Every writer has their favorite resources that they refer back to over and over again for assistance and/or inspiration for their writing. I have many of them, but currently two of my favorite texts is my long-standing copy of The Teachers & Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms, edited by Ron Padgett (2nd ed. 2000) and The Well-Spoken Thesaurus by Tom Heehler (Sourcebooks, 2011).
Padgett’s handbook is by far one of my top go-to-resources whether I am composing a poem, considering form, or trying to develop the poetic foundation for notes I’ve gathered on paper. With discussion and example on over 70 different forms it is the best reference to turn to whether working in traditional or non-traditional verse.
Heehler’s text is a fantastically fun ‘read’ and source of information for any writer whether student or working professional. It is a great way to refresh your over-used phraseology in academic writing or creative nonfiction. The cover image says it all: “Don’t Say That/Instead Say This.” Instead of ‘jerk’ try ‘enfant terrible’ (216). It’s incredibly fun.