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How Poetry Can Change Your Heart

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From the acclaimed "HOW Series" of books Poetry can transform: How can a poem transform a life? Could poetry change the world? In How Poetry Can Change Your Heart, spoken-word stars Andrea Gibson and Megan Falley roll out the welcome mat and prove that poetry is for everyone. • Whether lapsed poetry lovers, aspiring poets, or total novices, readers will learn to uncover ve From the acclaimed "HOW Series" of books Poetry can transform: How can a poem transform a life? Could poetry change the world? In How Poetry Can Change Your Heart, spoken-word stars Andrea Gibson and Megan Falley roll out the welcome mat and prove that poetry is for everyone. • Whether lapsed poetry lovers, aspiring poets, or total novices, readers will learn to uncover verse in unexpected places, find their way through a poem when they don't quite "get it," and discover just how transformative poetry can be. • Andrea Gibson is a leading voice in spoken-word poetry, headlining prestigious performance venues internationally. Megan Falley is a National Poetry Slam finalist and creator of the online writing course "Poems That Don't Suck." Fans of Andrea Gibson's Lord of the Butterflies and Take Me With You, and Megan Falley's Drive Here and Devastate Me will love taking a deeper dive into the inspiring power of poetry. Discover or re-discover the magic that is poetry. • A gorgeous and inspiring gift for any fan of the written word • Will become a go-to volume for poetry writers and readers


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From the acclaimed "HOW Series" of books Poetry can transform: How can a poem transform a life? Could poetry change the world? In How Poetry Can Change Your Heart, spoken-word stars Andrea Gibson and Megan Falley roll out the welcome mat and prove that poetry is for everyone. • Whether lapsed poetry lovers, aspiring poets, or total novices, readers will learn to uncover ve From the acclaimed "HOW Series" of books Poetry can transform: How can a poem transform a life? Could poetry change the world? In How Poetry Can Change Your Heart, spoken-word stars Andrea Gibson and Megan Falley roll out the welcome mat and prove that poetry is for everyone. • Whether lapsed poetry lovers, aspiring poets, or total novices, readers will learn to uncover verse in unexpected places, find their way through a poem when they don't quite "get it," and discover just how transformative poetry can be. • Andrea Gibson is a leading voice in spoken-word poetry, headlining prestigious performance venues internationally. Megan Falley is a National Poetry Slam finalist and creator of the online writing course "Poems That Don't Suck." Fans of Andrea Gibson's Lord of the Butterflies and Take Me With You, and Megan Falley's Drive Here and Devastate Me will love taking a deeper dive into the inspiring power of poetry. Discover or re-discover the magic that is poetry. • A gorgeous and inspiring gift for any fan of the written word • Will become a go-to volume for poetry writers and readers

30 review for How Poetry Can Change Your Heart

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gerhard

    I am attempting to be a bit more adventurous in my reading in 2020. This means more poetry, plays and graphic novels. I also have a few 1000-plus pagers lurking on my ‘to read’ list, but that is another story, as they say in the classics. And if my sanity can stand it, I might even get through my first audiobook without chewing on my headphones! Recently I read ‘Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns’, my introduction to poet Andrea Gibson. At the same time I stumbled across another book she co-authored wi I am attempting to be a bit more adventurous in my reading in 2020. This means more poetry, plays and graphic novels. I also have a few 1000-plus pagers lurking on my ‘to read’ list, but that is another story, as they say in the classics. And if my sanity can stand it, I might even get through my first audiobook without chewing on my headphones! Recently I read ‘Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns’, my introduction to poet Andrea Gibson. At the same time I stumbled across another book she co-authored with Megan Falley. What better idea to read a book called ‘How Poetry Can Change Your Heart?’, I thought. Well, that title should have been a warning signal. Not to mention the pink cover. And the fact that many pages contain pink writing on a brown background, which seems like book design straight out of Dolly Parton Land. (In case you were wondering, there is a chapter arguing the case for song lyrics being poetry.) So instead of a thoughtful collection of essays debating the role and function of poetry, and its successful enjoyment and interpretation, I instead got what seems like a weird self-help book for poets with fragile egos, trying to bolster their artistic enterprise as a Great Endeavour destined to result in Universal Peace and Goodwill. This is very basic, rattling through the different types of poetry and some technical aspects like line breaks, page appearance and metaphors and similes. There is nothing wrong with basic, of course, and I am sure there is a market for this somewhere. Where the book either entertains or fails completely, depending on your mood, I suppose, is in the slightly dippy advice that the authors dispense, such as the ‘fact’ that the saddest poems are the happiest. And that everyone has it in them to be a poet (dear God, no. That is a terrible idea.) What torpedoed this book for me completely was the following load of codswallop: Writer’s block is make-believe and many times used as an excuse to be lazy, because a writer wanted a brilliant poem to appear without really wanting to do the hard work of writing it. You can always write something. Even if it’s overflowing with suckiness. Again, dear God, no. This is awfully judgemental, not to mention appallingly bad advice. Besides, who the fuck is going to read your endless suckiness?

