8 Poetry-Writing Tips

Written by Victoria Barry

Dr. Kearney’s Contemporary Christian Poetry class had the opportunity to chat over the phone with Andrew Hudgins, a modern-day poet. Dr. Kearney’s students, myself included, have been working on composing their own poem sequences and were able to ask Mr. Hudgins for writing advice and inquire into his own compositional practices.

Here are a few of Andrew Hudgins’ literary words of wisdom.

  1. “Read poetry out loud; it trains your ear to how poetry should sound. Read the poetry you write out loud as you go along.”
  2. “I almost never start out with a point I want to make. I start with an itch, a wanting to understand something.”
  3. “Everybody’s got to find their own way into something. You learn your process by working. You just jump into it and start falling.”
  4. “Be aware of the world around you.”
  5. “It’s always easier to take out than put it.”
  6. “Steal details, don’t plagiarize.”
  7. “I’m a saver. I keep things in notebooks for years, decades . . . I save everything.”
  8. “Just because you found the detail and like it doesn’t mean it fits in your poem.”

Victoria Barry is a junior majoring in English with a minor in Classical Education. She participates in Hillsdale’s Catholic Society, volunteers at Mary Randall Preschool, and is the vice-president of the A.A. Milne Society.