I teach poetry at Gotham Writers’ Workshop, and every term, students want recommendations on craft books. In case you’re looking for something similar, here are my two cents’ worth.
For a crash course (or refresher) on form, I suggest The Making of a Poem by Eavan Boland and Mark Strand. These two poets write engagingly about meter, villanelles, ballads, oft-overlooked pantoums, et. al.
For a poet on poetry, The Triggering Town by Richard Hugo is the best. I can’t quote from it right now because I lent it to a student, so you’ll just have to believe me when I say it’s humbling and inspiring at the same time.
Bio: Erica Wright is the poetry editor at Guernica. Her interview with John Ashbery, Houses at Night, appeared in Guernica’s February 2008 issue.