With the careful consideration and insight of a master in his calling, Carl Dennis proposes that poems are acts of persuasion and that the strength of a poem's speaker is the key to engaging the reader. In Poetry as Persuasion, Dennis identifies the qualities of passion, discrimination, and inclusiveness that are essential in creating a compelling, successful speaker. Calling on such masters of the craft as Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, among others, Dennis uses a variety of poetic examples to show how to engage a reader. He demonstrates how a successful poem involves a relationship between the text and the reader's imagination: it convinces the reader that someone is standing behind the lines whose company is worth keeping, and whose experience evokes a universally enthralling response. The book offers detailed studies of point of view, irony, myth, genre - including a discussion on writing political poetry - and uses practical examples to demonstrate the art and rewards of revision. Lucidly written, Poetry as Persuasion offers both inspiration and indispensable advice for practicing poets and offers anyone with an interest in poetry a more thorough understanding and experience of its universal appeal. Carl Dennis is the author of seven books of poetry, including, most recently, Meetings with Time. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, in 2000 he was awarded the Ruth Lilly Prize from Poetry Magazine and the Modern Poetry Association for his contribution to American poetry. He is a professor of English at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a sometime member of the faculty of the MFA program in creative writing at Warren Wilson College.