HOW TO BEGIN: Poems, Prompts, Tips and Writing Exercises

HOW TO BEGIN: Poems, Prompts, Tips and Writing Exercises by the Fresh Ink Poetry Collective

Discover over fifty writing exercises developed, adapted, and tested in the “poetry kitchens” of Fresh Ink, a poetry collective based in the San Francisco Bay Area in 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 Raven & Wren publisher and Fresh Ink member Robin Michel. 

Fresh Ink, founded in 1991 by poet/teacher/publisher Jannie Dresser, has produced several anthologies through the years. How to Begin is more than an anthology of poems. A book on craft, How to Begin includes writing exercises to spark the imagination, poems generated from the prompts by Fresh Ink poets, online resources, recommended reading, and practical guidance on how to form and sustain a poetry group of one’s own. Every poet today should have a copy of How to Begin within reach. 

Praise for How to Begin:

How to Begin is an incisive guide to poetry, blending instruction with inspiration. Drawing upon the Fresh Ink Poetry Collective’s decades of knowledge and experience, the book is a feast of prompts, explication of a wide array of traditional forms, glossary of poetic terms, practical tips on how to start a writing group, and poems as examples—including the anthology of terrific poems written by members of the collective across the years. How to Begin is a testament to the belief in poetry as practice, nurtured by dailiness and sustained by being in a community of others engaged in the art.”

— Shara McCallum, author of No Ruined Stone and Madwoman 

“Whether you write alone or in a group, whether you are young or old, whether   you are new or seasoned as a poet, How to Begin will help to bring out the poetry in you and to the world.”

—Chun Yu, author of the poetry memoir, Little Green, a Memoir of Growing Up During the Chinese Cultural Revolution and co-founder, “Two Languages/One Community”