Review – What Poets Are Like: Up and Down with the Writing Life by Gary Soto

What Poets Are Like: Up and Down with the Writing Life / Gary Soto / Sasquatch Books / 978-1570618741 / 208 pages

What Poets Are Like - Gary SotoWhat Poets Are Like: Up and Down with the Writing Life collects sixty short essays by Gary Soto. Soto is an acclaimed American poet, as well as the author of many books for young readers.

This isn’t an instruction book for writing poetry, or a memoir. You won’t even really learn “what poets are like” – but rather, what this poet is like, what makes him and his poetic engine tick.

Soto’s casual style gives the impression of a conversation with a friend; these could be stories told over a cup of coffee.

Among the topics: the pain of being cut loose by a longtime publisher; a lost hat, and its discovered fate; on downsizing a book collection; poetry’s lack of reward; on the possibility of living to 120 – and writing poetry; a chance encounter with a former student; fellow poets; a photo of Cesar Chavez; the day the MFAs arrived in the mail; The Gary Soto Literary Museum; football games. Here is a multitude of everyday concerns – easy to relate to and enjoy whether you’re interested in poetry or not. But for fellow writers, Soto’s words will mean even more.

{box}What Poets Are Like: Up and Down with the Writing Life is available now at Amazon and other bookstores.