Ottone M. Riccio

Ottone M. Riccio (Ricky) has led poetry and fiction workshops for 40 years, and was celebrated by his students in 2002 by the publication of an anthology, Do Not Give Me Things Unbroken. He edited Pyramid, Premiere, Ab Intra, Espontaneo, Hellric Chapbooks and Pyramid Pamphlets and has published numerous chapbooks and works of fiction and nonfiction. His latest work, The Man Whose Records Were Burned, was released in 2005. Ricky’s textbook, The Intimate Art of Writing Poetry, was first published in 1980 by Prentice-Hall in hard and soft covers, went through six printings, was a Writer’s Digest Book Club Selection, and is in the collections of hundreds of major public and academic libraries worldwide–it was even translated into Korean. A new edition is currently available from Among Ricky’s many prize-winning poetry students are Joe Haldeman, Dolores Stewart, Gayle Elen Harvey, E.J. Miller Laino, Judith Steinbergh, Lana Hechtman Ayers and Ellen Beth Siegel, to name just a few.

Ellen Beth Siegel

Ellen Beth Siegel is a clinical psychologist and a former lawyer. She began studying with Ottone M. Riccio in 1990, and has also studied at The Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire. Her poems have been published in Bellowing Ark (where she was a Featured Poet), The Christian Science Monitor, Concrete Wolf, Poetpourri, and The Warwick Anthology, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She was one of the co-Editors of Do Not Give Me Things Unbroken, a 2002 anthology of poems all written from one of Mr. Riccio’s assignments. Her chapbooks Remembering Endymion and The Sweet Moth Kisses Never Traded have been finalists in various chapbook contests and are currently looking for a publisher.


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Praise for the Book

“Unlocking the Poem brings both the creative writing teacher and the aspiring writer a trustworthy guidebook and a generous resource. . . . authors Riccio and Siegel have put together a book that deserves a place on every poet’s shelf. Its copies will become well-worn and dog-eared from future service.”
–X. J. Kennedy

“Riccio and Siegel deserve the gratitude of poets
and writing workshop leaders everywhere for their no-holds-barred approach to stimulating the imagination and unlocking the poems in all of us.”
–Sue Ellen Thompson

“For those who can’t get to [Ottone Riccio's] workshops this remarkable teacher, together with Ellen Beth Siegel, has compiled a book of inspiring lessons to help writers on their way to good poems.”
–Diana Der-Hovanessian

June 2023


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