“As you use this book (Thirteen Ways of Looking for a Poem) to help you write into and out of forms, I encourage you to play, to have fun with writing poetry as well as to work at it. . . The sestina, attributed to French troubadour Arnout Daniel, who wrote around the year 1100, became popular again in Germany in the seventeenth century, in England in the nineteenth century, and in the United States in the second half of the twentieth century. The sestina requires that six end words be repeated in a set pattern across six stanzas and that all six words be used—again, in patterns—in a three-line final stanza, called an envoi—literally, a farewell or conclusion.”
–Wendy Bishop, author of the textbook Thirteen Ways of Looking for a Poem
Maura Stanton’s first book of poetry, Snow On Snow, was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. She has published five more books of poetry, most recently Immortal Sofa with the University of Illinois Press, as well as a novel and three books of short stories. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Indiana University in Bloomington.
On this edition of The Poets Weave, Stanton reads “Class Assignment — Thirteen Ways of Looking for a Poem,” for Wendy Bishop, 1953 – 2003.