On Craft

On Craft: Sarah Manguso on Connection

"You cannot make a connection by throwing yourself against a locked door a thousand times. To do this is to confuse the door with the person behind it." Sarah Manguso, author of Ongoingness, writes about connection.

On Craft: Tom Sleigh on Haibun, Bashō, the Poet as Journalist as Poet

"These moments of texture are far more interesting to me than writing a coherent 'story.'" Station Zed author Tom Sleigh on the Poet as Journalist as Poet.

On Craft: Having Gravity and Having Weight, by Robert Boswell

"[A] single story may have millions of slightly different iterations in the minds of its readers—sibling stories sharing the same DNA but with demonstrably different lives." Beloved writer and teacher Robert Boswell shares his thoughts on meaning in fiction.

On Craft: Carl Phillips on the Art of Daring

Read an excerpt from the latest book in Graywolf's Art of series, Carl Phillips's The Art of Daring: Risk, Restlessness, Imagination.

On Craft: Seven Parables, by Nick Lantz

"A poem’s title is affixed to the poem, integral to the poem, but also not the poem. . . ." Nick Lantz discusses modes of relation between poems and their titles.

On Craft: Jeff Shotts on the Art of Rejection

Graywolf Press executive editor Jeff Shotts meditates on rejection letters and laments he has to become better at writing them. “Someone should offer a rejection-letter writing workshop,” he writes. “This would be my application essay.”

On Craft: Mary Szybist on Visual Poetry

"The first visual poem I loved is not really a visual poem—or rather, it was not originally created to be one. Let me explain." Mary Szybist, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry, writes about her fascination with visual poetry.

On Craft: Tony Hoagland on "Image Out of Sound"

"Images are the most “solid-seeming” thing in a poem. In the way that a noun is more solid than a verb or an adjective, the image anchors a poem, holds it in place." Tony Hoagland writes about poetry's power to create images from words.

On Craft: Harryette Mullen on Starting a Tanka Diary

"My tanka diary began with a desire to strengthen a sensible habit by linking it to a pleasurable activity: A daily practice of walking and writing poetry." Harryette Mullen, author of Urban Tumbleweed, writes about starting her tanka diary amid the nature of Southern California.

On Craft: Kathryn Davis on Transition

"A real transition is far more than what’s better left unsaid, what can’t be said in so many words. A real transition asks us to supply what hasn’t been made overt..." Kathryn Davis joins our "On Craft" series with a thoughtful piece on transition.

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