For the Poet Novitiate
The Crafted Poem.
Toronto: Wordwrights Canada, 1994. 58pp, paper, $8.95.
Writing Reader-Friendly Poetry
Toronto: Wordwrights Canada, 1995. 24pp, paper, $5 95.
Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up.
Review by Liam C. Rodrigues.
Reader-friendly poetry is writing that communicates. It reaches beyond confession, shrugs off literary fashion, and bypasses the esoteric and avant-garde, to put the reader first. No matter where a poem springs from, spilling thoughts onto paper in private shorthand is not enough. Reader friendly poetry is a public art. Its authors must select, expand, arrange, and edit their raw inspiration to create a new whole -- one that is open and accessible, one that engages the reader through five senses as well as the mind and emotions. Reader-friendly poetry aims not to puzzle, not to preach, but to share.
from Writing Reader-Friendly Poems
Collected from a series of columns that appeared in the Arts Scarborough Newsletter between September 1980 and June 1985, The Crafted Poem is Susan loannou's third book on writing. A poet herself, Ioannou's sensitivity to the material originates from a practical relationship with it. It is appropriate then that The Crafted Poem reflects on the construction of poetry.
Published subsequently, Writing Reader-Friendly Poetry is something of a follow-up to The Crafted Poem. Less romantic and freer of the "vogue parlance" that infiltrates the 1994 publication (although one would never guess from the title), these fifty odd "Rules of Thumb for Clearer Communication" are to revision and editing what The Crafted Poem is to composition.
Recommended with reservations.
Liam C. Rodrigues is a Toronto-area writer interested in art, archicture, poetry, and all that liberal arts stuff.
Copyright © 1995 the Manitoba Library Association.
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