Author Archives: Robert Lee Brewer

About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

Get Yer 20th-Century Poets… On a stamp!

Beginning in 2012, you can start putting 20th-century poets on your postage. That is, if you still use postage. The poets (listed below) will be part of the Postal Service’s Forever stamp collection. As you may know, Forever stamps can be used at any point in the future–even if (and most likely when) the...

10 Years of 9/11 Poetry

Poetic Asides regular Bruce Niedt, who wrote a great WCW deconstruct yesterday, left an interesting suggestion for me via e-mail last night: With the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks coming up this Sunday, why not invite members to share their poetry on the subject – either poems they wrote soon after the events,...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 148

Sometimes there is much to be gained from trying to build something new out of something familiar. For this week’s prompt, write a remix poem. That is, take an existing poem (could be yours or someone else’s) and remix it (think of music remixes). If you use your own poem, link (or paste in)...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 147

For this week’s prompt, write an out of this world poem. This poem might be about aliens and space exploration, of course, but it could also be a tall tale or unbelievable story. I guess it could also just be a mind-blowing poem (think “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” or “Coney Island of...

WD Poetic Form Challenge: The Hay(na)ku Winner

I really enjoyed reading through the hay(na)ku entries. As a few of you mentioned, this short form can get quite addicting very fast. In fact, there were hundreds of hay(na)ku entered with several poets entering several poems. Here are my 10 favorites (in order): hawks catching thermals slow moving clouds Cara Holman Dog knows me....

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 146

For this week’s prompt, write an “everything is against you” poem. That is, write a poem in which everything seems to be conspiring against you. Work, family, the government, the ice cream man, the local grocer, etc. And the you in your poem doesn’t have to be the narrator, it could be another person,...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 145

For this week’s prompt, write an escape poem. The poem could about someone or something that is thinking of escape, has escaped, or has lost someone or something that has escaped. And remember: Escape can be a physical thing but also emotional, psychological, etc. Here’s my attempt: “Autumn escape” The leaf releases itself from...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 144

Earlier this week, Reese started second grade. He’s the type of student who was looking forward to getting back to school. Of course, not every student shares that view. For this week’s prompt, write a school poem. The poem could be an ode to school, an insult poem directed at school, or it could...

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Hay(na)ku

Time for another poetic form challenge! This time around, we’ll write the hay(na)ku. This form was developed by Eileen Tabios and named by Vince Gotera. The rules are simple, which makes the poem fun to write (click here to read the original post). Here are the rules: 3-line poem First line has one word Second line...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 143

For this week’s prompt, write a normal poem. I know some of you may be thinking that every poem is normal or that there’s no such thing as a normal poem. However, what I’m thinking about is a situation that may seem normal (even if only to the narrator of the poem or a...

Found the Missing Poetic Asides Categories

Some of you may have already stumbled upon this, but I couldn’t locate the Poetic Asides categories until I talked to WritersDigest.com editor Brian Klems. If you look over on the right side of the page, there is a dropdown with the header: Search Blog Categories (it just blended into the ads for me...

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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 142

I apologize for the late start today, but I’m on vacation. So I got up early and worked a little on a new chapbook before taking the boys (all four of them) out to the park. Anyway, for this week’s prompt, write an opposites poem. The opposites could be polar opposites, opposing opinions, or...

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Results

It’s taken me forever, but I’ve finally got the results for the WD Poetic Form Challenge! Despite the length of time it took to judge, I really enjoyed seeing the creativity in all the forms, and I hope to share some of the finalists in future posts. The finalists were (in random order): Octoplus,...

One Thing Is Constant: Change

Welcome to the new Poetic Asides blog! While I’d known there was a WritersDigest.com re-design going on this year, I didn’t realize until this week (and even this day) the full extent of the changes it would bring to this blog. If you’re still getting used to it, you’re not alone: I am too....

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 141

For this week’s prompt, write an empty poem. The poem should somehow play off the idea of empty–maybe empty rooms, empty containers, empty threats, etc. Or maybe you could empty the poem of vowels or prepositions. Your call. Here’s my attempt: “Will Strikes Again” The popcorn box is empty of popcorn packages replaced with...

F+W Acquires The Writers Store

The company I work for, F+W Media, Inc., announced today the acquisition of The Writers Store, which is the largest reseller of third-party writing and filmmaking tools worldwide. Pretty exciting stuff! Since Writer’s Digest already works to serve the needs of writers, this acquisition just makes a lot of sense. Click here to check...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 140

For this week’s prompt, write a poem about–or, at least, with–a sound. It could be an annoying sound, a scary sound, a happy sound, etc. In fact, the poem could even include several sounds. Here’s my attempt: “Dreaming” The alarm becomes an attack siren. Dogs barking turn to men in uniforms ordering him to...

Interview With Poet Edward Nudelman

Edward Nudelman’s first book of poetry, Night Fires, was a semifinalist for the Journal Award (The Wheeler Prize) given by OSU Press in 2009. Night Fires was published by Pudding House Publications the same year. Also in 2009, he received a Pushcart nomination. In addition to his work as a poet, Nudelman is a...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 139

For this week’s prompt, write a poem from the perspective of a group of people, other living organisms, or even objects. The key is to make sure it’s a group of something. For instance, write a poem from the perspective of runners, sharks, or computers. Yes, poets would work too. Here’s my attempt: “Aliens”...

2011 April PAD Challenge Results!

For once, I’ve been able to stick with my July 4th goal for announcing the April Poem-A-Day Challenge. I’m so glad, because the poems I read were great. Before I start announcing winners, I just want to thank everyone for participating (even if you didn’t submit your poems). Every year, it amazes me how...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 138

For this week’s prompt, write a poem about how things change. The world is always changing in small and large ways. Businesses start up and go out of business or move locations. There are baby announcements and obituaries. There are floods, droughts, etc. And, of course, even this blog changes with a new prompt...

Making Peace with Ekphrastic Poetry (Guest Post by Nate Pritts)

Please welcome Nate Pritts to Poetic Asides! Pritts is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection Sweet Nothing as well as four previous books of poetry. POETRY Magazine called The Wonderfull Yeare “rich, vivid, intimate, & somewhat troubled” & The Rumpus called Big Bright Sun “a textual record of mistakes made and insights gleaned…[in]...

One Piece of Advice for Poets, Part 1

Over the years, I’ve asked the question (or a version of it) of several poets: If you could pass on only one piece of advice, what would it be? Below, I’ve assembled some of the answers from previous interviews. As you may have guessed from me titling this Part 1, there will be a...