  2. 5 out of 5

    ☮️❤️Celia❤️☮️

    Free in exchange for an honest review, via Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you to Chronicle Books for listing. I'm not going to say this book has changed my life, but I think that's mostly because poetry already has. I am a writer and poet at heart, and I've been writing poetry for more than six years now. I agreed with most of what Megan Falley and Andrea Gibson said in this guide, and none of it was really anything I didn't know. I did like the contrast in the early part of the book between the poetr Free in exchange for an honest review, via Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you to Chronicle Books for listing. I'm not going to say this book has changed my life, but I think that's mostly because poetry already has. I am a writer and poet at heart, and I've been writing poetry for more than six years now. I agreed with most of what Megan Falley and Andrea Gibson said in this guide, and none of it was really anything I didn't know. I did like the contrast in the early part of the book between the poetry everyone learns in school, and the way poetry can be seen by everyone. I think the part that resonated with me the most, though, was the writing tips. Although most of them are things I know and do sometimes, I don't do them regularly, and some of them were things I didn't really even think about. For instance, poetry from lists is something I've often done at poetry workshops, but it's never something I try to do at home or with my own writing. I somewhat disagree with the statement that "Writer's block is make-believe and many times used as an excuse to be lazy..." (115), but I think the authors did have a point when saying that one way to combat this is to write every day. This is also something I need to put into practice more. I understand why the book was so small, but I wish some of the chapters were a little longer. Some of them kind of left me hanging, wanting to know more about poetry in general, and the way it is seen through different eyes. They touch on this briefly, but I wish there was more about the ways people experience poetry throughout the world. This is definitely a book I want to keep around. It's a useful guide for when I'm stuck, and I hope having it will encourage me to write more and also read and appreciate more poetry.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bee

    The perfect read for National Poetry Month, for both long-time lovers of poetry and those just beginning to dip their toes in the water. There's no pretentious pretenses here, just two outstanding poets inviting everyone to experience poetry with open arms.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Coco Peezy

    Instantly fills your heart up!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Leena

    Written in a heart-warming, intense & enthusiastic way — the kind of book to make you question how you perceive life and art, but in a light and feel-good way! Although this could be read quickly, I‘d recommend taking your time with it and actually thinking about each description and question, following the almost stream-of-consciousness like exploration of this book. Written in a heart-warming, intense & enthusiastic way — the kind of book to make you question how you perceive life and art, but in a light and feel-good way! Although this could be read quickly, I‘d recommend taking your time with it and actually thinking about each description and question, following the almost stream-of-consciousness like exploration of this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    “I swear, these scars — can pick locks. One day all your survival attempts are gonna free somebody so say it with me: I give myself permission to exist in my own body.” Connor Martin’s This Is Slam and We Do

  7. 5 out of 5

    chantel nouseforaname

    As a person who loves poetry, this was just a beautiful short piece to read about the ways that poetry can enhance your life. I really want to get back into writing this year in 2020. So this was a great way to end/open up the year. It gave me a lot of hope and this served it's purpose perfectly.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Angie Ebba

    Would be great for a HS classroom or someone who isn’t a writer already. Had some good excepts I will use in my classroom.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Manno

    Even though it isn’t necessarily ground-breaking or special or anything, 4 stars because of the following reasons. Landed in my life at just the right time. Helped me understand poetry a bit more because I’ve been feeling like an imbecile since reading a poetry collection yesterday. Made me smile at many points with its clever writing. Rekindled my enthusiasm for writing. Shared some lovely poems I wouldn’t have been otherwise exposed to. Got me excited to read Gibson’s poetry (and other poetry) Even though it isn’t necessarily ground-breaking or special or anything, 4 stars because of the following reasons. Landed in my life at just the right time. Helped me understand poetry a bit more because I’ve been feeling like an imbecile since reading a poetry collection yesterday. Made me smile at many points with its clever writing. Rekindled my enthusiasm for writing. Shared some lovely poems I wouldn’t have been otherwise exposed to. Got me excited to read Gibson’s poetry (and other poetry). Read it all in one sitting.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

