Author Archives: Robert Lee Brewer

About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

Traci Brimhall

Traci Brimhall: Poet Interview

I’m always excited to find a fresh voice, and that’s the case with Traci Brimhall. I’ve had her collection Our Lady of the Ruins (Norton) next to my desk for months, but it was running across her on Facebook that prompted me to ask her for an interview and re-visit the poems. And they...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 207

For this week’s prompt, write a fragile poem. That is, write a poem that’s either delicate in its construction or is about a subject that is delicate–literally or figuratively or whatever-ly. I expect this prompt to take off in several different directions. Here’s my attempt at a fragile poem: “found” along the river clinging...

Carmen Calatayud: Poet Interview

(Quick disclosure: My first full-length poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems, will be published by Press 53 on September of this year. However, I don’t want anyone to feel my interview with Carmen was caused by this relationship. We’d set the wheels in motion before my acceptance, and I’ve interviewed Press 53 poets in...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 206

For this week, write a measured poem. I’ll let y’all decide what that means. Possibly the poem takes physical measurements or measures one person vs. another. Perhaps it is measured in syllables or stanzas. Here’s my attempt at a measured poem: “Tercets, Tercets, Tercets” Three lines is plenty if you know where you’re going...

Barton Smock: Poet Interview

I first met Bart years ago on MySpace–a fellow poet, a fellow buckeye–and immediately fell in love with his unique style of poeming. In fact, I chose him as my referral poet when I was published in La Fovea. Barton Smock lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and four children. His latest self-published...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 205

Before we get into the prompt, I just want to share my big news: My debut full-length poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems, is going to be published by Press 53! Click here to read an overly excited post about it. For today’s prompt, take the phrase “If I Were (Blank),” replace the blank...

Erica Wright: Poet Interview

Please welcome Erica Wright to the Poetic Asides blog. In addition to being a new resident of Atlanta, Erica is the author of Instructions for Killing the Jackal (Black Lawrence Press) and the chapbook Silt (Dancing Girl Press). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Blackbird, Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, From the...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 204

It’s time to poem like it’s 2013, because, well, it’s 2013! For this week’s prompt, write a resolved poem. The poem can list new year resolutions, show a person resolved to do something, or any other unique angle you resolve to write. Here’s my attempt at a Resolved Poem: “Here We Go” Another year,...

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Rondel

(Quick note: My earlier sample messed up the rhyme scheme of the rondel, though the instructions have always been correct. Please make sure your rondels follow this rhyme scheme: ABba/abAB/abbaA. Happy poeming!) Happy New Year! Let’s get 2013 off to a great start with a new WD Poetic Form Challenge. For this challenge, we’re...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 203

OK. Here’s the better late than never Wednesday Poetry Prompt. Beginning with my grandmother passing away on Friday morning, this past week has been a whirlwind–and I only realized today was even a Wednesday about an hour ago. Sooo… For this week’s prompt, write a poem which loses itself. Perhaps, the narrator loses track...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 202

For this week’s prompt, I was inspired by the recent Heather Bell interview: Take a true event (whether in your life or another’s) and fictionalize it. You can determine how far to take the fictionalization, but try to push the envelope a little and make people question how much is real and how is...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 201

So today is 12-12-12. If you remove the second 2 from 2012, you have today’s prompt: 201. Or rearrange the prompt number and you have 012. What does it all mean? I don’t know. But numbers can be fun. Or misleading. Which can make them useful and dangerous. Like words. For today’s prompt, write...

Heather Bell: Poet Interview

It’s been a while since I’ve interviewed some poets. Too long, in fact. So I’m going to start sharing some new voices, and I think I’ve found the perfect person to get us back on track: Heather Bell. Heather is sort of a nomad poet in the sense that she’s been published extensively in...

Rondel Poetry Form

Anyone who’s followed this blog for a while knows that I love the French poetic forms, so it’s about time I covered the rondel, since it’s a close cousin to the rondeau and triolet. Here are the rondel poetry form rules: Poem consists of 13 lines in 3 stanzas Rhyme scheme: ABba/abAB/abbaA (uppercase letters...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 200

OMG, it’s been a month since my last poetry prompt! And it’s the 200th Wednesday Poetry Prompt ever! I guess I’d better quit using exclamation points, eh? For this week’s prompt, take the phrase “In the Company of (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of...

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 30

Okay, today is the final day of the poeming part of this challenge. Beginning tomorrow (if not already), you’ll begin the process of revising and assembling a 10-20 page poetry chapbook manuscript. Click here to review the guidelines. Today’s prompt comes from Violet Nesdoly. Here’s Violet’s prompt: Write a milk poem. This could be...

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29

Today’s prompt comes from Bonita Jones Knott, a poet I met earlier this year in Colorado at a writing retreat. Here’s Bonita’s prompt: Write a birth poem. Write a poem on the experience of giving birth or witnessing birth, or feeling reborn in anyway. Robert’s attempt at a Birth Poem: “Good morning” Every morning,...

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 28

Today marks 4 weeks in (with 2 days to go), and today’s prompt comes from Jonathan Edward Ondrashek. Here’s Jonathan’s prompt: Write a poem illuminating how it feels to stand up for what is right in the face of adversity in the workplace. Robert’s attempt at a Workplace Adversity Poem: “Poets March on Wall...

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 27

This month’s final two-for-Tuesday prompt comes from Paula Wanken. Here are Paula’s prompts: Write a hero poem. Write a villain poem.   Robert’s attempt at a Hero and Villain Poem: “Heroes and Villains” Always a favorite Beach Boys song, because of the harmony, of course, but also the shifts throughout, and anyway it’s about...

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26

We are really into the final days of this challenge now. I can’t believe how fast November has swept in and is trying to sweep out already. I hope everyone survived the holiday weekend! Today’s prompt comes from a former winner of the challenge: Shann Palmer. Here’s Shann’s prompt: Write a poem about something...

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 25

Today’s prompt comes from Cameron Mathews. Here’s Cameron’s prompt: Write an opposite poem. That is, write a poem with the opposite perspective, conclusion, or form of a prior poem in the month. Robert’s attempt at an Opposite Poem: “Woo to How” Spill a drink on her best coat without saying sorry or offering her...

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 24

Today’s prompt comes from Beth Cato. Here’s Beth’s prompt: Take the phrase “The Truth About (blank),” replace the blank with a new word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Robert’s attempt at a The Truth About Blank Poem: “The Truth About Poetry” There ain’t...

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 23

Today’s prompt is from Amanda Fall. Here’s Amanda’s prompt: Write a deep poem. The deep end of the pool. Six feet deep. Archaeology. Whatever you write, just dig deep. Robert’s attempt at a Deep Poem: “Off the deep end” Black Friday begins on Thursday evening, and I’m running short on spare change. My buddy...

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 22

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m always so thankful for these challenges, and the community that’s formed around this blog. I hope everyone, whether you live in the States or abroad, has a moment to reflect on something for which they’re thankful not just today but every day. Speaking of thankful, I’m thankful for today’s prompt from...