Capturing History in Verse: An Interview with Sherry Shahan

Continuing with our Master Class Series on Poetry and Verse Novels, today I’m thrilled to host an interview with Sherry Shahan.  She is the author of several books–both fiction and non-fiction, books for kids in preschool and books for teens–including a novel in verse.  Purple Daze is a fascinating story, giving a snapshot of the… Read more »

Reading Verse Novels

Today I’d like to welcome Caroline Starr Rose back to DIY MFA.  Caroline and I met through the blogsphere in 2010, when she hosted a Verse Novel Challenge on her blog.  Being a fan of verse novels, I joined the challenge and have had the pleasure of following her writing and publishing journey ever since. … Read more »

Poetry Reading List and Resources

I’m guessing that after a week of reading about how great poetry is, you might be ready to dive in and read or write some poems of your own. But where to start?  With all the literary resources out there, where do you go to find resources on poetry? Never fear! I’ve put together a… Read more »

Poets on Poetry

It can be a challenge to wrap our minds around poetry. It’s not as straight-forward as non-fiction or fiction so many people choose to bury our heads in the sand, hoping that if we can’t see poetry then poetry can’t see us. Why not learn directly from those who have tamed the beast? That’s where… Read more »

The Poetic Process: An Interview with Hettie Jones

Today I am pleased to be hosting a video interview with Hettie Jones.  Hettie was my very first workshop teacher in graduate school and I have fond memories of the semester I spent in her class.  She helped me build the confidence so I could experiment and try new techniques in my writing, and always… Read more »

My Not-So-Epic Journey into Poetry

Some time ago, I came to a realization that made me go from having a visceral hatred of poetry to suddenly rediscovering its beauty.  The realization was this: It’s not that I dislike all poetry, I just dislike bad poetry. Let me backtrack a little bit.  It’s 1993 and I’m in ninth grade biology class… Read more »

Reading in Public: 3 Steps to Captivate Your Audience

Whether it’s in an auditorium in front of hundreds of people or in your living room with a couple of close friends, reading your work in public can be nerve-wracking.  In fact, even writers who have been speaking in public for years still get nervous when they have to read their own work aloud.  I… Read more »

5 Ways to Liven Up a Description

This week, we’re talking about description and detail.  On Monday we established that Description Equals Does Not Equal Exposition.  Today we’re going to discuss how to make those descriptive passages more powerful.  Here are five tips, plus a writing exercise at the end to help you put them into action. 1) Engage the Five Senses…. Read more »