Frugal Poets' Guide to Life

How to Live a Poetic Life, Even If You Aren't a Poet

Non-Fiction - Self Help
280 Pages
Reviewed on 07/26/2016
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Author Biography

Cynthia Gallaher is a Chicago-based published poet with three full collections of poetry, Night Ribbons (Polar Bear Press), Swimmer’s Prayer (Missing Spoke Press) and Earth Elegance (March Abrazo Press), and two chapbooks, Private, On Purpose (Mulberry Press) and Omnivore Odes (Finishing Line Press). The Chicago Public Library lists her among its “Top 10 Requested Chicago Poets” and Today’s Chicago Woman magazine named her one of “100 Women Making a Difference.” Most recently, she became a certified yoga instructor, and is completing a new manuscript of food and medicinal herb poems, Botanical Bandwidth.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

Frugal Poets' Guide to Life: How to Live a Poetic Life, Even If You Aren't a Poet by Cynthia Gallaher is an engaging book for all those readers who are interested in poetry and how to become a poet. The book is a useful tool to all those who want to live a poetic life, even if they are not poets. The author shares her knowledge about writing poetry, poetry readings, reading venues, workshops, a brief history of the Chicago poetry scene, the birth of poetry slam, poetry related resources available in the country, and writing programs, giving readers ample information about poetry and the life of a poet. The book gives a peek into the author's personal journey and she gives inexpensive tips for living a creatively elegant life based on modest resources.

The book is interesting and encouraging, and tells readers how to be cool, smart, savvy, and in demand, living a full life without making it expensive. There are tips on how to write and how to go about being part of poetry related activities that happen in the United States. The author's personal experiences are fun and interesting, and the key traits found in the majority of creative types are also listed in the book. Piirto's signs of an archetypal American poet are fascinating to read, along with other concepts that revolve around poetry, poetry writing, and poets. The author's personal stories and experiences, her views on writing and being creative, and her tips and suggestions on how to create one's own chapbook make this book an excellent read.

Sandra Cisneros

“Frugal poet, thank you for documenting the Chicago poetry scene as I remember it. Thank you for the abundance of writers’ quotes, spot-on about the real writer’s life. Thanks for a great reference tool for those starting out on their own writer’s path. Finally, frugal poet, thank you for sharing your own personal story with generosity and, above all, honesty.”
~ Sandra Cisneros, author of House on Mango Street, Caramelo and A House of My Own, and recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship.

Sharon Lichter

Although I am not a poet, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Cynthia writes with much knowledge of her craft. Her reference to Chicago poetry history swooped me into a very interesting world. Poets will greatly appreciate all her information about reading venues, workshops, writer's conferences and residency programs available.