Asked to offer suggestions/advice for beginning poets, Diane Lockward recently responded:
“Have patience and persistence. Respect your tears; they are often where the poems reside. Learn the craft. Be willing to serve an apprenticeship. Read the masters to learn where you came from. Read contemporary poetry to learn what’s being done today. Buy books by other poets; that’s one way we support each other. Mark up the books and learn from them. When you ask for a critique, be sure you are not just looking for compliments; otherwise, you won’t grow as a poet.”
Source: Diane Lockward, interviewed by Nicelle Davis for The Bees’ Knees Blog.
A side note: It’s still somewhat difficult for me to address Diane by her first name, since for many years she taught English at my high school (my sister was one of her students!). But it has been lovely to refind her in the world of poets and poetry. You’ll find her blog, Blogalicious, linked to the right.