The Craft: A Guide to Making Poetry Happen in the 21st Century

Rishi Dastidar, editor
Published in 2019
by Nine Arches Press

“For so many of us, ‘craft’ is a word that is double-edged when it comes to writing poetry,” writes editor Rishi Dastidar in the foreword to this collection of essays that not only discusses poetic forms and devices but explores the idea of craft itself. Organized into four sections—“On Poetic Forms,” “On Making Poems,” “On Bringing Poems to Life,” and “Where Poetic Craft Meets Real Life”—the essays written by British poets such as Liz Berry, Debjani Chatterjee, Clare Pollard, Roger Robinson, and Will Harris cover practical techniques as well as topics ranging from the importance of voice to power and politics in poetry. The book concludes with a coda of questions to ask while writing a poem as well as helpful writing prompts and reading suggestions. This guide to poetic craft aims to invite all writers in to the many ways poetry is created. As Dastidar writes, “This collection of essays is an attempt, not to supplant craft in poetry or overthrow it, but rather to broaden and deepen what it means in the 21st century—making it live for all poets, no matter what tradition you’re writing in and from.”  

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