    It was pink and it was poetry and it was displayed just so at the bookstore. Impulse purchase, 1. Ginger, 0. The best part about this slim little volume is the pretty pink lineny cover. Inside. Meh.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Preston Stell

    This is an important book for modern day poetry. I’m actually shocked I’ve never heard of a book like this before. Gibson and Falley could inspire anyone through their little primer here. If you are interested in poetry this book is for you, as it was for me. If you have a little interest in poetry...this book is also for you. And finally, if you have no interest in poetry, then this book was written with you in mind. Falley and Gibson will make a convert of you yet.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Hilliard

    This book is precious, the physical book, it is precious with its pink pages and grey (yes, grey not black) font and lovingly simple layout. But if you're hardcore into poetry and looking for some inspriation to get back into the game, the words simply don't jive. I have a feeling I'm much too cynical to be in this target audience. High school students, young ladies fresh out of college feeling a little lost, this might be for you.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Agnes

    Inspirational and personal, the kind of book to give to the people you love.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sabra Bowers

    This book is hard to read because it is on pink paper with gray printing and the other pages are gray with pink printing. What were they thinking? Lots of glare on the gray pages. Also small print, not even taking up the entire page. What were they thinking? When I got the light just right to read it, the content was okay.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    Short and sweet informative essay of how to (1) enjoy poetry, (2) become more aware of/open to the poetic details of life, and (3) begin writing your own poetry. Last year, I finally found the poet who speaks to me, heart and soul. So there were several points made by Gibson and Falley that had me screaming along in agreement. Anyone on the poetry-adoration scale can (and should) read this and give poetry a shot!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    What a gem! Is poetry part of your life? Do you want to learn more about poetry? What is poetry? Where is poetry? What can poetry do? How can you find poetry you like? How can you determine if poetry is good? Do you want to write poetry? Is poetry for you? This little book answers these questions and inspires you to ask more. Poetry is using a few words to describe an idea, a thought, a sense, an observation, a vision. It can be silly or deep, minute or epic, rhyme or verse, written or out loud. What a gem! Is poetry part of your life? Do you want to learn more about poetry? What is poetry? Where is poetry? What can poetry do? How can you find poetry you like? How can you determine if poetry is good? Do you want to write poetry? Is poetry for you? This little book answers these questions and inspires you to ask more. Poetry is using a few words to describe an idea, a thought, a sense, an observation, a vision. It can be silly or deep, minute or epic, rhyme or verse, written or out loud. It can describe happiness, grief, pain, passion, loss, love, nothing, everything. Poetry is everywhere. Open your mind, eyes, and ears and allow poetry into your heart. As expressed in the book: "Poetry is the pen-and-paper version of paying wondrous attention." "Awe creates poetry. Poetry creates awe."

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Sloss

    This is an excellent getting-to-know poetry book. I would recommend it to those who resist and those who have begun to embrace poetry. It's an awesome resource for a teacher to have just a little more ammunition to win over those who think they hate poetry. Great book!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    If my bookshelf was on fire and I was only able to save one book, it would be this one. Probably.

  19. 4 out of 5

    emma

    So so lovely and accessible.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth

    I loved reading this book. It was a whirlwind trip down my soul. I have always loved expressing myself through the written word. Somewhere down the road, I stopped writing even though I consider myself to be fairly expressive and evocative. My anxiety issues have kept me away from writing on political issues and from writing the odd poem. This book came to me at the right time and I feel like I can do it all again. If there is one takeaway from the book for me, it is this: There's nothing wrong I loved reading this book. It was a whirlwind trip down my soul. I have always loved expressing myself through the written word. Somewhere down the road, I stopped writing even though I consider myself to be fairly expressive and evocative. My anxiety issues have kept me away from writing on political issues and from writing the odd poem. This book came to me at the right time and I feel like I can do it all again. If there is one takeaway from the book for me, it is this: There's nothing wrong in sucking. Even the greatest writers sucked at one point. Well, they even sucked at their heights; they just didn't tell you how they sucked. So it is okay to suck. Anything is fine as long as you write every day. The book gives you a virtual tour of the world of poetry by explaining the varied facets of poetry in very lucid, accessible language. It gives you a gentle peek into the mind of poets, the different kinds of poems, the world of performative poetry and finally, into the poetic soul that you've got. The writing tips are sharp and easy to follow. I am sure that a few minutes of reading and writing every day would make our lives less burdensome. Penning poems can surely be cathartic and life-changing. The book is also written with immense warmth. It feels like the voice of your mother teaching you how to hold your pencil. I will keep going back to this book from time to time to keep the writer in me alive. Ah, I wish I could give this ten stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Monika Skarzauskaite

