Learning how to become an excellent poet doesn’t always have to be such a difficult task. A lot of aspiring poets—and even just enthusiasts—find this activity quite exciting and liberating. But for those who struggle to crunch out whatever it is on their minds, this doesn’t seem all that fun.
Lucky for the struggling ones, a lot of established poets have learned and developed several tips and tricks to make this daunting task easier and much more enjoyable.
We’re not saying these are the answers to your prayers, but using them to your advantage can prove to be quite the convenience when you start to run out of creative juices in the middle of your poetry writing.
Read on to know more about the tips and tricks in writing poetry.
Tips to Become a Better Poet
There’s no denying that sometimes, we get in a writing slump that prevents us from maximizing our creativity and imagination. This slump leaves us productless and poem-less which isn’t really such a great place to be in.
Sometimes, you might get all too eager to write only to find that the pieces you wrote aren’t quite satisfactory.
Whatever state it is you’re in, we’re here to give out some of the best tips that you can use to help yourself—and your brain—create the best poems each time. Here is a list of them:
Read Poetry Regularly
The best way to get inspiration and write better poems is to observe and imbibe the best practices of great poets. Make it a habit to constantly read poems by different poets to truly have a grasp of the craft.
In your habit of reading poems, you’ll find that you pick up words and even techniques that these poets use. It may not be your cup of tea but it can be a source of inspiration for your next poems.
This also works if you want to master a certain style. So, if you want to improve your writing, start by reading up on what others have created.
Just Keep Writing Poems
Don’t stop yourself from writing just because you think you’re not good enough. Everybody starts somewhere and for you, it starts with a pen and paper—or perhaps a personal computer or device to type on.
Write poems regularly and review them. This isn’t just so you can create as many poems as you like, but this is so you regularly exercise your mind and use up your creative juices.
Writing regularly also gives you a chance to compare and contrast how far you’ve come and what still needs to be improved. After all, you can’t really praise or criticize your works if you don’t have plenty to show, right?
This tip may be a little hard to put into practice, considering that criticism can be hurtful and demotivating. But since your goal is to become a better poet, you must constantly seek criticism from people who have mastered this craft well.
Consider their criticism a gift and use this gift well. Apply what you have learned from their comments and your poems will significantly improve in no time.
However, just keep in mind to seek criticism from people whose style is in line with yours. This is so you don’t lose track of your own sense of writing while heeding to the suggestions and comments of others.
Join Writing Groups
Joining a writing group can also be a way to improve your poetry writing skills. This group can also be your support group whenever you’re in a slump or you’re going through a tough writer’s block.
Sometimes, this group can also be a great source of information, especially on materials that can help you write better, or even poets that you should know of.
If you’re in a group of well-connected people, you can even land yourself a connection to some of the most applauded poets of our time. But don’t let this be a sole motivator. Remember that you’re in a writing group to learn, not to network.
Poetry Programs and Workshops in Calgary
What other place to best learn poetry than the sunniest city in Canada? Calgary boasts some of the best institutions and workshops that teach you the necessary skills and knowledge you need for poetry writing.
We’ve already discussed all the tips and tricks you can use when writing poems. Now it’s time that you find out where to get the knowledge you’ll need to create one.
University of Calgary Continuing Education
The University of Calgary Continuing Education was established in the 1960s, where its in-house grew steadily. The mandate of this university was to bring its resources within reach of Albertans as much as possible.
Therefore, the programs of this university include Evening Credit Program, Summer Session Program, and the Extension Program.
Currently, their program related to poetry writing is included in their Creative Writing Certificate where students are given a focus in creative writing to explore different forms and genres of writing.
The program is online, flexible, and interactive which allows students to learn the theories easily while developing their own writing skills. If you’re not just keen on learning poetry, this can be a great certificate program to pursue.
Online Poetry Cafe
The Online Poetry Cafe was initially just Poetry Cafe but due to the current circumstances, it was moved to a virtual platform, Zoom, to continue the members’ endeavors while remaining safe.
The schedule for this event is every Sunday at 12:30PM - 2:30PM, where the first 75 minutes are for writing poems and the remaining time for its workshops.
This online gathering invites poets to regularly write and share their poems while encouraging other members. Moreover, it holds several exercises, workshops, and discussions to hone skills without being too formal or institutional.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a published poet or an aspiring one, the Poetry Cafe invites everybody who wants to improve their poetry writing skills. The annual pass to this cafe is around $200, giving you unlimited access to all events. Other passes include 10 sessions at $80.
You can also join the Poetry Cafe if ever you’re in Edmonton.
Chinook Learning Services
If you plan to learn creative writing or pursue a poetry degree in the near future, better check out Chinook Learning Services. This organization provides high school upgrading, non-credit continuing education, summer school, and off-campus programs.
The organization also welcomes international students who are over 20 years of age and can enrol in Fall and Winter evening classes or summer classes.
They currently offer a English Language Arts course that’s designed for those who are planning to attend technical trade school or to obtain a college diploma. Hence, this course is for Alberta high school students.
This practical course will basically help the student understand and appreciate literature, language, and their uses for different kinds of purposes.
Quebec Writers’ Federation in Montréal also holds similar activities for those who are interested. Check out their services for more information.
Private Poetry Tutors in Calgary
There is still another option that you can explore if you’re not keen on taking up poetry classes or mingling with a group of poets.
That is, hiring your own private poetry tutor in Calgary.
While tutoring programs are widely known to be supplementary to current classes, it can also be customized into private sessions that mimic classroom settings. The only thing you need is the right tutor.
So where do you find a tutor who can create such personalized programs for you? At Superprof.
This online platform connects eager learners to various tutors in different fields. In Canada, you can find tutors from all key cities in the country, in a variety of fields. In this case, we’re looking for a poetry tutor.
Tutors’ rates range from affordable to premium, depending on their experience and professional level—giving you a wide range of options in terms of budget. You can also find reviews left by their former students to give you an idea of who among the roster of tutors suits your needs better.
Once you do find one, don’t be shy and book an appointment with them. The first session comes for free so don’t hesitate to tell them your preferences and personal goals for a smooth-sailing tutoring program.
Look for a private poetry tutor at Superprof today!
You can also check out poetry tutors from Toronto if you plan on moving to that big city.
You never have to dread writing a poem every again once you master all the tips and tricks laid out by experienced poets. No need to worry if you feel like you don’t have established habits or you’re stuck in a slump—just check which tips best suit your current situation.
If you feel like tips and tricks won’t just cut it, there are still poetry programs and workshops in Calgary that you can explore. In these workshops and programs, you’ll learn all the basic and advanced lessons to help you write down excellent poems that might make even Robert Frost amazed.
If you ever want to go coastal, check out poetry programs in Vancouver for most details.