More Books to Help Your Writing

Friends who write poetry asked if I had a recommendation for them, and I do.

An excellent craft & ideas book for poets is The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux. They are both wonderful poets themselves.

I also recommend reading what's getting published and what's winning awards; I've always learned a great deal by analyzing actual texts, looking at themes, images, sentence lengths--everything I could think of.

Prizewinning anthologies that I've found valuable:

For fiction, Best American Short Stories and O. Henry Prize Stories
For poetry, Best American Poetry
For fiction and poetry: the Pushcart Prize Anthologies.

In my early writing years, I would buy these, read and re-read them and mark them up. I'd spend a long time with each story, looking at a different element each time, such as Setting or Dialogue.I'd mark these things up with different colored hi-liters.This made it easier for me to discern patterns.

Hope this is helpful. I'd love to know about your favorite craft books/ anthologies and your methods for learning from them.