    Can you fall in love with a book? I bought "How poetry can change your life?" because the cover is pink & shiny. But this tiny book made me cry 3 times in an 1.5 hours it took me to read it. The loving and quirky ways used by the authors to show how to read, find and write poetry mesmerized me. "Because of how intensely personal confessional poetry is, it can make you feel like you've been given a backstage pass into someone else's mind. It can help you feel like you have a companion in the world, Can you fall in love with a book? I bought "How poetry can change your life?" because the cover is pink & shiny. But this tiny book made me cry 3 times in an 1.5 hours it took me to read it. The loving and quirky ways used by the authors to show how to read, find and write poetry mesmerized me. "Because of how intensely personal confessional poetry is, it can make you feel like you've been given a backstage pass into someone else's mind. It can help you feel like you have a companion in the world, someone you know intimately. Reading poetry can feel like somebody diary was made public, or even like somebody's diary was handed personally over to you." Poetry can enrich our lives in so many ways. For example: - usually we cannot publicly show our emotions. So, lonely and heartbroken songs or poems can be our best comforters. How many times you posted a song with a hint to your crush? :) - it can also validate our feelings, to see ourselves in the words of others neatly arranged on a page - poetry can also widen our world by witnessing stories told about lives that are very different from ours. I alwaysy loved written word, but now I know (feel) why.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah F.

    For those new to and/or curious about poetry, this is a lovely, succinct guide to reading and writing poetry, why it matters, and why it's not just for those walking the hallowed halls of academia. For those of us experienced in reading and/or writing poetry, it reinvigorates both practices. If you've been struggling to write, it's a wonderful, helpful kick in the pants with plenty of advice and practices. There's also an extensive bibliography if you're looking for something new to read. For th For those new to and/or curious about poetry, this is a lovely, succinct guide to reading and writing poetry, why it matters, and why it's not just for those walking the hallowed halls of academia. For those of us experienced in reading and/or writing poetry, it reinvigorates both practices. If you've been struggling to write, it's a wonderful, helpful kick in the pants with plenty of advice and practices. There's also an extensive bibliography if you're looking for something new to read. For those whose interest is piqued, I recommend it, with one caveat, discussed below. The one downside is that some may find the text of the print book hard to read due to the color of the paper and text (mostly metallic text on pink paper, sometimes pink text on metallic paper). Some may experience a lack of contrast, and the print will be a bit small for some. If you have visual difficulties, I recommend the Kindle Edition, where you should be able to adjust the text size to fit your needs and the contrast issues would be removed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Freesiab

    This book was so fun, informative and really unique. First, it’s a great little quick start guide to what poetry really is, why it’s important and how it really impacts us every day! If this wasn’t enough in roughly 100 pages, it also better explains the basic key concepts of the structures of poetry and various formats with easy examples that anyone can identify to. Going one step further it shows you how to open your own mind to writing poetry. That’s exciting to me! Poetic expression is so im This book was so fun, informative and really unique. First, it’s a great little quick start guide to what poetry really is, why it’s important and how it really impacts us every day! If this wasn’t enough in roughly 100 pages, it also better explains the basic key concepts of the structures of poetry and various formats with easy examples that anyone can identify to. Going one step further it shows you how to open your own mind to writing poetry. That’s exciting to me! Poetic expression is so important because it does change the world, and it really can change hearts. I believe that. It will give you some great examples, like Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. We all have voices that can carry powerful messages when we use them. This amazing little book can help you lift that voice! Thank you too @chroniclebooks for another fantastic publication and the opportunity to read and review it!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    Now I Understand This is the book about poetry that you will wish was provided to students in high school. By the end, you will have enough confidence to believe that not only is poetry accessible to you as a reader but that you yourself have the heart of a poet. It ends with telling you to give it a chance - write 10 minutes a day. Like an old, long unused tap, at first what will come out will be rusty and murky but with practice it will flow smoother and become clear. Take a chance and read the Now I Understand This is the book about poetry that you will wish was provided to students in high school. By the end, you will have enough confidence to believe that not only is poetry accessible to you as a reader but that you yourself have the heart of a poet. It ends with telling you to give it a chance - write 10 minutes a day. Like an old, long unused tap, at first what will come out will be rusty and murky but with practice it will flow smoother and become clear. Take a chance and read the book. There's a lot of questions to spark your thinking. I found all the poems used to illustrate different styles of poetry new to me and worth keeping. The book ends with links to where the various poems may be found. I'm really impressed with The How Series. The books are concise, easy to read and contain really engaging and motivating content. Definitely will be spending more time with this book as it inspires me.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Catherine T

