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10 Gifts for a Poet
Poet's Market 2018
As a working poet, I've been using Poet's Market for more than 20 years. It makes a great gift for all poets with craft articles, markets and how-to's. Yearly, expect to find updated market listings and contact information and literary magazines needs. The business of poetry content will give beginners the background they need to feel confident in submitting their own work.
Generally speaking, poets appreciate art and beauty, so any present that is aesthetically pleasing will most likely be appreciated.
But often people who don't write or read poetry wonder, "what is the best present to give to someone who loves poetry?" Have you asked yourself or been asked, "What's the best gift for a poet?"
Whether the writer is just beginning a creative life, is many times published or is just a lover of words here are some of my favorite "love of language" gifts to give and/or receive.
As a poet, I consider myself an authority on poetry themed gifts and I know which presents really meant a lot to me. You can't go wrong with gifts that acknowledge the person's love of words and language, encourage them to work on their craft, support them with the tools of their trade including: pens, software, blank journals and/or craft of poetry books that will form the foundation of learning are all treasured rewards.
Fun, inexpensive presents can be enhanced by the gift presentation by thinking creatively. A favorite poem or lines from verse typewritten in a low-priced frame (which is now very popular on Etsy), a small gift wrapped in vintage dictionary pages, (if the dictionary is beyond use of course), an offer of house sitting or childcare so the bard can get some quiet time away.
Or celebrate their love of the writing life with vintage desk accessories. This may include classic typewriters (useable or desk art), stationary trays, antique ink bottles, or leather desk tools. Many of these can be found (sometimes very inexpensively) at flea markets, online auction houses or garage sales.
Because writers love language many people indubitably think about word related games that celebrate vocabulary (think Scrabble, Bananagrams, Boggle, Upwards, Typo, Balderdash, Haikubes, magnetic poetry kits.) Other ideas include: handmade paper, woodless graphite pencils, engraved quote pens or jewelry, biography of a favorite writer, typewriter key jewelry, five-year memory books, mugs with quotes presented with coffee or tea.
Craft Poetry Books_Learning how to play with words
One book I routinely gift to fellow wordsmiths is poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. This bestseller reminds me of the playful nature of writing and can help open up new poets to the mindset of playing and working with words.
Top Ten Gifts for the Poet
1. Poet’s Market—“The Most Trusted Guide for Publishing Poetry” Even if the recipient is not quite ready for publication, this yearly guide is full of inspirational craft and business articles, how to’s, lists of conferences, grants etc. and of course invaluable listings for markets and poetry contests.
2. Blank Journal—Every writer I know has dozens of these but they are always welcome. You can choose from Moleskine classic notebooks, pocket journals, or handcrafted leather journals. Or pick one that has a graphic that represents the natural world or the world of the writer.
3. Book or books on the craft—There are many fine books on the craft of poetry. Several of my favorites include: Writing Poetry from the Inside Out: Finding Your Voice through the Craft of Poetry by Sandford Lyne, Broken Lines - The Art & Craft of Poetry by Judith Skillman, The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets by Ted Kooser, A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver and The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux.
4. Fountain pen or set of pens—Pens range from $10 to hundreds of dollars and the colors, designs and brands are endless. You can choose a classic, vintage fountain pen or if your budget allows a luxury one. Either way the poet will think of you every time they use their writing instrument.
5. Vintage edition of a favorite poet—Depending on your budget, peruse vintage book sites to look for unique editions of their favorite author or genre.
6. Best of the year anthology—Some favorites include: The Best American Poetry (insert year here), Best New Poets. This is a good way to introduce the poet to their poetic community and what's being published and applauded.
7. First edition book of their favorite writer: For many, this may be out of the budget, but if you can swing it, it will be much loved and appreciated.
8. Gift subscription to Poets and Writers, Poetry magazine, Writer's Digest or The Writer—Keep the gift going all year long with helpful advice, articles on craft and more.
9. Local workshop or session with a writing coach—Try reaching out to the local writing or arts communities to find out what's available and accessible in your recipient's community.
10. Magnetic Poetry Kit—These are fun ways to open up the writer to words as play. Many kits are available!
Other gifts that open the mind to creativity or allow poets to "play" with words are popular. You can explore Word Dominoes and Haikubes.
When you are old by W B Yeats (public domain)
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
Supporting a Writer
Let the lyricist in your life know that you support their craft.
Look for books on craft and bundle the books with a beautiful pen or blank journal. A magazine subscription to Poets and Writers is a thoughtful gift that they can use year round. Or have fun with the theme of poetry and give an original gift. I loved a tube of lip balm entitled, Poetic Pomegranate, when a writer friend gifted it to me!
April is National Poetry Month
Gift beautiful pens, blank and lined journals, first edition books, and/or office supplies to organize their craft.
What is the perfect birthday gift for a friend or family member who is a poet?
Do you have a partner, friend or family member who loves to write and/or read metered verse. If you have a bard in your life you might be wondering what sort of gift they would like.
Please suggest your favorite gifts to give or receive in the comments section below.
Any of these language inspired gifts are great holiday, Christmas or birthday gifts whether your friend or family member is just starting out or is a well published lyricist.
Consider wrapping up a set of vintage books with a silk ribbon like this set I was gifted one birthday by a dear writing friend. Explore calendars, vintage pens, cool desk accessories, favorite or first edition books, a gift subscription to Writer's Market or Poets and Writers, a beautiful hand made journal, a current edition of Poet's Market and more! Honor the writer in your life by gifting them something they will love to own.
Remember, even if they are published they are still working on the craft. If in doubt do a search in Amazon for "the craft of poetry".
For Christmas consider a first edition book, a special fountain pen with ink or a subscription to Poet's and Writer's. Look for local writing workshops in your area that they would love to attend!
Journals, Office Supplies and Pens
Buy something they might not be able to afford on their own. Consider vintage office supplies from Cavallini, they make beautiful and useable gifts for any writer. Journals, small notebooks and fountain pens make great stocking stuffers too!
© 2011 Writing Nag