This book is a gift. I don't know how I got so lucky to write it. Included in these pages are dozens of poems by some of the world's most talented contemporary writers, most of whom donated their works, time and wisdom without compensation in an attempt to make The Art and Craft of Poetry an enlightening, enduring text.

Contributors to this project include Diane Ackerman, Terry Anderson, Tom Andrews, Nuala Archer, David Baker, Jim Barnes, Kevin Bezner, Charlene Blue Horse, Lady Borton, Kevin Bowen, Neal Bowers, Raymond Carver, Fred Chappell, David Citino, Stephen Corey, Ruth Daigon, Wayne Dodd, Frederick Feirstein, Carolyn Forche, Karen Joy Fowler, Lucia Cordell Getsi, Allen Ginsberg, Dana Gioia, Louise Glück, Corrinne Hales, William Heyen, Martha Whitmore Hickman, Gerald Hilferty, Art Homer, T.R. Hummer, Colette Inez, Judson Jerome, Harry Johnson, Roger Jones, Debra Kaufman, Robert Kinsley, Judith Kitchen, Sharon Klander, Laurence Lieberman, Rupert M. Loydell, R. Nikolas Macioci, Peter Makuck, Mary Martin, Sharon E. Martin, Lisel Mueller, Katherine Murphy, Jack Myers, Joyce Carol Oates, Sharon Olds, Jim Peterson, Hilda Raz, Stan Rubin, Grace L. Rutledge, Eve Shelnutt, Dave Smith, R.T. Smith, Laurel Speer, Michael Spence, William Stafford, Hilary Tham, Ann Townsend, Martha M. Vertreace, Diane Wakoski, Ronald Wallace, Bruce Weigl, George Whipple, Paul Zimmer, Sander Zulauf and others.

Almost two-thirds of the above not only allowed me to reprint their poems but also provided comments about craft in letters and telephone interviews. These quotations add another level of instruction to The Art and Craft of Poetry.

Also included are poems of great English and American writers: Lady Mary Wroth, Jonson, Donne, Shakespeare, Spenser, Raleigh, Herrick, Lovelace, Dryden, Matthew Prior, Milton, Swift, Blake, Wordsworth, John Clare, Walter Savage Landor, Keats, Byron, Shelley, Burns, Anne Bradstreet, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte, George Meredith, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Herman Melville, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Poe, Yeats, Longfellow, Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Eliot, H.D., Sara Teas-dale, Frost, Edward Thomas, Williams, Housman, Lawrence, Sandburg, Edgar Lee Masters arid many, many more.

You'll also be reading many of my poems. I have quoted from them and reprinted them because this book concerns the process of composing publishable verse—and I know that process intimately by trial and error. I want to share my successes and mistakes so that you may learn from them and save time in your quest to become a recognized poet. You also should know that poems by the other authors mentioned here have influenced or inspired me in some way. So think of the contributions of contemporary and past masters as the "art" in The Art and Craft of Poetry, and think of my work as the "craft"—or art in the making.

Finally, I want to thank Bill Brohaugh at Writer's Digest Books with whom I became associated early in my career when he edited Writer's Digest, the magazine in which my poetry column appears. I also want to thank Christine Martin, editor of this book and of Poet's Market, our yearly project, and Jack Heffron, another WD book editor, for their valuable insights. Most important is the inspiration of my wife, Diane, who encouraged me to share my life's passion with you.

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