Poetry 101 Book

My first book arrived in bookstores on Sept. 4, 2018!
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Poetry 101, as described on the Simon & Schuster website:

Become a poet and write poetry with ease with help from this clear and simple guide in the popular 101 series.

Poetry never goes out of style. An ancient writing form found in civilizations across the world, poetry continues to inform the way we write now, whether we realize it or not—especially in social media—with its focus on brevity and creating the greatest possible impact with the fewest words. Poetry 101 is your companion to the wonderful world of meter and rhyme, and walks you through the basics of poetry. From Shakespeare and Chaucer, to Maya Angelou and Rupi Kaur, you’ll explore the different styles and methods of writing, famous poets, and poetry movements and concepts—and even find inspiration for creating poems of your own.

Whether you are looking to better understand the poems you read, or you want to tap into your creative side to write your own, Poetry 101 gives you everything you need!

Reviews / Press:

Poetry 101, as reviewed by Booklist:

“… Even while examining the painstaking intricacies of poetic meter, rhyme scheme, and form, Poetry 101 maintains a light yet instructive air. …”

Poetry 101, as reviewed on The Nerdy Girl Express:

“Provides anyone interested in poetry with a way to grow their knowledge. No matter how much you already know about poetry you will come away with something new by the end of Poetry 101. Dalzell is able to provide a great deal of information in a way that allows you to casually take it in while not feeling as though you are reading a textbook. I would strongly recommend this book not only to those who are interested in learning more about poetry, but also for anyone who will need to study poetry in school. Poetry 101 is perfectly written for any age reader and could tremendously help high school and college students learn and refresh their memories.”

Poetry 101, as reviewed on YA Books Central:

“It is a wonderful entry point for anyone who has ever been interested in poetry or its history, especially during a time when poetry is in a resurgence. I appreciate how easy this guide is to read and I love getting to know some of the characters who shaped and influenced this art form. I would definitely recommend POETRY 101 to history lovers, artists, and English literature aficionados.”

Poetry 101, as reviewed on Get Literary:

“Before you read poems, you should read about poetry. This pocket-sized book is quite literally a crash course in the genre (as the cover says). I love that it combines Shakespeare and Rupi Kaur in its vast history, and really paints a much fuller picture than what one typically studies in high school. You’ll learn about technical form, sub-genres, and acquire weird fun facts like how Rupi’s kerfuffle with Instagram in 2015 led to her position as an Internet spokesperson for feminism.”

Poetry 101, as reviewed in Young Adult Nonfiction: A Readers’ Advisory and Collection Development Guide by Elizabeth Fraser:

“The introduction to this novel and fascinating guide to poetic forms and poets goes far beyond an average introduction…”

Poetry 101, as reviewed on 26thpage.com:

“Poetry 101 opens your eyes on the wide range of poems, from years past to the present day. One would understand poetry a bit more with the help of Susan Dalzell’s crash course in the said subject. Spend a day reading it, and you’ll find yourself appreciating more of today’s poetry. …”


Cassidy Cash interviewed me for Episode 35 of her podcast, That Shakespeare Life. For those of you not familiar with her podcast, Cash dives deep each week into the life and times of Shakespeare. For our episode, we talked about how Shakespeare used iambic pentameter in his plays and why that choice works so well. We had a lively conversation covering two of my favorite subjects – poetry and Shakespeare!