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Poetry Everyday

An essential part of my reading that doesn’t show up on the list of fiction and non-fiction is the poetry that I read everyday. This practice comes from my teacher, Holly Wren Spaulding, who uses other people’s poems as a way to prime the pump of her own writing. Reading poems makes writing poems more fluid. Makes sense!

Holly is teaching a free poetry writing workshop on November 20th called All of It. I’m blocking off that hour as a respite from the pull of a busy season and would love for you to join me!

Poems in Your Inbox

An easy way to add poems into your day is to have them delivered each morning. I’ve subscribed to Tweetspeak, Writer’s Almanac, and just now I’m enjoying the poems from Paris Review. Even though it makes me want a subscription to the print magazine nearly every day!

One Poem Each Week

This practice comes from Robert Pinsky. He suggests picking a poem and reading it every day for a week. I keep a running list of poems that cross my path in my MFA Notebook, and pick one each week. I ‘m always surprised at the richness that rises to the surface as I read throughout the week. In a year I’ve collected a personal anthology of poems that I know intimately.

Reading Deeply from One Poet

This summer at Cloud and Leaf Bookstore, I picked up the last collection of poems by Ursula K LeGuin. Oh they are beauties! Each morning I copy out by hand one of her poems. But I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow!

To see all the posts in the series Listening to My Life :: Homeschooling an MFA in Poetry, click here.


  1. I’ve found that daily reading from the Psalms is most beneficial both aesthetically and spiritually. It also enlivens and broadens my prayer life.

    For good or ill I’ve always been a binger. I once immersed myself in “Leaves of Grass” to the exclusion all other poetry (actually to almost any reading of any kind) for about 18 months. That was a long, long time ago. I’ve never felt any urge to return to it.

    Have registered for Holly’s class. “See you there”.

    1. So happy to hear that you’ll be at Holly’s class. I am thinking of becoming a member of her Patreon to have more ongoing inspiration and support.

  2. Catching up here! This series of posts is a delight, Kortney. Wanted to mention, and you may know this already, that Multnomah County Library offers a way to read Paris Review and other magazines digitally via an app called RB Digital. I have PR and the New Yorker in my queue on the regular! 🙂

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