Be a Better Poet!

During a recent poetry presentation I gave, I passed out a bibliography of books that all poets, both beginners and experienced would be wise to read at some point.  My bibliography will make a difference in the way you write poetry no matter what level you are at. If you are experienced, these will make you think about how you write poetry and give you a lot of insight on how you can perfect or switch gears in your writing of the genre.

I hope you enjoy reading these books either in part or in full through your decades of writing. They will trigger your distinctive poetic voice, no matter what form  you write. Though some deal with creativity in general, they can be easily applied to the art of poetry.

Groenemann, Jan. Through the Inner Eye: Awakening to the Creative Spirit. Dubuque, IA: Islewest Publishing, 1994.

Kipfer, Barbara. 14,000 Things to Be Happy About. New York: Workman Publishing Company, 2014. (Kipfer is a lexicographer, and her book contains many concrete, imagistic nouns and phrases that will spur your memory of things around you.)


Kooser, Ted. The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2005. (This book is good for experienced poets, too–lots of ideas they probably have missed.)


Kooser, Ted. The Wheeling Year: A Poet’s Field Guide. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2014. (A sequence of contemplative prose observations about nature during each month of the year. It is rich in images and descriptive usage of verbs.)


Lyne, Sanford. Writing Poetry from the Inside Out: Finding Your Voice Through the Craft of Poetry. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 2007.

Perrine, Laurence, and Thomas R. Arp. Sound and Sense: An Introduction to Poetry. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1991.

Ueland, Brenda. If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence, and Spirit. Toronto: Hushion House, 1997. (Great for poets–a book on spiritual growth, writing, and creativity.)


Wooldridge, Susan G. Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. New York: Broadway Books, 1997.

Copyright 2015 by Charlotte Digregorio.


About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. I recently received an Official Commendation from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of five non-fiction books: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; and Your Original Personal Ad. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. I have won forty-seven poetry awards, writing twelve poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
This entry was posted in Appreciating Poetry, Beginning Poets, creative writing, Creativity, Experienced Poets, Poems, Poetic Voice, Poetry, Poetry Books, Writing Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Be a Better Poet!

  1. Hi,

    I ´ve just discovered your blog. As a native french speaker I write mainly poems in french.
    How can I send you some of my haikus in english or in french?

    Havé a nice Day.

    Arthur Hidden

    • Arthur, Thank you for writing. It is “haiku” both singular and plural. I hope you enjoy The Daily Haiku. In fact, please read all the instructional posts I have written on haiku and senryu. You will get a real education on what haiku and senryu are and what they aren’t. They are misunderstood by the public, for the most part. And, my book, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All is a great educational tool, as many have found. Best Wishes, Charlotte

    • haikutec says:

      Hi Arthur,

      Ah, so you are a French speaker as first language?

      I believe you are allowed, in French, to be correct to say Les Haikus instead of the Rest of the World convention to say ‘haiku’ for singular and plural haiku poems. 🙂

      Charlotte has brought out a fine book on haiku which would be very useful, as well as her posts on this blog.

      In the meantime, I have some haiku translated into French, with commentary:

      warm regards,


      • Are you fluent in French, Alan? Or did someone else translate them? I would be happy to read your haiku in French.

      • Arthur says:

        Hello Alan,

        French is my first language and your area17 is very interesting.

        I read poems in english and I am very interested by the issues of translation,
        For example I am reading Hopkins (english/franche translation/you tube reading)
        In this case translation is a dangerous adventure!
        It’s far easier to translate Dickinson and for Haiku(s)?
        I am not sure yet.
        Warm regards to both of you


      • haikutec says:

        Hi Charlotte,

        My father was a francophile, but these were done by former fellow Haijinx editor Serge Tomé. 🙂

        Analysis of the Haiku structure in the work of Alan Summers (French/Français)
        by Serge Tomé, Liège, Belgium:

        Serge was wonderful to work with when Haijinx was around. 🙂

        warm regards,


      • Thoughtful and skillful translations.

      • haikutec says:

        Thanks for reply Arthur

        Re “translation is a dangerous adventure!”, a good translator has to be so many things, and they should be honest enough to know it’s not quite possible to translate, but you can give a good version which is also a good poem. 🙂

        Serge Tomé is a poet, and haiku editor, and is a very thoughtful and socially conscious person, so I feel he will do his utmost to render a fair ‘version’ and also create a good poem out of the two languages.

        Regarding Emily Dickinson, does it translate well to another language? Well if Shakespeare in Klingon is superior to many other languages it’s been translated into, who knows. 🙂

        Thanks Charlotte re “Thoughtful and skillful translations.” That’s definitely Serge. 🙂

        warm regards,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s