Your Neighborhood Bibliographer Wants to Know

What do you consider the best instructional texts in creative writing (particularly in poetry and creative non-fiction)?


Antoine said...

I've only got one for fiction: Making Shapely Fiction by Jerome Stern. Nothing better in my experience.

Cheers, A

Toad Press said...

Here are a few that I've used (for poetry):

In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet's Portable Workshop--Steve Kowitt
The Making of a Poem (A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms)--ed. Mark Strand and Eavan Boland
The Teachers and Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms--ed. Ron Padgett
The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing--Richard Hugo.

The Hugo is great for students to buy; the others I've mainly used only sections of to discuss in class.

kclou said...

Bret's book--Naming the World--has some cool exercises. I really like Baxter's Burning Down the House. Two classics--Forster's Aspects of the Novel and Gardner's The Art of Fiction--hold up well.

HGF said...

Totally agree with Antoine about the Stern. Haven't read Bret's yet, but I second the Baxter, Gardner, and Forster, too. They're all solid--although the Baxter's not really for beginners, I don't think. I learned a lot from Janet Burroway, but I don't know if I'd make it a course backbone anymore. It's too expensive and it's structural in some make-believe ways. Points of View by Moffett and McElheny is a little gem. Cheap mass-market, broad selection of stories, and a valuable approach to POV that goes beyond the categories of 1st/2nd/3rd and close/omniscient, etc.