How to Practice Your Poetry: Diane Lockward’s Latest Craft Book

After I tell you about a new book for poets, I’ll tell you where I was at the end of last week 😉 so keep reading. Hint: fabulous hotel in Phoenix.

Diane Lockward has published her third wonderful craft book, The Practicing PoetClick on the following image to find the book at Amazon.

If you have read her earlier books, The Crafty Poet and The Crafty Poet II you already know how incredibly helpful Diane’s “portable workshops” are.  Although the new book is third in the series, you can start with any of the books. They all offer tips, prompts, and sample poems, based on the prompts. There is also a connection with the free newsletter that Diane publishes. You can sign up for the newsletter here.

I will tell you that one of the sample poems was contributed by moi. The prompt, which I first encountered in one of the newsletters, involved choosing a home you once lived in and returning to it after a long absence. I wrote about the house of my early childhood in “Finding the House on Trimble Street.” I wrote it in the form of a haibun (a prose poem that ends with a haiku), although the prompt had not asked for that form. This is one of my favorite parts of the poem: “Sometimes it was a tornado with its green sky, and sometimes it was a bomb with its puff of smoke and a white rabbit in the magician’s hat.”

I’ve loved Lockward’s first two craft books more than any other that I’ve used in the past, so I can’t wait to practice my poetry with this one.


This past Thursday-Saturday was the NonfictioNOW conference that was held in Phoenix at the gorgeously reconstructed Renaissance Phoenix Hotel. My friend Kimberly is a cohort from the Stanford creative nonfiction program we were in, and we were able to spend time together. I also saw local friends at the conference, as well. Some good sessions, one not so interesting to me, and all in all a good experience. I want to give a lil shoutout to the Renaissance. They were positively amazing. They had plenty of smiling staff to help, from parking our cars, to helping us find our way, to serving breakfast and beverages and so on. I have never had a hotel experience with such attentive staff. Unlike the AWP in Tampa last March where I was parched and couldn’t get to water between sessions, water stations were set up and refilled frequently. If you are a nonfiction writer, this is a conference you might want to consider for 2019 or 2020. 2019 will be outside the U.S., but I believe 2020 will be back in a location here.

When entering the Renaissance . . .

A sitting area in the lobby


A massive ballroom light fixture




Filed under Book Review, Poetry, Writing, Writing prompt

7 responses to “How to Practice Your Poetry: Diane Lockward’s Latest Craft Book

  1. Well, that does look like a gorgeous hotel. Did you actually stay there or did you commute from your house? You’ve got me thinking about poetry a lot (just thinking) and nonfiction. I keep lining up free online writing courses and then wonder where I expect to find the time if I complain that I don’t have time to work on my existing novel. I guess I just want to write … not worry about what I write until later 😉

    • You’re right that I didn’t actually stay there ;), but commute from home. But I can imagine it is a lovely experience to stay there. I hear you on the courses. I’ve often wondered that myself, but then I always end up learning something, so I hope that the end product will be all the better for it. Of course, at some point we need to just move forward hahaha.

  2. Thanks for all the information, Luanne! That hotel experience and staff sound unbelievable. 🙂

    • It was such a wonderful experience. That staff was remarkable. I keep meaning to review them on google or yelp or something! You should get this book, Merril! The prompts are so varied and the tips wonderful.

  3. It sounds as though you’ve been filling your head with some good inspiration Luanne – both written and at the conference and it must be very satisfying to have a poem in a craft book.

    • Especially such a gorgeous book. I really can’t stress enough what wonderful craft books Lockward writes. You are right about the inspiration, Andrea. Just what we writers all need!

  4. Thanks, Luanne. Congrats on the poem. I will look up info for that conference.

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