Edited by Neil Shepard and Tamra Higgins
This anthology offers thought-provoking essays on the elements of poetic craft by some of Vermont’s leading poets. It will be an exciting and invaluable resource, whether you are an accomplished poet or a reader curious about poetry’s allure, a student seeking insights into poetic craft or a teacher seeking ways to impart these. Among this eclectic group of essayists are two Vermont poets-laureate as well as many poets with award-winning books and national prizes. One commonality amongst them is their love of Vermont – its readers and writers, its landscapes and values – and their desire to communicate through poetic means. Their essays here emphasize the importance of poetic craft – the sounds and cadences that make the poem’s content come alive; the vivid images that create a sensate world in which the poem exists; the metaphorical connections that clarify or augment what readers cannot sometimes access directly; the shape of lines and stanzas that provide a visible, almost tangible pattern on which the words are strung. While Vermont Poets and Their Craft is partly a local affair, discussing Vermont poems and poetic concepts that resonate for writers here in the Green Mountains, it reflects ideas about poetic craft that come down to us from several thousand years ago and several thousand miles away.
Mary Jane Dickerson