Few of us begin to write a poem about "death" or "desire". In fact, most of us begin by either looking outward: that blue bowl, those shoes, these three white clouds. Or inward: I remember, I imagine, I wish, I wonder, I want... the trick is to find out what we know, challenge what we know, own what we know, and then give it away in language: I love my brother, I hate winter, I always lose my keys.
Of course... but a good reminder. Featuring well-written chapters on creative subjects like The Family, Death and Grief, Writing the Erotic, Witnessing, Poetry of place, and including fine exemplary poems by the likes of Li Young Lee, Philip Levine and Susan Mitchell -- plus of course all those intriguing writing prompts -- it shows once again that there's always lots of ground to cover, and gives valuable clues as to how to approach that ground. In a world flush to the gills with how-to books on writing, this one distinguishes itself.