(You all should’ve seen this coming).

Today, I want to look at the how to go about crafting a poetic journalism poem. The key, in my mind, to this poem is to eliminate the “I” in the poem. The author should be concentrating on not the personal reaction to the event, location, or person but letting the chosen object tell the story. The author must also stay away from narration. I think that is another key to moving poetry into the creative nonfiction field; this staying away from the narrative poem.


I want you today go after something that is real familiar to you. Maybe on a walk today, you see an abandoned building, or an overgrown fenced in parking lot, a store that closed its doors. Find something you’ve walked by a million times but never gave it a second glance.

Then, start doing research on the building (or whatever you’ve picked). Try: to find newspaper articles about it, look up the town history, see if anyone who remembers what the building used to be is still around and is willing to talk to you about its history.

After you have your research done, then develop the time line of the building.

Once you have that, start writing.

It will probably come out as paragraphs and that is more than fine. Take your sentences and start chopping them up into stanzas. Look at your end words; look at your punctuation. Start sharpening your verbs and nouns. Eliminate adverbs and sharpen the adjectives.