Author Archives: Robert Lee Brewer

About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

Poetic Form: Palindrome poetry (or mirror poem)

Just when I thought I’d run into one of the crazier poetic forms in the paradelle (click to read Poetic Form: Paradelle), I tried my hand at the palindrome poem, which I think is much more difficult. The rules are simple enough: You must use the same words in the first half of the...

2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 18

For today’s prompt, write a lost & found poem. I suppose you could focus on either what’s lost or what’s found–or both. Or you could focus on how things change after something lost. Or after something is found. Or…I’m starting to lose my train of thought. I’m sure you’ve probably got the idea. Here’s...

Poet Interviews TOC (Updated November 2010)

I’ve been lucky enough to interview several talented poets on the blog. And to make it easier for you to read them all, I’ve updated my poet interview TOC. There are many more interviews on the way. Bill Abbott Nin Andrews Julianna Baggott Sandra Beasley Shaindel Beers April Bernard Tammy Foster Brewer Jericho Brown...

2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 17

Personal note: I had the prompts for this challenge figured out about a month before we started this challenge. We’re 17 days into the challenge now, and I think I’m finally figuring out my theme for the month–for my own poems. We’ll see what I come up with during the final 13 days, but...

2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 16

It’s a two-for-Tuesday prompt today. Here are the prompts: Write a stacking poem. The poem could be about stacking objects. Or it could be about stacking ideas, stacking the deck, stacking the odds against something happening, etc. Write an unstacking poem. Just the opposite of the first prompt. Unstack objects or tear down the...

2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 15

We’re already half-way through the month. Today is prompt 15, which means there are only 15 left to go. It’s all down hill from here, right? For today’s prompt, write a “just when you thought it was safe” poem. For instance, write a poem about the dangers of going off a diet just after...

2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 14

For today’s prompt, write a crossroads poem. This could be a poem about a physical, mental, or emotional intersection. For instance, graduating college or getting a divorce often leaves people at a crossroads. Or finishing a ginormous project at work. Or even starting a poem. After all, that blank page (or screen) offers so...

2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 13

I’m not sure what time it is in your neck of the woods, but here in Duluth, Georgia, it is a little past 1 a.m. on Saturday morning (November 13). For some reason, I’m still awake, so I figure I’ll shake things up a little and post for the folks on the other side...

2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 12

For today’s prompt, write a “forget what they say” poem. To do this, you could take a familiar saying and spin it on its head. Or comfort someone who’s being told they can’t do something. Or have the narrator of the poem pledge not to listen to the crowd. Or forget what I’ve said...

2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 11

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “No One Wants (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles include: “No One Wants to Tell the Truth,” “No One Wants to Save Their Money,” “No One Wants to Write...

Interview With Poet Erika Meitner

Earlier this year, Harper Perennial released Erika Meitner’s Ideal Cities, which has already received praise from poets such as Paul Guest, Nikki Giovanni and Denise Duhamel. And you can go ahead and throw me on the bandwagon too, because I really enjoyed the way Ideal Cities dealt with both location and family.   In...

2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 10

Some mornings, I’m able to get to the computer earlier than others. Today is one of those early bird days! Yay! For today’s prompt, write a love poem. Simple as that. Poets who’ve done the PAD challenges in the past know I always sneak this one in somewhere during the month. And if you’re...

2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 5

For today’s prompt, write a metamorphosis poem. This is an excellent opportunity to use metaphors and/or show changes in a season, person, animal, plant, or whatever. (Hopefully, everyone won’t turn themselves into Kafka-esque roaches.) Here’s my attempt: “Development” As a boy, I flew through clouds and jumped across boulderswithout worrying about gravity. But then,I...

2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 4

For today’s prompt, write a containment poem. There are a lot of ways to contain things: Jails and prisons contain people; zoos and aquariums contain animals; and closets contain our clothes (and other “baggage”). Your poem can be about the actual container, the containment of things, or even the attempt to break free of...

2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 3

For today’s prompt, write a location poem. The poem can be about a location, but it doesn’t have to be. It could also just incorporate a location into the poem (like a love poem in Paris or something). This poem could also state your feelings about location in general. Here’s my attempt: “Don’t let...

Interview With Poet Nancy Posey

We’re two days into the 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge. (Click here to read about the 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge.) Recently, I interviewed the 2009 November PAD Chapbook Challenge winner: Nancy Posey. Her collection, Let the Lady Speak, got into the skins of many different women and beat a field of more than...

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Rondeau

Just what everyone needs: Another poetic challenge (in the middle of a poem-a-day challenge, no less). For this Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge, I’m asking poets to write a rondeau. The rondeau is one of those fun and tricky French forms that personally I love. Click here to read my earlier post on how...

2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 2

And just like that, we’re already into our first “Two for Tuesday” prompt in which I give two options for the prompt. You can choose either of the two prompts or even write both if you feel up to it. We got off to a great start yesterday. Let’s keep at it. Here are...

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Cascade Poem Winner

These challenges always surprise me with how poets attack the forms. They also surprise me with the quality of the writing. If you haven’t yet, you should check out the entries for the cascade poem challenge; some great writing with a fairly relaxed poetic form. Click here to read all the entries in the...

2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1

Today begins our 30-day journey! If you’re unsure of the rules for this challenge, click here. I’m pretty flexible on things, but just contact me if you’re really worried about something either in the rules or not in the rules. ***** Usually, I kick off these challenges with some kind of get started prompt,...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 112

Today will be the last Wednesday Poetry Prompt until December, because we’ll be starting the third annual November Poem-A-Day Chapbook Challenge on Monday (click here for details). I hope to see everyone on Monday morning–possibly loaded up on sugar from Halloween. For this week’s prompt, take the phrase “What I love about (blank),” replace...

Poetic Form: Paradelle

Well, well. Who’s tried writing a paradelle? It’s a poetic form that Billy Collins originally introduced as “one of the more demanding French forms,” though eventually Collins fessed up that he created it as a joke. Collins was not kidding about the demanding rules of the paradelle. Here they are: The paradelle is a...

An Appeal to Poetry Editors

Dear Poetry Editors,* For years, poets have grown accustomed to rejection in several forms (as in rejection forms) and the occasional nice note. However, there are some editorial practices that need to be done away with for the good mental health of poets, who already have their mental health called into question for working...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 111

What a numerical day! 10-20-20-10. Of course, the numerical splendor only lasts a day, because the date is always changing. Also, this time of year is filled with several other changes. The temperatures are changing; birds are migrating; crops are being harvested (or perhaps planted in the Southern Hemisphere); and so on. Things are...

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Cascade Poem

For this Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge, I’m asking poets to write a cascade poem. The cascade poem is a great form for poets who are intimidated by meter and rhymes, because neither are necessary for this form. Click here to read my earlier post on how to write a cascade poem. As in...