The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing

4.16 avg rating
( 2,173 ratings by Goodreads )
9780393088397: The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing
View all copies of this ISBN edition:

Richard Hugo was that rare phenomenon of American letters—a distinguished poet who was also an inspiring teacher. The Triggering Town is Hugo's now-classic collection of lectures, essays, and reflections, all "directed toward helping with that silly, absurd, maddening, futile, enormously rewarding activity: writing poems." Anyone, from the beginning poet to the mature writer to the lover of literature, will benefit greatly from Hugo's sayd, playful, profound insights and advice concerning the mysteries of literary creation.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.


Richard Hugo's The Triggering Town, originally published in 1979, remains one of the freshest and most refreshing treatises on the writing of poetry. While you won't find formality or nicety here, Hugo has the unusual quality of being highly opinionated and yet not at all convinced that what works for him will work for you. Hugo doesn't believe that he can teach you how to write; he believes he can teach you how he writes, and by doing so, teach you "how to teach yourself how to write." And while most writing instructors claim that one can't be a good writer without being a good reader, Hugo claims "that one learns to write only by writing." Hugo's essays are strong-willed and funny and by turns full of bluster and cloaked in modesty. While "a good teacher can save a young poet years by simply telling him things he need not waste time on, like trying to will originality or trying to share an experience in language or trying to remain true to the facts," he writes, "ultimately the most important things a poet will learn about writing are from himself in the process." Above all, Hugo stresses that creative writing is creative because it is a creative act: "if one is writing the way one should, one does not know what will be on the page until it is there." So, he warns, "If you want to communicate, use the telephone." And "Think small.... If you can't think small, try philosophy or social criticism."

About the Author:

Richard Hugo was for many years the director of the creative writing program at the University of Montana, Missoula Campus. He received the Theodore Roethke Memorial Prize and was twice nominated for the National Book Award.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 13.95
US$ 70.44

Convert Currency

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.

Destination, Rates & Speeds

Add to Basket

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace


Hugo, Richard
Published by W. W. Norton & Company (2010)
ISBN 10: 0393088391 ISBN 13: 9780393088397
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110393088391

More Information About This Seller | Contact this Seller

Buy New
US$ 70.44
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds