Every poet, fan of poetry, and student of poetry should include The Tao of Poetry in his or her library of classics---it's a great gift to give yourself or the poets in your life.

"Poetry is a way of life," says poet Howard McCord. "And being fascinated with it is, to me, simply investigating my own human nature---and the nature of all the other human beings around me."

Why read or write poetry? Where do poems come from? What is life as a poet like? What makes a good poem? What kills a poem? Howard, author of more than 35 books and whose Collected Poems was nominated for a National Book Award in 2002, explores these questions and more.

At once a portrait of a master poet and a journey of insights into poetic expression, The Tao of Poetry features Howard on tour, in conversation, and reading his own poems.


The Tao of Poetry consists of a main feature (approximately 65 minutes) and bonus material (approximately 25 minutes.) Total run time: approximately 90 minutes.

The DVD was professionally manufactured in a limited edition of 1000 total copies.

EXPLORATIONS, main feature

  • Why poetry?
  • Life as a poet
  • If you want to be a poet
  • Poetry tour
  • Bisbee, Arizona
  • Bio: Birth of a poet
  • El Paso
  • Hotel room, before the reading
  • UTEP poetry reading
  • To energize language
  • Bio: College and family
  • Poet's links: past & future
  • Bio: Ohio
  • Where poems come from
  • No favorite poets
  • Bio: Writing poetry
  • Howard's books
  • Emotion & intellect
  • About Howard's poetry
  • Credits & fun ephemera

EXPLORATIONS, bonus material:

  • Poetry for pleasure
  • Poems and stories
  • When the poem is ready
  • What kills a poem
  • What makes a good poem
  • Audiences respond to:

POEMS, main feature:

  • More Physics
  • The Search
  • The Poet's Regimen
  • Truth Nine
  • Reach
  • Linguistic Physiology
  • The Duke of Chemical Birds
  • The Old Beast Gives Advice
  • Jennifer
  • Pisgah Sayings
  • Fables & Transfigurations

POEMS, bonus material:

  • Dogs & Thunder
  • Din Din
  • Thomas The Cat Recites The Manner of His Death
  • Tale For A Wayfaring Stranger
  • Old Beast Talk
  • Katmandu Valley: A Hillside
  • Epitaphs
  • The Bear That Came To The Wedding