Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti and writers for the website talk with the women and men making news in New York, Washington, D.C., and other cities around the world. Thanks to Ian Herman for his wonderful piano introduction.

Esther Cohen

Episode 26: Esther Cohen Talks About Writing Poetry


Esther Cohen is a writer, teacher, and activist. We could speak with Esther about a multitude of topics, including the work she does with Bread and Roses, the country’s premiere labor union cultural program. We will have to get her back for that interview. But today we’re going to speak with her about her writing, specifically her poetry. Besides her novel, Book Doctor, and her nonfiction books, she’s published two books of poetry. Her poems have appeared in literary journals like Alimentum and First Word, in the New York Times, and on the NPR radio show “On Being.” Esther is constantly writing and she posts a poem a day on her website. I

We publish poems in our Poet’s Corner on Woman Around Town and we have had the honor of publishing several of Esther’s poems in that space. Maybe you’re thought about writing poetry but have no idea how to get started. Or maybe you have a journal somewhere where you are indeed writing poems, but wonder if you could ever get them published. Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti talks about all of that with Esther.


How to Write a POEM (REDUX)


Many times during the years I have written a “How to Write a Poem Poem.” It’s one of those questions people ask. And even though I don’t know the answer, not really, here’s my answer this year. I wrote it by hand. Meanwhile, here it is:

You need paper
and a pen a computer’s not
the same as your hand or
how your fingers hold onto
your pen. Then, write it down.
Write it down.

From Esther: “April is National Poetry Month and we want everyone to write poems. We need poems! I post a poem a day at ESTHERCOHEN.COM.”

Poet’s Corner: How To Write a Poem – Esther Cohen


April is National Poetry Month. If you’ve ever wanted to write a poem, but don’t know how to get started, Esther Cohen tells how. Esther posts a poem a day on her blog. You can also go to the website for National Poetry Month.

How to Write a Poem

If You Want To 

 Sit down





up but

sitting down’s





a way

to begin.

Lesson One

You can

start here

or over there.

First words matter.

Start better

than begin.


you go

up to you.

Try to go

where you can

find your best poem

Lesson 2 

You want

to write.


sit right there.

Don’t move.

Then write

a word or two

right down.

Lesson 3 

Some days

no poems.

Just wait.