How to Make Poems

How to Make Poems: Form and Technique provides a clear and casual approach for anyone wanting to write poetry. 

  • Delicious new poems by global poets 
  • No-fail writing prompts
  • Streamlined yet robust book 
  • Great for face-to-face or online classrooms

How to Make Poems is published by Flip Learning, a boutique publisher co-founded by professors and dedicated to providing students and teachers with page-turning books authored exclusively by recipients of distinguished awards for undergraduate teaching.

"Heather Sellers’ How to Make Poems is an inviting, all-encompassing guide for those curious about the ins and outs of poetry. An ideal e-textbook with objectives and goals, How to Make Poems is also a primer in all the ways poetry can enrich a person’s life. A brilliant introductory text!"

~ Denise Duhamel, Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at FIU

Why an ebook?

When we moved to teaching online in 2020, education changed forever. Students now access all the course content from their devices. We deliver fantastic presentations from our phones and engage with each other and share content—all from our devices.  

  • An ebook is ADA accessible to all students 
  • An ebook is flexible, portable, environmentally smart, and agile
  • Interactive exercises
  • Embedded audio lectures  

Why study poetry?

When we look at the data on what employers most value in recent college graduates, it’s easy to see how a course in reading and writing poetry serves students well.

  • Reading and writing poetry increases your powers of focus and concentration
  • Poetry enables you to tolerate not-knowing for a longer period of time
  • Poetry techniques–sound work, repetition, and metaphor– enable you to create powerful, memorable, and meaningful communications, speeches, and presentations
  • Reading and writing poems with others encourages empathy, patience, deep listening, and reverence for the human experience  
Heather's writing desk filled with books, notes, and facing her green garden

Why do you write poetry?

Writing poetry is my method for paying close attention to the world we live in.  

  • I love language and playing with words, meaning, and sounds
  • I write to notice and remember all those tiny little micro moments that make up our days, that will not be remembered unless they are pinned to the page
  • Reading and writing poetry connects me to others in a really rich way
Heather's reading chair

What’s one tip for writing a poem?

Try not to think. Aim to simply follow the sounds of words, and put them together in new combinations. If you rely on your mind, your poem might sound like a lot of other poems. If you are able to get past trying, and outsmart the thinking part of your brain, and engage with something weirder and more deeply you, wonderful sparks occur.

This turns out to be really hard to do. Which is why I wrote How to Make Poems. It’s specifically for high school and college students, but anyone who wants to take a course in poetry will find the book welcoming, clear, and instructive.  Have fun!