Sunday Book Review – Word Craft Prose & Poetry by Colleen Chesebro

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Today I’m thrilled to review Colleen Chesebro’s latest book – Word Craft Prose & Poetry – The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry. If you are a lover of poetry writing, I would highly recommend this book. You’ll have to read my review below to find out why!





Are you ready to learn how to craft Japanese and American poetry? Consider this book the first step on your journey to learning the basics of how to craft syllabic poetry. Inside, you will discover many new forms, syllable combinations, and interpretations of the different Japanese and American forms and structures of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, renga/solo renga, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, the cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry.


So… what are you waiting for? Let’s craft syllabic poetry together!



My 5 Star Review:

If you’re a lover of poetry and are interested in learning how to write syllabic poetry, or even just as a reader to discover all that’s involved in writing in the various styles of syllabic poetry, this is the book for you. Yes, there are plenty of books written on the subject for sure, but this author has a gift of born ‘teaching’. Her tutorials on how to, as well as great direction in explanations and wonderful use of examples allow us to clearly see what the author is explaining.


Syllabic poetry encompasses various styles and syllabic counts with succinct descriptions, from both the English and Japanese style of writing Haiku. The author explains the differences in syllabic counts to various versions of Haiku, as well as teaching us the difference between poetic prose which requires no syllabic count, such as Gogyolka or Tanka Prose. We’ll also learn about many of the various forms of Haiku and Tanka with Haibun, which styles are written from a personal point of view, and writing about nature.


Chesebro takes us through all the various forms of writing syllabic poetry and shares with us the importance of writing poetry, “When we create poetry, we become better writers.” She goes on to explain that we learn from poetry, the brevity of words, urging us to use stronger word choices with minimal words that evoke vivid images. A wonderful guide book to introduce us to the meaning of syllabic poetry and the differences between Japanese and American Haiku. This author runs a weekly poetry challenge that I urge anyone interested in learning to write poetry from the basics and forward to visit her blog.




50 thoughts on “Sunday Book Review – Word Craft Prose & Poetry by Colleen Chesebro

  1. Debby, I can’t thank you enough for the lovely review of Word Craft: Prose & Poetry. We’ve sure had fun through the years writing poetry together. On September 27, 2021, this challenge will have run for five years! Can you believe it? Thanks for being part of my journey. I appreciate you! ❤


  2. Colleen has got a huge number of people writing poetry, and you’re right, she has a knack for explaining the different forms and finding beautiful examples. Congratulations to her on such a book and thanks for your compelling review, Debby!


  3. Debby, a brilliant and informative review of Colleen’s book! Congratulations, Colleen!

    This sounds like the go-to book for syllabic poetry and although many know the craft there is a big difference to being a born teacher like Colleen! Many thanks for sharing here!


    1. Yes! Jacquie, I wrote this book for someone like you who would like to write poetry, but maybe doesn’t know how to start. Syllabic poetry is all about a few words with a lot of meaning. I hope you’ll give it a try. Huge hugs.


  4. I couldn’t agree more with your wonderful review, Debby. Colleen did a beautiful job with this on every level. Easy to understand, complete, and the examples are beautiful. Great review, and Congrats to Colleen.


    1. Thanks so much, Diana. I have a deep love for Japanese poetry. And, as you know, it’s fun to write and experiment with. I think it helps us become writers too. I notice I’m more careful to choose words with more meaning than some of the fluff words. Huge hugs to you!


  5. A fabulous review Deb! I agree with you, Collen’s book is “a wonderful guide book to introduce us to the meaning of syllabic poetry.” Infact, it is an eye-opener for those who are not familiar with so many forms of poetry. She has done a great job. Congratulations to her.


    1. Exactly Jim. It’s really fun and almost like doing a puzzle after writing a draft then shaving off to fit in the correct syllable count. It can be addictive, lol 🙂


  6. Thank you for this review, on Colleen’s masterpiece of “cryptowork”. Lol Poetry is wonderful to read, and with this book as an compendium i will start another DIY trial. Thanks again, and have all a beautiful weekend! xx Michael


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