Writing Poetry (and a Giveaway)

Finding What You Didn’t Lose by John Fox is a book of poetry and a book about writing poetry. Best of all, it is a book about healing through writing your personal story in poetry form.

864099The book is beautifully written and designed, with wide scholar’s margins containing comments on poetry from Ginsburg to Pascal. You could just read the comments in the margins and learn a lot about poetry writing and yourself.

Fox starts the book by encouraging a practice of breathing, stillness, and listening. It’s the best way I know how to write anything.

The book is 300 pages of examples, exercises, suggestions, and encouragement:

Our soul responds with energy to our desire to grow–and create poetry. Poetry says things in ways that no other kind of communication can. When we write poetry, it is possible to not only “heal the wounds of the heart,” but liberate our imagination. Reading and writing poetry is a secret bridge to a part of ourselves that is sacred.

I have two copies of this book, because I thought I’d lost it and then, of course, found it because I found what I hadn’t lost. It has some writing in the margins, but nothing that would detract from enjoying the book.

Leave a comment if you would like to own the book. I’ll draw a winner and announce it on Saturday, May 31.  Check back and see if you were the winner!

-Quinn McDonald reads poetry and learns about life by writing poetry.



45 thoughts on “Writing Poetry (and a Giveaway)

  1. Poetry is the essence of life experiences and writing poems and reading poetry lend intensity to the experiences. This book sounds like a series of those experiences. Thanks for the opportunity to learn more about an essential part of my life.

  2. Just reading Running on Empty, meditations for Indispensable Women (again)..really good advice and your giveaway looks like something we all should have in our libraries. Count me in!

  3. The title of this book sounds perfect for my fourteen year old grand daughter. She is a writer and artist and we all know teens need all the help they can get understanding themselves! Of course, once she’s done with the book…I could read it too!
    thanks Quinn.

  4. I would love a chance to win this book. I love reading quotes and spend a little time writing my own poetry. It would be fun to read the margins. I love finding old books that have notes and stuff written in the margins by previous readers.

  5. What an intriguing title. The older I get and the more art I make, somehow that makes me more interested in poetry. Go figure – I didn’t enjoy poetry too much when I was in school (a million years ago, ha ha). Thanks for the chance to win the book. Very generous of you.

  6. I would love to read this book and if I don’t win, I will buy it. I am starting a new phase of my life:single mom of one empty-nester with no other family- and I want to learn who I will be for the next stage of my life. I haven’t written poetry for 30 tears, but I think this would be a wonderful awareness exercise for me.

  7. I love the sound of this one. If you want to appear and hand the book over in person I’m in Australia. I know it’s late autumn here, but I’m in Queensland and we’re having fantastic weather right now….sunny and 25C. We could drink coffee and talk about life, art and poetry…doesn’t that sound fun?

  8. have done collage for over 30 yrs., artzy journaling for several, but, I NEEEEEEED to incorporate poetry, to be sure. THIS book sounds very comprehensive. have HOPE * BE HOPE * share HOPE … THANK*YOU!

  9. I write Haiku. It’s simple and it expresses how I feel at the moment. I struggled with poetry in school. I write prose because poetry seemed so much more disciplined than prose and I am not disciplined enough. Curious that I like Haiku so much!

  10. The title of this book speaks volumes to anyone who has experienced despair and the feeling that all is lost — forever! Thank you.

  11. I would LOVE to have this book. I feel a need to write poetry … but I need a little kick in the pants to do it. Thanks!

  12. Quinn,
    On a day when we’ve lost Maya Angelou…what an appropriate post. I would love a copy. Thank you for always writing spot-on posts.

    • I’d love to say I stayed up checking the wires, but that didn’t happen. When I was considering which book to give away, I thought, “We need more poetry in the world, and more healing.” I’d like to think it was the spirit of Maya who inspired me.

  13. I would use the book in my bereavement support writing class, where it would be put to good use helping people work through through grief that hasn’t responded to time.

    BUT I’m simply grateful for you telling me about the book (which I can purchase myself). So give it to somebody else on the list. That way you “win” twice–you can give it to someone who needs it more, and I’ll have a great book I wouldn’t otherwise have known about. :^)

  14. “Where does she get those wonderful toys?” This sounds like an inspiring book to have for any aspiring poet. And we poets are all aspiring all the time regardless of poems published or hurts healed. Quinn, I have taken much healing from this site over the last couple of years and you have many thanks for all of the inspiration and support you provide. Select another deserving soul to receive this gift. I shall head off to Amazon.ca to get this book on my own knowing it comes well recommended. 12 degrees C and raining in Edmonton. Sigh – will long lazy summer never come?

    • You’ll find “Poetic Medicine” right next to it. Another great buy. And you can always get them used to save money, if you want. I buy a lot of used books and they arrive looking great.

  15. I’d love a copy of this book, Quinn. Poetry has a special place in my heart because in my teen years to early 20s I was bound and determined write short fiction but my pen repeatedly produced poetry until l learned to “obey the poem.”

  16. I’d love to win a copy of the book. I like poetry and have written a number of poems over the years. I’d enjoy reading some new ideas about using poetry. Thanks for the giveaway.

  17. It is so kind of you to always share books with us Quinn. This sounds like it would be a wonderful addition to your books and would add more insite to my “Inner Hero Journaling”. Thanks again. I look forward to winning it! Lol

  18. I have a question about procedure — are you going to draw the winner, then whoever looks the most like your drawing wins? Or are you going to post your drawing as the announcement for the winner to recognize? Or does the winner have to appear in person, whereupon the prize turns out to be an incentive to sit as a drawing model in your studio?


  19. Quinn, I would love to have this book. It’s ironic that you post about poetry and a book about writing it because I literally just decided to do daily poetry blogs about my life. Like you, I am dealing with a difficult mother but also much more. I need an outlet for these emotions that will not be obvious to others and I think sharing my struggles may help others in their own quest. Thanks for all you do, Quinn! 🙂

  20. My heart is in rehab. I express myself in writing poetry but this book sounds ideal to help me on my journey. The title is perfect as I reinvent a new life and be grateful for what I have as I let the darkness fall away. When I write it is often dark so be good to shine a new light on things. Grief makes one so terribly tired….a quote came to mind this morning! Bubbly Jain is having a tricky week.x

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