Further Reading

» Poetry Writing Guides
» Reference Manuals
» Publishing References

Poetry Writing Guides

Getting Into Poetry: A Readers' & Writers' Guide to the Poetry Scene (Paul Hyland, Bloodaxe Books)
Hyland has written a complete guide to entering the world of poetry: advice on publishing, entering competitions, submission guidelines, historical references and movements, and poetic names and resources of which the beginning writer should be aware.

The Making of a Poem (Mark Strand and Eavan Boland, Norton Books USA)
This book outlines the works of many modern poets, giving insight into the various poetic forms and movements that have affected modern poetry. Metered poetry is given special attention, providing clear and concise descriptions of many potentially confusing forms and styles.

The Making of a Sonnet (Eavan Boland and Edward Hirsch, Norton Books USA)
Boland and Hirsch trace the sonnet from its historical background through the contemporary resurgence of the form. They draw on hundreds of examples and give analysis on the endurance and transformation of the sonnet form.

A Poet’s Guide to Poetry (Mary Kinzie, The University of Chicago Press)
Mary Kinzie focuses not only on poetic forms, but the ways in which these forms can be manipulated to create certain meanings and incorporate historical backdrops. She describes how poems enable particular thoughts and images and gives opinions on how to create these moments In personal poetry.

A Poetry Handbook (Mary Oliver, Houghton Mifflin)
Oliver seeks to create a basic, accessible guide to the forms and sounds of poetry.  She gives information on poetic forms as well as guides to writing and reading poetry with subtlety.  She draws on examples from many contemporary poets.

Poetry: Reading It, Writing It, Publishing It (Jessie Lendennie, Salmon Poetry)
Lendennie has created a guide for the beginning poet, discussing the process and the creative work of writing.  Included also in the book are essays and discussions by major poets describing their processes of writing and reading.

The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide (Robert Pinsky, MacMillan)
Pinsky gives a basic guide to some of the elements and tools of poetry.  Various meters and tropes are discussed along with examples from various poets, from Donne to contemporary writers.

The Poetry Home Repair Manual (Ted Kooser, University of Nebraska Press)
The former US Poet Laureate gives advice for poets in a contemporary market. Kooser tells it as he sees it, giving writing advice as well as criticisms of current trends. He offers practical advice on publishing and marketing in the sphere of contemporary poetry.

The Portable Creative Writing Workshop (Pat Boran, Dedalus Press)
Prize-winning poet and publisher Pat Boran gives practical assistance that covers everything from ideas for generating raw material to form and technique in poetry, to a section for those considering their own first steps towards publication. 

Rules for the Dance (Mary Oliver, Houghton Mifflin)
Oliver gives a lyrical guide to the somtimes complicated and intimidating world of meter and rhyme. The book is concise and clear with plenty of examples from contemporary poets.

Writing Poems by Peter Sansom, Bloodaxe Books
Samson gives advice from his long experience as poetry and workshop leader. He attempts to give the poet constructive advice on writing better and more clearly. The book is also structured as a guide for teachers of poetry.

Writing to Get Published: Brining the Dream Alive (Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, Collca)
Tips on writing and getting your book published from The Inkwell Group's Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin, bringing together advice from Inkwell Writers’ Workshops and the bestselling authors who facilitate them, as well as Vanessa's own years of experience as a literary scout.


Reference Manuals

The Chicago Manual of Style
A guide to formatting and stylistic information for writing for different mediums: print journalism, novels, poetry, non-fiction manuscripts, memos and correspondences are discussed with their various stylistic minutiae. 

The Elements of Style: 4th Edition (Strunk & White, Longman)
One of the top reference manuals for fiction writers. Strunk gives instruction on grammar and style, clarity and semantics. This is an invaluable guide to the nuts and bolts of written communication.

The New Oxford Guide to Writing (Thomas S. Kane, Oxford University Press)
This is an essential reference for beginning writers and a mainstay for experienced writers, as well.  The New Oxford Guide focuses on clarity and function in writing, giving advice and references for many grammatical and content-related problems that the writer may encounter.


Publishing References

Literary Press and Magazine Directory (Council of Literary Magazines and Presses)
This guide focuses mainly on independent publishers and magazines, offering a new and more varied range of publishing options for poets and writers who are looking for more unconventional outlets for their work.

Poet's Market (Writer's Digest Books)
Poet’s Market is a staple of publishing guides. Outlining publishers and tips mostly for US and Canadian outlets, this book can be an invaluable resource for getting a first book published.

Writers and Artists Yearbook (A & C Black, London)
The annual edition of the best-selling guide to all aspects of the media and how to write and get published. 

Find out more

» Browse our recommended anthologies of Irish poetry
» Search our Feature Articles on poetry and related topics