Why I Write Poetry

Why I Write Poetry: Essays on Becoming a Poet, Keeping Going and Advice for the Writing Life

Edited by Ian Humphreys

Cover artwork Ria Dastidar, Uberpup http://www.uberpup.net/

Price £14.99

ISBN: 978-1-913437-29-9

eISBN: 978-1913437-30-5

Date:  25th November 2021

Format: Paperback

Extent: 240 pp

CBV: Creative Writing Guide

What motivates poets in the 21st century? How do they find their voice? What themes and subject matters inspire them? How do they cope with set-backs and deal with success? What keeps them writing? Why I Write Poetry, edited by Ian Humphreys, combines lively and thought-provoking essays, along with individual writing prompts to help you create your own new poetry.


In this book, twenty-five contemporary poets reflect with insight, wit and wisdom on the writing life. Each offers their distinctive take on what inspires and spurs them on to write poetry. The essays shine a light on everything from performance, dialect, the body and paying attention, to bearing witness, finding your wings and joining the journey of poetry, and encompass the practical, personal, and political. Within these pages, you’ll discover how a poet’s background and values can fundamentally shape and inform their work. New voices sit alongside poets with many collections under their belts and you’ll find encouragement, creative provocations, advice and, above all, reasons to write. Read on, learn and enjoy.


With essays by:

Romalyn Ante, Khairani Barokka, Hafsah Aneela Bashir, Leo Boix, Vahni Capildeo, Mary Jean Chan, Jo Clement, Sarah Corbett, Jane Commane, Rishi Dastidar, Jonathan Edwards, Rosie Garland, W. N. Herbert, Ian Humphreys, Keith Jarrett, Zaffar Kunial, Rachel Mann, Andrew McMillan, Kim Moore, Pascale Petit, Jacqueline Saphra, Clare Shaw, Daniel Sluman, Jean Sprackland, and Jennifer Wong.

Praise for Why I Write Poetry:

"This is a startling book, with far more reach, truth, and daring than most books that are attempted on this subject." - David Morley


Ian Humphreys lives in West Yorkshire. His debut poetry collection Zebra is with Nine Arches Press. His work is widely published in journals including The Poetry Review, The Rialto and Magma. Awards include first prize in the Hamish Canham Prize, and highly commended in the Forward Prizes for Poetry. Zebra was nominated for the Portico Prize. A fellow of The Complete Works, Ian’s poems are showcased in Ten: Poets of the New Generation (Bloodaxe). www.ianhumphreyspoet.com




You may also like...

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

Join us here.