This book is designed to walk the reader from coming up with original ideas through the process of writing, revising, and finally putting together a collection of poems. The exercises also have beginner and advanced levels so this is a book that can be used time and time again.
One more recommendation regarding poetry. I always tell anyone and everyone interested in writing poetry to read poetry. But don’t go grabbing Shakespeare, Browning, Keats, Eliot, Whitman, or Dickinson. While I encourage any serious poet to read any and all of the above (and many more), I urge anyone interested in writing poetry to read contemporary poets. If you don’t know where or how to begin, try reading some contemporary poetry anthologies, find a few poets you especially admire, and buy the poetry books by those favorites.
Reading published journals can also be an inspiration. I recommend this with trepidation because reading some writer’s journals can feel intimidating. Frankly, my journal entries rarely sound as insightful as Anne Frank’s, as intellectual as Sylvia Plath’s, or as interesting as Anaïs Nin’s. Nevertheless, I plod on with my own journaling and am inspired by these other journals. So if you think you can set your journaling ego aside long enough to appreciate someone else’s journals then I’d suggest seeking out published journals as well.