Welcome to Your Poetry Writing Happy Place!

Word Craft Poetry is an uplifting community where poets can learn the basics of writing Japanese and American syllabic poetry by sharing their own poetic inspiration within a weekly poetry challenge called #TankaTuesday.

Participants submit their poetry written in one of these forms: haiku, senryū, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, renga, solo renga, chōka, Crapsey cinquain, American cinquain and its variations, Etheree and its variations, nonet and its variations, shadorma, Badger’s hexastich, and Abhanga; or a syllabic form from the poetscollective.org. Poets receive positive feedback from peers who inspire each other to stretch their creativity.

Join me and learn how to write syllabic poetry! Word Craft: Prose & Poetry is available in print and eBook versions on Amazon.com.

Latest Posts:

  • #TankaTuesday #Ekphrastic #Poetry Challenge, 1/24/22, No. 304

    #TankaTuesday #Ekphrastic #Poetry Challenge, 1/24/22, No. 304

    WELCOME TO TANKA TUESDAY! What a great week of poetry! It appears everyone enjoyed writing senryū. We all learn together: I did more research on the form. Read this post: Senryū or Senryu to get a better sense of what this form is all about. Many thanks to everyone who joined in! Here are the…… Read more

  • Senryū or Senryu

    Senryū or Senryu

    Senryū is a form with 3 or more lines following the short-long-short, (s-l-s) 3-5-3, 2-3-2, (5-7-5 traditional) approximately twelve syllables. Senryu do not rhyme, nor do they contain metaphors and similes. This form does not contain a title. Senryu is written about love, human foibles relating to a personal event, and should have an element…… Read more

  • #TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 303, 1/17/23

    #TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 303, 1/17/23

    WELCOME TO #TANKATUESDAY! 短歌 火曜日 In case you missed last week’s poetry, here are the poet’s links from the 1/10/23 photo prompt challenge: 1. ladyleemanila 8. Ken Hume 15. kittysverses 2. Sylvia Cognac 9. willowdot21 16. Yvette M Calleiro 3. ben Alexander 10. Cheryl 17. Jules 4. Britta Benson 11. Li/ Lisa 18. Colleen Chesebro 5.…… Read more

  • #TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 302, 1/10/23

    #TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 302, 1/10/23

    WELCOME TO #TANKATUESDAY! 短歌 火曜日 In case you missed last week’s poetry, here are the poet’s links from the 1/3/23 synonyms only challenge: 1. sangeetha 8. Gwen Plano 15. ben Alexander 2. Cheryl 9. Jules 16. Yvette M Calleiro 3. AJ 10. Kerfe 17. Ruth Klein 4. Annette Rochelle Aben 11. The Versesmith 18. kittysverses…… Read more

  • #TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 301, 1/3/23

    #TankaTuesday Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 301, 1/3/23

    WELCOME TO #TANKATUESDAY 短歌 火曜日 Welcome to a new year of writing syllabic poetry. Please read the rules, updated for the new year, 2023 HERE. Practicing with synonyms is a great way to choose the perfect word for the meaning you’re trying to convey in your poem. Try Thesaurus.com 💛 Back by popular demand, our…… Read more

  • A Look Back, & A Look Forward

    A Look Back, & A Look Forward

    As 2022 winds down, I embraced all the fun we had writing poetry at Word Craft Poetry this year. Thank you to everyone for joining me. We posted 47 #TankaTuesday Poetry Challenges and 47 Poetry Stars Recap posts! That’s a lot of poetry! We average 20 to 30 poets writing poetry each week per challenge.…… Read more

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Join me and learn how to write syllabic poetry! Word Craft: Prose & Poetry is available in print and ebook versions on Amazon.com.

What people are saying about the book: Word Craft: Prose & Poetry

Elizabeth Gauffreau

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended for the Poet in Everyone! Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸

“I have Colleen Chesebro’s weekly poetry challenge “Tanka Tuesday” to thank for inspiring me to try writing syllabic poetry for the first time. That initial inspiration resulted in a tanka, which was followed by another, then another, finally becoming my first poetry collection.

Chesebro’s poetry craft book works in a similar fashion. Word Craft first acknowledges and encourages the creative potential in each of us, which I would consider the book’s main premise. We all have the inspiration for poetry inside us; we just need to help that inspiration find its most appropriate form of expression.

Given this premise, it makes sense to begin with syllabic poetry–and so be able to choose a structured form well-suited to what we want to express. For example, have we been struck by the way the winter sky looks when a cold front is approaching? Haiku can capture and hold this observation. Are we bemused by a particular human foible? This observation would be better suited to senryu. And so on, through a wide range of nonrhyming syllabic forms.

The book is well-structured and organized. Each section defines a form of Japanese syllabic poetry and its American counterpart(s), including a brief history of how they evolved. (Credible sources have been consulted and cited for this information.) Next is an explanation of how to write the form, including general subject matter, syllable count, and number of lines. Finally, there are numerous examples of each form written by a range of poets, including Chesebro.

What I most appreciated about Word Craft is that it shines light on syllabic poetry from a number of different angles–any one of which could serve as the reader’s inspiration for a new poem!”

Selma in Japan

5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely resource that enhances creativity and just might surprise you. Reviewed in Japan 🇯🇵

“When we create poetry, we become better writers,” writes Colleen Chesebro in her book, Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry. Being a writer myself, there’s nothing more I want than to become better. But I have a tendency to overwrite. And so this year, I decided to explore the notion of brevity; to say more with less, tighter. Lucky for me I happened upon this amazing poet’s community that congregated at Ms.Chesebro’s weekly poetry cove: “Tanka Tuesday,” and started slowly to see how Syllabic poetry could indeed add so much to my desire to improve my craft. And now, thanks to this new mindset, I feel my verbs and grammar have seen a boost in the brevity of words. 

I first “heard” someone praise this book in a comment and readily bought the digital book in March and having browsed through the book, I decided to enter my first ever NaPoWriMo in April. Yes, my people, it was this book that gave me the incentive to even consider doing something like that! An accidental poet and I’ll have you know that I was the proudest I’ve ever been. And we’re talking poetry! 

Long story short, in September I purchased the paperback copy of the same book so that now, as the proud owner of the physical words of Ms. Chesebro, I feel her generous encouragement every time I touch the book.

The book begins with an introduction to how Colleen’s journey began – her poetry community, and goes on to discuss definitions of meter, syllable, and stresses, and the hard work required to find your creative soul. She suggests ways to encourage creativity, talks about figurative language and gives tips for finding inspiration too. Author Colleen Chesebro’s generous heart and kind soul shine in the book. This is a fabulous book, one that Author Colleen Chesebro should be very proud of. I know I’m proud to see her book on my shelf and consult it every time I need to count syllables. 

In my dreams — it must be because I really thought I already reviewed this book– I already told you about this book. (either that or my review wasn’t approved by the big guys). I highly recommend this book as a perfect resource for writing with brevity: A sure winner. 5-stars. Satisfied customer, Selma Martin.

The Word Witch