Valerie Fox and Lynn Levin’s Next Big Thing

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing


What is the title of your book?

 Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets by Valerie Fox and Lynn Levin


Where did the idea come from for the book?

 Valerie and I teach poetry writing, and we developed a collection of prompts that always seemed to work for our students. We thought it would be great to share these prompts with teachers and poets, so we developed additional prompts, had some poets contribute prompts, and collected the best examples of poems generated by the prompts. Then we wrapped them all up in this beautiful, and beautifully illustrated, book.


What genre does your book fall under?  

Composition & creative writing


Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  

Martin Freeman would play Randy in “Memo Regarding Your Future.”

Rosalind Russell would play Janice in “Janice.”


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?   


Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets offers fourteen classroom- and workshop-tested writing prompts that will appeal to both beginning and experienced poets. 


Why did you decide to publish it with Texture Press?


The publisher of Texture Press, Susan Smith Nash, was tremendously enthusiastic about this project from the start, and the book fits perfectly with her desire to promote literature and education. 


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 


We wrote the first draft in about one year.


What other books would you compare this text to within your genre?


The only book that comes close is Behn & Twichell’s The Practice of Poetry. But Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets is unique because it not only explains the prompts in a friendly and succinct manner, it also includes sample poems generated by each prompt. The sample poems (at least two sample poems per prompt) are contributed by both beginning and experienced poets. This demonstrates the effectiveness of the prompts and how widely they can be interpreted. The sample poems are sometimes funny, but always stirring and trenchant works in their own right.


Who or what inspired you to write this book?


We were inspired to write Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets because we saw that busy teachers needed an easy-to-use collection of proven-successful prompts.


What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?


As soon as readers open the book, they ooh and ahh at Don Riggs’s witty line drawings that illustrate many of the prompts and poems.


April Lindner tagged me for The Next Big Thing. Thank you, April!

Superstition Review publishes my guest blog about one of our prompts

The Superstition Review, a great literary journal + multimedia literary party produced by creative writing and web design students at Arizona State University, just published my guest blog piece about one of the prompts in Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets.

I wrote about the paraclausithyron, a lover’s lament before the beloved’s closed door.

Here’s the link:

Beloved, open your door!

The description of the prompt is in my blog post…and I even feature a spooky paraclausithyron by Edgar Allen Poe: “The Raven.” The blog post went live June 13, 2013, but the people at Superstition Review seem to keep the blog posts available continuously. Hope you’ll visit it now.

Knock, knock….