Naming the Unnameable: An Approach to Poetry for New Generations

(3 reviews)


Michelle Evory, Kalamazoo Community College

Pub Date: 2018

ISBN 13: 978-1-9423414-9-9

Publisher: Open SUNY

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Reviewed by Jennifer MacKenzie, Lecturer, Lehman College, on 6/20/2018.

This textbook does a great job of covering in satisfying detail a broad range of forms and activities that scaffold all stages of the composition … read more



Reviewed by Allison Amend, Associate Professor, Lehman College, on 6/20/2018.

This book is an excellent overview of the art of reading and writing poetry for an introductory college course or an advanced secondary school … read more



Reviewed by Ashley Hudson, Lecturer, University of North Carolina Wilmington, on 5/22/2018.

Naming the Unnameable: An Approach to Poetry for New Generations does an excellent job outlining an approach to reading poetry, crafting poetry, … read more


Table of Contents

Reviewer’s Notes

Reviewer’s Notes

Preface for Instructors

Introduction: Our Natural Right to Play

  • Chapter One: Getting Started: The Nine Muses
  • Chapter Two: Welcome, Reader: Reading Poetry
  • Chapter Three: Images
  • Chapter Four: Voice
  • Chapter Five: Architecture
  • Chapter Six: Acoustics
  • Chapter Seven: Experimenting with Forms
  • Chapter Eight: Revision
  • Chapter Nine: Publication
  • Chapter Ten: Reading Your Poems to an Audience

Key Terms

Concrete Word List

Abstract Word List

Recommended Accompanying Resources

Works Cited

About the Book

Informed by a writing philosophy that values both spontaneity and discipline, Michelle Bonczek Evory’s Naming the Unnameable: An Approach to Poetry for New Generations offers practical advice and strategies for developing a writing process that is centered on play and supported by an understanding of America’s rich literary traditions. With consideration to the psychology of invention, Bonczek Evory provides students with exercises aimed to make writing in its early stages a form of play that gives way to more enriching insights through revision, embracing the writing of poetry as both a love of language and a tool that enables us to explore ourselves and better understand the world. The volume includes resources for students seeking to publish and build a writing-centered lifestyle or career. Poets featured range in age, subject, and style, and many are connected to colleges in the State University of New York system. Naming the Unnameable promotes an understanding of poetry as a living art of which students are a part, and provides ways for students to involve themselves in the growing contemporary poetry community that thrives in America today.

About the Contributors


Michelle Bonczek Evory is the author of The Art of the Nipple (Orange Monkey Publishing, 2013) and a mentor at The Poet’s Billow ( Her poetry is featured in the Best New Poets 2013 anthology and has been published in over seventy journals and magazines, including Crazyhorse, cream city review, Green Mountains Review, New Millennium Writings, Orion Magazine, and The Progressive. She holds a PhD from Western Michigan University, an MFA from Eastern Washington University, an MA from SUNY Brockport, was previously a Visiting Professor at The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and is currently a  part time professor at Western Michigan University and an adjunct professor Kalamazoo Community College.