You can't write good poetry unless you read good poetry

If you are a poet, reading poetry should be something you want to do, sometimes it should be pleasure. You won't be taken seriously

as a poet if you don't read poetry.

It's more than useful to be familiar with the poetry of the past, good poetry has been written throughout the ages and an understanding

of the ways in which poetry has developed will serve you well, but you should certainly read contemporary poetry. c/f Staying Alive

Reading poetry is one of the best and most inspiring ways to learn about the art and craft of writing poetry.

Try to read a poem every day.

A good anthology is really useful. Staying Alive and Being Alive, both published by Bloodaxe Books, are good places to start.

If you don't want to buy them then your library should have copies or be able to order them.

Single poems can also be found on the web, see for example: Poetry Archive; The Poetry Library ; The Poetry Society.

Single Poet Collections offer a deeper, and in many ways more satisfying, engagement with the poetry of an individual poet. 

Simon Armitage has written an irreverent guide for poetry readers it can be found on the Poetry Book Society website here

Also recommended:  

52 Ways of Looking at a Poem by Ruth Padel


The Poem and the Journey by Ruth Padel

This section looks at what you should be doing to develop both artistically and professionally as a poet.

The advice here will help you to develop your skills in the art and the craft of writing poetry, and also, your understanding of how the world of poetry

is organised in the U.K. You need to understand both in order to progress.


Reading Poetry

The first and best piece of advice, the beautiful golden rule, is:

You can't write good poetry unless you read good poetry...

Reading Poetry



Writing Poetry

How A Poem Begins

 A poem may begin with a good idea

or with a keen desire to say something,

it may begin with one single resonant phrase or line...

Writing Poetry



Developing a Publishing Strategy

Set yourself four deadline dates over the next twelve months. The first in three months time, the scond in six months time, the third in nine

months time, the fourth in 12 months time...

Developing a Publishing Strategy



Joining a Poetry Group

You might want to see the impact a poem has on a group of informed and interested readers, or there might be a particular problem of

composition you want an opinion on, you might simply want the group to confirm your poem is ripe to be sent to a poetry magazine or


Joining a Poetry Group



Finding a Mentor

Many poets find having a mentor extremely helpful...

Finding a Mentor



Arvon Foundation Courses

Many poets and writers claim that attending an Arvon course has changed their lives. Others may not quite go that far but will say that the course

they have attended has enthused, inspired and given them a great deal of confidence...

Arvon Foundation



Courses, Classes and Workshops

Courses, Classes and Workshops



The Poetry Society & The Poetry Book Society

It is well worth joining the Poetry Society & the Poetry Book Society. Both provide key information to the world of poetry...

The Poetry Society

The Poetry Book Society



Key Recommended Websites