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WRITING POETRY TO SAVE YOUR LIFE by Maria Mazziotti Gillan Reviewed in Rattle

writingpoetrysaveyourlifeMaria Mazziotti Gillan‘s Writing Poetry to Save Your Life (Guernica 2013) has been reviewed in Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century.

At Rattle, anything always goes. If a poem is accessible, interesting, moving, and memorable, if it makes you laugh or cry, then it’s the kind of poem that rattles around inside you for years, it is their kind of poem – so it only makes sense that they would review this book. Rattle is published in several forms, but the primary version has been their print issue now appearing quarterly in March, June, September, and December. Each issue is roughly 100 pages of poetry, essays, and an interview with a contemporary poet.

Writing Poetry to Save Your Life combines Gillan’s personal story about her journey as a writer with her suggestions for writers at all stages of development. It is designed to help you find the stories you have to tell and the words to tell them. It is based on the belief that when you find the courage to explore your memories, you will find the source for evocative writing. Writing Poetry to Save Your Life is a book about the writing process rather than about the craft of writing. It can be used in classrooms, by writer’s groups, or by an individual while writing at home or in a coffee shop.

Claudia Lundahl of Rattle says about the book:

It was different from any poetry I’d been reading at the time and what was immediately captivating was the way in which the poems struck me as deeply personal and intimate… She [Gillan] emphasizes the need to be personal in your writing and to bear your soul; to expose yourself even if it feels like being stripped naked…

She writes about the need to make your writing personal and confessional, to draw from our lived experiences because in that way a poem becomes something that identifies you, a mirror image of your soul. 

She doesn’t talk about writing in a way that makes it seem as though a writer even has the option of failing… Her book is aimed to help us achieve our best writing, yes, but it’s also aimed at helping us become the best version of ourselves.

To read the full review, click here.

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