    An excellent guide to appreciating poetry, especially if you were forced to analyse it in school with all the pretentiousness and formula that usually comes with it. I also liked the tips for writing, which occasionally I'll need as a jump start. Only one problem with the book, and that's the color of the pages and writing. It's a light brown on pink, or a light pink on brown in alternating pages, and if your lighting isn't perfect, or your eyesight isn't sharpshooter amazing, there may be troubl An excellent guide to appreciating poetry, especially if you were forced to analyse it in school with all the pretentiousness and formula that usually comes with it. I also liked the tips for writing, which occasionally I'll need as a jump start. Only one problem with the book, and that's the color of the pages and writing. It's a light brown on pink, or a light pink on brown in alternating pages, and if your lighting isn't perfect, or your eyesight isn't sharpshooter amazing, there may be trouble actually reading the book. It smells great, though.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sara Hunt

    A simple book that explores poetry and its different formats. There wasn't much new information in this book but it was written in a way that made it seem fresh and easily understandable. I personally picked up a few useful tips from reading this book. As a poetry writer who struggles with health issues I find writing isn't always easy but this book felt inspiring and made me want to write again. You can tell this book is written by people who enjoy and practice the craft of poetry. Both Megan a A simple book that explores poetry and its different formats. There wasn't much new information in this book but it was written in a way that made it seem fresh and easily understandable. I personally picked up a few useful tips from reading this book. As a poetry writer who struggles with health issues I find writing isn't always easy but this book felt inspiring and made me want to write again. You can tell this book is written by people who enjoy and practice the craft of poetry. Both Megan and Andrea are remarkable poets in their own right and that was a joy to read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rania

    I'll admit, when this book first came in the mail, my immediate thought was "Where is the rest of it?". I had pictured the book to be a lot bigger but that's not to say it wasn't a good book. ☆ This book was great and as someone who writes poetry herself, this just made the perfect read. ☆ For those of you who want to get into poetry or already write poetry, this is definitely the book for you. It's great even if you're curious about poetry. There are a couple of tips sprinkled across the book tha I'll admit, when this book first came in the mail, my immediate thought was "Where is the rest of it?". I had pictured the book to be a lot bigger but that's not to say it wasn't a good book. ☆ This book was great and as someone who writes poetry herself, this just made the perfect read. ☆ For those of you who want to get into poetry or already write poetry, this is definitely the book for you. It's great even if you're curious about poetry. There are a couple of tips sprinkled across the book that really make you think and view poetry in a different light which I absolutely loved!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This is a cute little pocket sized beginners guide book about poetry. It has useful tips about how to start reading poetry and how to write poetry. So keep reading to find a poet or subject matter of interest and always have a journal on hand when inspiration hits. While there might not be a lot of new information, it was presented in a fun / exciting way to hopefully encourage some to start reading or writing poetry. I received a copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lệ Lin

    ⁣⁣I'm pleased with both the great design and such concise content. This is a good handbook for any poetry enthusiast. I want to embrace poetry more, take it easier and feel it closer than before.⠀ ⠀ ***⠀ The book conveys the meaning and practice of poetry in different creative formats (which I'm truly appreciate). I got some useful tips and read a few mesmerizing excerpts from inspiring poets I hadn't even known before. Can't wait to have some more poetry books on my shelf!⠀

  30. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Gray

    I’ve read other poetry handbooks, and this is the first one that really inspired me. Reading it reminded me of how my favorite English professor taught poetry and if I could have taken his class 100 times I would have. It’s perfect for anyone interested in writing poetry or wanting to simply learn more about it. Andrea Gibson and Megan Falley have done an incredible job here.

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