Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets. She has also written many essays on poetry and the artist’s task. Maria Popov’s Brain Pickings is an excellent way to learn about writers and their writings. The Third Self: Mary Oliver on Time, Concentration, the Artist’s Task, and the Central Commitment of the Creative Life is marvelous advice for the working writer: beginner, aspiring, or fully engaged.
As a latecomer to writing and poetry, I know I need education and an MFA is not it. Essays like in The Third Self, Mary Oliver’s Advice on Writing, and The Effortless Effort by Jane Hirshfield are helpful. They are reminders or articulations of what I already know about the writer’s/artist’s path.