“My job isn’t to make you a poet. You’re a poet already. My job is to show you a slew of techniques and tricks and processes that will make you the best poet you can possibly be,” writes poet and critic David Kirby in The Knowledge: Where Poems Come From and How to Write Them, a playful and comprehensive craft book that walks readers through the stages of writing a poem, as well as what it is to build a life around the art form. With engaging chapter titles such as “Accidents Will Happen,” “Cruelty, or Readers Like Pleasure but They Adore Pain,” and “Furbelows, Lozenges, and Doohickeys,” the award-winning professor of English at Florida State University invites writers of all stages to craft poems the way Jimi Hendrix talked about making music: “Learn everything, forget it, and play.” As much a craft book as an anthology, the work of writers such as Joy Harjo, Terrance Hayes, Franny Choi, and Natalie Diaz are included with astute analysis, along with unique prompts for any writer seeking to liven up their skills along the way.
Find details about every creative writing competition—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, grants for translators, and more—that we’ve published in the Grants & Awards section of Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it in the Writing Contests database, the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.