.

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