The Craft

The Craft: A Guide to Making Poetry Happen in the 21st Century

Edited by Rishi Dastidar

Price £14.99

ISBN: 978-1-911027-85-0

eISBN: 978-1-911027-86-7

Date:  14th November 2019

Format: Paperback

Extent: 180 pp


The Craft is an indispensable guide to both the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of poetic craft in the 21st century, and essential writing-desk companion for poets at all stages. 

The book covers practical techniques – the nuts of bolts of putting poems together, mastering poetic forms such as sonnets, sestinas, prose poems and golden shovels, how to choose titles for your poems and the art of long sequences.  It also explores the idea of ‘craft’ itself -  knowing how pentameters dance is important, but by no way is it the only dimension of ‘craft’ that the poet starting out today has to consider. What about sound and the skills involved in performing your work? What about truth and fabrication, and the ethics of using real life in your work? What about the politics of the word ‘craft’ itself?

Following on from the best-selling Nine Arches Press’ creative writing handbooks 52: Write a Poem a Week. Start Now. Keep Going, and How to be a Poet (Jo Bell & Jane Commane), The Craft brings together a selection of contemporary poetry’s most skilled practitioners to share ideas and inspiration on the making of poems.


With essays on poetry from:


Moniza Alvi, Dean Atta, Liz Berry, Caroline Bird, Malika Booker, Debjani Chatterjee, Jane Commane, Rishi Dastidar, Carrie Etter, Will Harris, Tania Hershman, Peter Kahn, Gregory Leadbetter, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Roy McFarlane, Harry Man, Claire Pollard, Peter Raynard, Roger Robinson, Jacqueline Saphra, Joelle Taylor, Marvin Thompson, Julia Webb, and Antosh Wojcik.

About the Editor:

Rishi Dastidar’s poetry has been published by the Financial Times, Tate Modern and the Southbank Centre amongst many others, and has featured in the anthologies Adventures in Form (Penned in the Margins) and Ten: The New Wave (Bloodaxe). A fellow of The Complete Works, the Arts Council England funded programme for BAME poets in the UK, he is a consulting editor at The Rialto magazine, a member of the Malika’s Poetry Kitchen collective, and also serves as a chair of the writer development organization Spread The Word. His poetry collections are Ticker-tape and Saffron Jack (Nine Arches Press).

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How to be a Poet combines advice, ideas and encouragement from experienced poets and editors in topical chapters to examine both the technical and creative dimensions of being a poet. 

With special guest essays from Mona Arshi, Clive Birnie, Rishi Dastidar, Jonathan Davidson, Abi Palmer, Robert Peake and Joelle Taylor.  

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The Nine Arches Press blog features poems from many of our poets, as well as interviews and articles.

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