Archive for October, 2020

Raven & Wren Press is proud to announce the release of HOW TO BEGIN: Poems, Prompts, Tips and Writing Exercises by the Fresh Ink Poetry Collective to improve your poetry practice—or start a group of your own, edited by Robin Michel.

HOW TO BEGIN contains poetry prompts and exercises that will stimulate and energize poets at all levels in the mastery of their craft. Prompts developed, adapted, and tested in the “poetry kitchens” of the Fresh Ink Poetry Collective, a writing group based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Established more than twenty-five years ago, the Fresh Ink Poetry Collective formed when the original group members met when taking classes from Jannie Dresser, the San Francisco Bay Area poet, editor and publisher. Only a few of the original members remain; many moved away and quickly established Fresh Ink groups in their new communities.

The Fresh Ink poets gather together in one another’s homes, online, or in coffee shops to share their love of poetry, find inspiration in sharing writing exercises provided by each other, and to give and receive valuable feedback and encouragement on their own work.

Michel, founder of Raven & Wren Press, joined Fresh Ink in 2010. She says that the idea for this book began two years ago, when members discussed the draft poems generated through their exercises. “Someone suggested we compile our prompts in a book. As someone with publishing experience, I offered to be the lead.”

Compiling the prompts and matching the prompts to the Fresh Ink poets work was labor intensive, but well worth it. “Fresh Ink welcomed me into its group at a difficult time in my life. The poets nurture and sustain, inspire and console one another. Each of us understands how vitally important poetry is by expressing that which cannot be said in any other way. We have found that poetry helps us engage in and pay witness to the world in which we live, the whole big sticky mess.”

Raven & Wren and the Fresh Ink Poetry Collective is planning a date for the book’s virtual launch, mid-November.