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In the Palm of Your Hand:
Steve Kowit believes, and rightly so, that poetry should show, not tell. The same could be said for good teaching, which is what makes this volume so remarkable. In In the Palm of Your Hand Kowit employs more than 100 poems and excerpts to illustrate his discussions on everything from metaphor to meter to metaphysics. Working your way through this book--and it is work--is like sitting in on a terrific creative-writing seminar, minus the criticism (both constructive and destructive) of fellow students. If you go by the book, you'll have written at least 69 poems by the end. Because of its explication of the basic tenets of poetry, In the Palm of Your Hand might be mistaken for a beginners' book only. That would be a shame. There are so many good ideas here that more experienced poets won't want to miss out; Kowit has lots of exciting ways to invigorate one's writing. (Here's a favorite quick tip: "A good rule of thumb is never to use a word that you're proud of.") In the Palm of Your Hand is also recommended for members of writing groups who are interested in imposing some kind of structure on their meetings. [via]