Tag Archives: writing poetry

Staff Picks for Poetry Month: Part 2

17 Apr

Sharing Your Poetry and Getting Published

Literary Market Place


Once you have begun writing poetry, you will want to begin sharing it with others.  The library has some great resources for finding a literary home for your work.  Literary Market Place is a directory for all genres of Writing, but its subject index allows you to easily narrow your focus to Publishers of Poetry.  Literary Market Place provides addresses, phone numbers, website, and emails for contacting publisher.  It also includes some basic information about the publishers such as number of titles that are typically published annually.  Besides publishers Literary Market Place includes information on editorial services and agents.  If you are looking for contact information for publishers whose work you have enjoyed, Literary Market Place is a good place to look, however, it is always a good idea once you found a potential “home” for your poetry to do a bit more research on the publisher to familiarize yourself with them and learn more about submission guidelines.  The library has a copy of Literary Market Place on the second floor next to the reference desk.

Poet’s Market


Another excellent resource, Poet’s Market, is also located near the reference desk.  Poet’s Market focuses specifically on poetry and lists contests and grants in addition to journals, book and chapbook publisher. Entries include information on the type of writing that the journal publishes, contact information along with tips from the publishers.  Poet’s Market is a good choice for those starting out since it also includes articles for beginning writers like mistakes to avoid when submitting your work and how to avoid scams.  It will even give you useful tips like a template for writing a cover letter and how to calculate postage. The library has a copy of Poet’s Market on the second floor next to the reference desk.

The library subscribes to several writing magazines including The Writer, Writer’s Digest, and Poets & WritersPoet & Writers includes along with insightful articles for writers, a classified section with journals and chapbook publishers looking for submissions.  Sometimes publishers may be working on an anthology on a specific topic such as one publisher in the March/April 2013 issue that is searching for poems about superheroes.

Park Bench Open-Mic

Of course beyond publishing you may want to interact with other writers and readers in person.  The Poet’s Market and Poets & Writers are also a resource for workshops and organizations.  Although poetry is enjoyable on the written page it can come alive when read aloud.  If you would like to read your work to a friendly audience, than you will enjoy the library’s Open Mics which will be beginning on May 18th at 2:00pm.  You can contact Sacha at hobkref@bccls.org for more information about the Open Mics.  The Open Mics take place in Church Square Park across from the library and are a great way to share your writing with the Hoboken Community.  If you would like to discuss your work with other creative writers than consider joining the library’s Writer’s Group which meets one Thursday a month.  Our next meeting will be on May 9th at 6:00pm.  You can email us at hplwriters@gmail.com for more details about the Writers Group.

– Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

Staff Picks for Poetry Month – Part 1

15 Apr

How to Read a Poem…and Start a Poetry Circle by Molly Peacock

how to read a poem

Do you have doubts about your ability to read and understand poems? Do you nonetheless long to have poetry be a part of your life? If so, Molly Peacock’s How to Read a Poem…and Start a Poetry Circle may be the reading companion you’ve been looking for.

Part memoir, part reading guide, How to Read a Poem is a lyrical, personal exploration of the power and nuance of poetry. Peacock shares her own love of the art, describing how her favorite poems not only speak to her, but often speak for her, articulating aspects of her inner life that she herself had never found words for. This is true, she admits, even of poems she finds hard to fully comprehend. In other words, sometimes our bodies intuit the meaning and relevance of certain poems before our minds manage to decode them.

To help readers in our own deciphering of poems, Peacock invites us to think about poetry as a fusion of music, storytelling, and painting, with the line forming the music, the sentence telling the story, and the image showing us the poet’s vision.

She describes her joy not only in reading poetry for and by herself, but in sharing poems with friends who share her passion for the form. She tells of intimate gatherings where she and her companions each bring out a favorite poem—their talismans Peacock calls them since she carries beloved poems with her like charms—to read aloud over a meal. Whether two friends participate or many more, this reading to one another constitutes what Peacock calls a poetry circle. She states simply, “A poetry circle occurs when the mutual reading of poetry is at hand.”

Finally she offers an anthology of her talismans, with personal stories and startling insights to go with each poem. Thus, by reading Molly Peacock’s love treatise to poetry we become a part of her inner circle of poetry friends.

Immersed in Verse: an Informative, Slightly Irreverent and Totally Tremendous Guide to Living the Poet’s Life by Allan Wolf


Immersed in Verse is a guide for teens interested in reading poetry, writing poetry and generally living like a poet. While the book’s style is playful and inviting, the advice within is serious and sound, making it a great introduction to poetry for beginning writers of any age.

Wolf summons readers to “plunge into words”, to notice with all our senses how the world we live in touches and affects us. “Poems,” Wolf tells us, “are all around us waiting to be written.” He defines poetry as a communication of what’s inside us and invites readers to write about the things that catch our attention, burst into our minds, or live in our hearts. His enthusiasm for looking at the world as a poet does, fully awake, is inspiring and contagious.

Wolf then offers a ‘guided tour’ of the various types of poems—rhyming, free verse, sad poems, funny poems, teaching poems, apologizing poems, love poems, hate poems, dialogues, riddles and more. “By opening up the possibilities of what a poem can be,” he tells us, “you discover a diverse buffet.”

We learn the nine habits of highly successful poets, including doing more and watching less, writing every day, and being playful with words. Wolf also gives quick digestible lessons on metaphor, simile, personification, meter, rhythm, repetition and internal and external rhyme. He offers assignments and prompts to inspire writers and help us jumpstart their poems. Finally, Wolf provides tips for performing poetry, hosting a poetry bash, making our own poetry books and seeking publication.

Immersed in Verse is a fun and thorough introduction not only to writing poetry but to choosing poetry as a way of life.

– Ona Gritz, Young Adult Librarian

 Click on the picture of either book to reserve a copy for yourself!

how to read a poem Immersed47K

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