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The Rhythm Method, Razzmatazz, and Memory

How to Make Your Poetry Swing

Keith Flynn


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Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (2/14/2019)


Trace Poetry's Long Blue Line and Discover the Power and Music in Your Own Voice

Poems are made of words, not ideas. Those words are rhythmic and, when chosen and composed properly, are capable of entering a reader's or listener's body and resonating. The Rhythm Method, Razzmatazz, and Memory explains the historical connections between word, image, and sound to empower you to create work that is dynamic, vital, and musicalto create poems that live in the air.

The first section, Learning to Listen, begins by reflecting on the birth of the American poetic voice, teaching your to find your own voice by dissecting a poem's line, sound by sound, rediscovering not only the power of their poetry but also where that power comes from.

The second section, Learning to Observe, outlines the history of foreign influencesfrom the surrealism of French writers Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud to that of Spanish artists Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali inspiring you to explore your experimental impulses and discover new ways of seeing.

The third section, Learning to Speak, focuses on the influence of music on twentieth-century poetry, beginning with the troubadour and the slave experience, through the eras of jazz and blues, and onto the slam stages of the modern city. The different strategies of these performers offer insight into your development as a creator and prepare you to act as a vocal interpreter of your work.

The Rhythm Method equips you with the tools you need to extract the sparks of language, art, and music that have always stimulated and nourished our poetic vernacular and to use the fire to forge your own unique voice and your own style of performance.

Writers Digest Books, 9781582974040, 328pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 2007

About the Author

Keith Flynn is founder and managing editor of Asheville Poetry Review, a biannual literary journal that publishes 160-200 pages of poems, interviews, translations, essays, historical perspectives and book reviews. Since its inception, Asheville Poetry Review has published over 600 new and established writers from 14 different countries, including Robert Bly, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Joy Harjo, Gary Snyder, Sherman Alexie, Eavan Boland, R. S. Thomas, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Fred Chappell, Ciaran Carson and Colette Inez. From its first regional issue, Asheville Poetry Review has grown into an international publication with distribution in 35 states and five European countries.