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ISBN: 978-1-62557-714-6

Far Villages: Welcome Essays for New and Beginner Poets

Publication Date: June 2020


Poetry manuals, at their most essential, aim to demystify aspects of poetry to make it less daunting—especially for beginner poets. Such manuals also remind us that poetry is a discipline with a landscape and a history. Far Villages: Welcome Essays for New and Beginner Poets builds on the body of work in this tradition by bringing a number of established and emerging poets together in a single volume to welcome new and beginner poets to the art of poetry, its craft and the long journey within it.

Contributors to this anthology include:
Abayomi Animashaun, Jose Araguz, Stacey Balkun, Chaun Ballard, Christine Beck, David Bergman, Marina Blitshteyn, Michelle Bonczek, DanielBosch, Zoe Brigley, Aaron Brown, Guillermo Cancio-Bello, Rob Carney, Kelly Cherry, Michael Collins, Tasha Cotter, Rishi Dastidar, Noah Davis, Victoria L. Davis, Todd Fleming Davis, Jaydn DeWald, Melanie Faith, Jenny Ferguson, Kyle Flak, Leonard Franzen, Robbie Gamble, John Guzlowski, David Harris, Duane L. Herrmann, Jon Hoel, Natalie Homer, Kathryn Hummel, Ashton Kamburoff, Laura Kaminski, C. Kubasta, John Langfeld, Joan Leotta, Tanis MacDonald, David Maduli, Katie Manning, Michael Martin, Jason McCall, Nathan McClain, J.G. McClure, Megan Merchant, Amy Miller, Norman Minnick, Jennifer Moore, James B. Nicola, Dike Okoro, Stephen Page, Gillian Parrish, Barbara Perry, Kevin Pilkington, Darby Price, Jessamine Price, Michael Rather, Jr., Nancy Reddy, Christine Riddle, John Robinson, Diana Rosen, Helen Ruggieri, Claudia Savage, Nancy Scott, David Shumate, Linda Simone, Tara Skurtu, Carol Smallwood, Emily Stoddard, WhitneySweet, Thom Tammaro, Sophia Terazawa, Kari Treese, J.S. Watts, Kari Wergeland, Ben White


Craft talks, readings, and conversations celebrating FAR VILLAGES.

Captioned videos of all past Far Villages events are available on the Black Lawrence Press YouTube Channel.

Craft Talk: Some Essentials of Poetry, Part I // Michael Collins, Rob Carney, Barbara Perry, David M. Harris

Craft Talk: Some Essentials of Poetry, Part II // 
Norman Minnick Jr., Jason McCall, Emily Stoddard, John Langfeld

Craft Talk: Contemplating Form // 
Chaun Ballard, Stacey Balkun, Jaydn DeWald, Nathan McClain, Zoe Brigley

Craft Talk: The Poetry Workshop // 
Thom Tammaro, Natalie Homer, C. Kubasta, Daniel Bosch


Craft Talk: Publishing and Literary Community // Helen Ruggieri, Linda Simone, Katie Manning, Nancy Reddy

Anthology Talk: The Poet’s Journey, Part I // J.G. McClure, Tanis MacDonald, Christine Beck, Diana Rosen, Aaron Brown

Anthology Talk: The Poet’s Journey, Part II // Amy Miller, Darby Price, Marina Blitshteyn, Robbie Gamble

Anthology Talk: Reclaiming Artistic Space Readings // Megan Merchant, David Maduli, Duane L. Hermann, Claudia F. Savage, John Guzlowski

Reclaiming Artistic Space Q&A

Anthology Talk: Poetry as a Way of Seeing the World Readings // Jose Angel Araguz, Gillian Parrish, Kari Treese, Kathryn Hummel

Poetry as a Way of Seeing the World Q&A



Ooh! I love this book, love hearing others speak about their craft, their muses and monsters. Filled to the brim with all things poetry, this book offers beginners (and experienced writers because there is always something more to learn) a place to start, where to go next-and what might happen there. These essays are enabling and encouraging and useful. They speak not only to process but also to the life of the poet, the business of poetry and the need for literary citizenship and community. This is a book I’ll return to again and again! Readers will, too. And get a fountain pen!!

-Karla Huston, Wisconsin Poet Laureate 2017-2018,

More than a window, a welcome. Thoughtfully crafted-full of wisdom and practical advice-this book offers an invitation into the world of poetry, demystifying the writing process and dismantling the lore that often prevents emerging writers from seeing themselves as poets. Far Villages: Welcome Essays for New & Beginner Poets is essential reading for anyone with tattered notebook pages that curl and lift into wings. Whoever you are, whoever you wish to become through language, this book is for you.

-Amy Ash

The special pen, or sliver of eavesdropping, or the book that will change your life; the night table or bus ride where scraps of writings happen-these are just a few of the magical elements the practitioners gathered in this inspiring anthology call on to sing and to guide new poets inside the mysteries of poem-making. The marketplace of publishing beckons and glitters, but these poet-essayists remind us that the best feeling in the world is finding oneself in the middle of writing a poem. Humor, sharp prosodic strategies and prompts, advice about submitting, and some very cool personal anecdotes, alongside several daunting and stark accounts, hallmark every section of this anthology. There’s wisdom and guidance in every essay. Far Villages is invaluable for beginners, to be sure, but also for poets teaching new writers, poets in-between poems, and poets who’ve been writing a while and are thirsty to refresh. This smart and unusually various academic and personal text serves as revivifying reminder that the welcome itself sustains new American writing.

-Judith Vollmer

Far Villages freely invites the novice poet into a company of friendly strangers who recast the anxiety of influence in terms of mentorship. Readers will find that the innovative chapter headings, beginning with “Hello and Welcome…”all the way to the final chapter called “A Way of Seeing the World are likewise refreshing in the willing patronage the book offers to the apprentice poet. Drawing from diverse poetic traditions, Far Villages is a vital addition in the field of new and evolving poetics.

-Claudia Keelan

About the Author

Abayomi Animashaun

Abayomi Animashaun is an immigrant from Nigeria. He has an MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a PhD from the University of Kansas. His poems have appeared in such print and online journals as Poetry Ireland ReviewDiode, TriQuarterly, The Cortland ReviewAfrican American ReviewThe Adirondack Review, Ruminate Magazine, and Versedaily. A winner of the Hudson Prize and a recipient of a grant from the International Center for Writing and Translation, Animashaun is the author of three poetry collections, SeahorsesSailing for Ithaca, and The Giving of Pears, and editor of three anthologies, Far Villages: Welcomes Essays for New and Beginner PoetsOthers Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences, and Writing in America, and Walking the Tightrope: Poetry and Prose by LGBTQ Writers from Africa (edited with Spectra, Tatenda Muranda, Irwin Iradunkunda, and Timothy Kimutai)Abayomi Animashaun is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh and a poetry editor at The Comstock Review. He lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin with his wife and children.

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