Pub. Date:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within

Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within

by Kim Addonizio
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In this fresh approach to writing poetry, the coauthor of the perennially popular The Poet's Companion offers sharp insights into the craft of writing.

"The creative process is just that," maintains Kim Addonizio. "Not a means to an end, but an ongoing participation." A widely acclaimed poet and finalist for the National Book Award, Addonizio meditates on her own process as she encourages writers to explore both their personal and political worlds, to seek inspiration from poets new and old, and to discover the rich poetic resources of the Internet. Lively, accessible, and informative, Ordinary Genius provides wisdom gleaned through personal experience and offers a heady variety of writing exercises. Chapters on gender, addiction, race and class, metaphor and line invite each individual writer to find and to hone his or her unique voice. This is the perfect book for both experienced writers and beginners eager to glimpse the angel of poetry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393334166
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 02/16/2009
Edition description: Original
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 174,761
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

A finalist for the National Book Award, Kim Addonizio has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEA Fellowships, and a Pushcart Prize. She divides her time between living in Oakland, California, and New York City.

Table of Contents

introduction 13

I entering poetry

1 leaping in the dark 19

2 make a book 23

3 first thought, worst thought 27

4 getting started 32

5 opening doors 47

6 your genius, your demons 55

7 line, breath & vision 61

8 by heart: a Shakespeare sonnet 77

9 describe this 81

10 read this 92

II inner and outer worlds

11 identity 1: boys, girls & bodies 99

12 three meditations 109

13 by heart: a love poem 113

14 love & sex poems 115

15 me, myself & i 127

16 what you don't know 135

17 three observations 145

18 the pain-body 148

19 ha! working with humor 156

20 identity 2: race, class & privilege 164

21 the whiskey on your breath: addictions 170

III the poem's progress

22 metaphor 1: the shimmer 179

23 white heat, necessary coldness 187

24 a bag of tricks 199

25 the poem's progress 204

26 metaphor 2: parts & the whole 217

27 enchantments: myths & fairy tales 226

IV toward mastery

28 music & meter 237

29 write a sonnet 249

30 a poem you love: close reading 256

31 page to stage: performance 259

32 word/art: make a broadside 263

33 two heads: collaborations 269

34 do-overs & revisions 273

35 publishing & the pinocchio syndrome 287

36 mirror at the end of the road 294

appendix A poems & poetry resources online 299

appendix B recommended reading 303

credits 309

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Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Ordinary Genius" is brilliantly written and humourous. Addonizio included her personality in the writing which gives it some awesome character. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to being writing poetry or a poet who is looking to improve their craft. It definitely helped me!