Author Archives: Robert Lee Brewer

About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

Getting Them Started Young

Both of my sons are participating in a summer reading program with the Preble County library system in Ohio. Among the various activities they’ve been asked to complete was writing a poem. While I was planning to work with them on that this weekend, imagine my surprise (and joy!) when they both already put together...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 007

Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of sci-fi and horror films with my boys, who both totally love the Universal horror flicks as much as the Steven Spielberg films (E.T., War of the Worlds, Jaws, etc.). Anyway, in many of them, I’ve noticed the movie is based around the concept of an invader coming...

All Apologies

I just want to apologize for a brief absence on the blog here–almost a whole week gone, eh? But as I was instructed as a young lad, if I ain’t got nothing good to talk about, then shut my trap. Or something like that. Anyway, the past week has been busy for me. After...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 006

There are many reasons people write. For instance, some just wish to communicate; others write for money; still, more than a few write to be remembered–or even be the inspiration for another to take up the pen (or keyboard, since pen is soooooo last century). For this week’s prompt, I want you to write...

E-mail Shenanigans

The hot weather must be driving all the crazies inside and into their e-mail accounts. I received a plethora of weird e-mail messages today, but I’m not going to focus on the weird here; instead, I’m going to share two e-mails that I thought might be relevant to poets. If I’ve harped on these...

A few interesting titles…

I was playing outside with my sons most of this weekend–and I’ve got sunburn to prove it. For me, it gets hard to do any reading at the beginning of summer, because I feel like I’ve got to be out doing stuff. However, there always comes that point when I feel like I need...

Open Books: A Poem Emporium

Recently, we sent the 2009 Poet’s Market to the printer for a July release (actually, it’s due back on my birthday of July 18, funny enough). In the book, there’s an in-depth interview with the owners of Open Books–one of only two poetry-only bookstores in the country. While the following article isn’t as thorough as...

Rejection IS better than nothing

Was talking to another editor yesterday about Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market–which is my current top priority project at work–when she, a fiction writer, mentioned that she had received two rejections in the past week. Suddenly, I felt envious–she was, at least, receiving rejections. She, at least, was submitting her work. I have not...

Day 21 Highlights

That’s right! I have not forgotten there are still 10 days of highlights left from the April PAD Challenge–well, actually, 9 days after this one. For Day 21, I asked poets to write a “snooping” poem where they take some overheard conversation and work into a poem. Here are the highlights. *****   Listening...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 005

Some of you may remember me mentioning my baby brother is a storm chaser. Apparently, NBC contacted him to star a reality storm chasing show for this fall season. While these things can always fall through at a moment’s notice, he’s currently in the process of filming. So imagine the irony last night when I unintentionally drove...

Poetry From the Skies

Just stumbled across this interesting story of a book author promoting his book by dropping cash from a plane. You can check out the article here. Apparently, another publicity stunt helped him become a bestselling author in Indonesia a few years back. Since I’m always wondering how to drum up interest in poetry, I...

Back from LA, and I find…

…this really cool portrait painted by poet/publisher/artist Didi Menendez of MiPOesias, Ocho, Oranges & Sardines, Menendez Publishing, and so much more. The portrait is of yours truly, and you can see it at http://americanpoets.blogspot.com/2008/05/robert-lee-brewer.html. When Didi’s not publishing poets, she’s painting them. In this year alone, she’s painted several poets, including Suzanne Frischkorn, Courtney...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 004

I’m prompting from sunny Los Angeles this week. The weather is perfect outside and the palm trees are already swaying. But enough about me, let’s get to the prompt. For today’s prompt, let’s write a poem about commerce. You can write about haggling over Christmas tree prices, bleeding money at the gas pump, getting double-charged for shampoo...

On Handling Criticism and Critique Groups

Over the weekend, I was asked by a poet for tips on how to handle criticism as he tried thinking out whether he should join a writing critique group. With his work, he was afraid of a few things: He wouldn’t be able to handle the critiques. That is, he was afraid too much...

Here, there & everywhere!

Okay, had a great Memorial Day weekend with my boys. And I’m now super tired, because something told me it was a good idea to go for a 3 1/2-mile run late last night and then follow it up with a 4-miler this morning. But such is life when trying to get in shape with...

Female Poet Laureate?!?

Found these articles this week on the poet laureate situation in England: * “Call for female poet laureate,” by Gary Bills-Geddes from Ledbury Reporter * “Pressure on Burnham over female poet,” from The First Post * “Queen is asked to appoint first female Poet Laureate after 22 men in 340 years,” by Arifa Akbar...

April PAD Challenge: Awards Ceremony

It’s been 3 weeks since the end of the April PAD Challenge. I hope everyone’s continued writing regularly since the end–even if that only means a poem or two per week. After all, that’s part of the challenge, I think, is turning writing into a regular (or, at the very least, semi-regular) routine. Based...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 003

Today’s prompt is to write a family connection poem–emphasizing the relationship between two or more family members. This can be between you and your parent(s), you and your children, you and your adopted third cousin, twice removed (whatever that means). Preferably, this is a poem between you and another family member or members; but...

Exclusive Interview With Poet Helene Cardona

It sometimes seems like all published poets wear many different hats in addition to their poetry cap. Helene Cardona exemplifies this as much (if not more) than any poet. When she’s not a poet, she’s an actress with credits in movies such as Chocolat and Mumford. She’s also an equestrian, dancer, dream analyst, and...

Poetry Publishing Basics

Many new poets have become readers of Poetic Asides since when it began more than 10 months ago. And with close to 300 total posts, it’s not a good idea for me to expect you to dig around looking for helpful publishing information. So, I’m going to give a real quick Poetry Publishing 101. (If...

Newspaper Blackout Poetry

Before getting into the cool news, I just wanted to let everyone know who’s been looking for the rest of the April Highlights (Days 21-30) that I am still going to post them. I’ve just been busy supremo working on the 2008 Poet’s Market, which will be going to production on June 5. Of...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 002

I had to drive into work in a steady rain this morning. Those who know me very well know that I loathe driving on the Interstate in the rain, because of a hydroplaning experience I had several years ago in southern Kentucky. Ever since that crash (no one was seriously injured), I’ve had this...

Free poetry CD download!

The Academy of American Poets is getting into its bag of poetic tricks again (always in a good way). After offering up a poem-a-day by well known poets through April, they’re now allowing poets to download an 11-track CD, recorded last month during their National Poetry Month reading series–completely free. To download it, visit: www.poets.org/freecd

Exclusive Interview With Poet Julianna Baggott

My first experience with Julianna Baggott was on my first edition as editor of Writer’s Market (Writer’s Digest Books). I asked her to write a diary style piece on how she published her first and best-selling novel, Girl Talk (Washington Square Press). It was my first risk as an editor, and Julianna made me...