Finger Exercises for Poets (Paperback)

Finger Exercises for Poets By Dorianne Laux Cover Image

Finger Exercises for Poets (Paperback)

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An illuminating book of concise craft essays and exercises for poets, from Pulitzer Prize finalist and The Poet’s Companion coauthor Dorianne Laux.


From “a poet of immense insight and masterful craft” (Kwame Dawes), Finger Exercises for Poets is an engaging and inspiriting invitation to practice poetry alongside one of its masters. With wide-ranging examples from classic and contemporary poets, Dorianne Laux demystifies the magic of language that makes great poetry and offers generative exercises to harness that magic. She explores the syllable and the line, the use of form, poetic responses to contemporary events and personal experiences, the imaginative leap, and the power of a distinct voice. As she writes in the introduction, “My instrument is the immensity of language.… There are eighty-eight keys on a piano, six hundred thousand words in the English language. The patterns, sequences, and permutations of both are endless. For me, language is another kind of music.… I practice poetry. This book invites you to practice along with me.”


Throughout, Laux reminds us that poetry is a practice as much as an art and that poets must hone their language as a musician practicing an instrument.



Dorianne Laux’s poetry collections include the Pulitzer Prize finalist Only as the Day Is Long and Life On Earth. She received the Paterson Poetry Prize and is a founding faculty member of Pacific University’s low-residency MFA program. She lives in Richmond, California.
Product Details ISBN: 9781324050667
ISBN-10: 1324050667
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: July 30th, 2024
Pages: 144
Language: English