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How to Write a Love Poem


"Love Letters": Common Good Books’ Second Annual Poetry Contest has come to an end. We congratulate the prize winners and thank everyone who was moved to write a poem for their beloved, “without deciding, and without ever knowing,” in the words of Stephen Burt. As Garrison said of the entries, “there was a lot to admire everywhere we looked.”

Throughout the contest, we posted advice on how to write a love poem from some of the best poets, editors and critics in America. We encourage you to keep taking their advice and “write your love poem as if it was the last thing you were going to ever say.” 

  1. Jeff Shotts, Executive Editor at Graywolf Press, 02/14/2014
  2. Kathleen Flenniken, 2012-2014 Washington State Poet Laureate, 02/20/2014
  3. Henri Cole, Author of Touch and Pierce the Skin: Selected Poems, 2/28/2014
  4. Sophie Cabot Black, Author of The Exchange, 03/06/2014
  5. Tony Hoagland, Author of What Narcissism Means to Me, 03/14/2014
  6. Kristin Naca, Author of Bird Eating Bird, 03/15/2014
  7. Richard Blanco, Fifth Inaugural Poet of the United States, 03/17/2014
  8. Alan Shapiro, Author of Reel to Reel, 03/28/2014
  9. Deborah Garrison, Poetry Editor at Knopf, 04/04/2014
  10. Jim Moore, Author of Underground: New and Selected Poems, 04/13/2014
  11. Wayne Miller, Co-editor of Pleiades and Author of The Book of Props, 04/14/2014
  12. Stephen Burt, Critic At Large and Author of Belmont, 04/15/2014