How to Grow Your Own Poem

Kate Clanchy

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03 September 2020

Do you want to write a poem? This book will show you ‘how to grow your own poem’ . . .

Kate Clanchy has been teaching people to write poetry for more than twenty years. Some were old, some were young; some were fluent English speakers, some were not. None of them were confident to start with, but a surprising number went to win prizes and every one finished up with a poem they were proud of, a poem that only they could have written – their own poem.

Kate’s big secret is a simple one: is to share other poems. She believes poetry is like singing or dancing and the best way to learn is to follow someone else. In this book, Kate shares the poems she has found provoke the richest responses, the exercises that help to shape those responses into new poems, and the advice that most often helps new writers build their own writing practice.

If you have never written a poem before, this book will get you started. If you have written poems before, this book will help you to write more fluently and confidently, more as yourself. This book not like other creative writing books. It doesn’t ask you to set out on your own, but to join in. Your invitation is inside.

This is the best book I’ve read about how to practise writing poetry.

Hollie McNish (on Twitter)

This determinedly unintimidating manual should prove valuable to teachers and aspirant poets. Clanchy's classroom is a giving and forgiving one: she expects her students to perform, but potentially only for themselves.

Sunday Times

This primer on writing is a literary Haynes manual, helping you to jump-start your stuttering thoughts into a smoothly purring poem. The no-nonsense Clanchy knows exactly who you need to read and how you should go about it.

Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph