Author Archives: Robert Lee Brewer

About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

Poets Helping Poets: Poetry Websites of Interest

Way back in June I asked poets to share their favorite poetry-related websites, and I found myself buried under recommendations. So many of the sites were great, but I tried to be hard-nosed about which ones I included on this list, because I know you’re all very busy people who can’t go checking out...

New Poetic Form, Busiest Poet, and More

I’ve just got a few random links today, including a poetic form shared from a Poetic Asides reader and other stuff. ***** The poetic form is from Salvatore Buttaci for a poem he calls The Aragman. He provided me a link to the article he wrote on the form at http://www.alongstoryshort.net/PoetCraft.html. It’s a little...

Exclusive Interview With Poet Martha Silano

Some of the poets I’ve interviewed for this blog were sought out by me; some have been recommended by other poets; and some have come to me on their own. In the case of Martha Silano, author of Blue Positive (Steel Toe Books, 2006), it was kind of a combination of these events. In...

Poetic Terms: The Stanza

While this might be too basic for some of the blog readers, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to share some poetic terms for poets who’ve not taken formal courses in poetry. Personally, I love knowing more about the various terms, and I’ve got such a bad memory that sometimes it’s good for me to have a...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 012

Poetry is a form of communication–communication between the poet and the reader. But can poetry also be a form of instruction? Possibly. For this week’s poetry prompt, I want you to write a poem with the title of “How to (blank)” where you use the title as the springboard for your poem. You can...

New Poetic Form: The Roundabout

Our Poetic Asides inaugural Poet Laureate, Sara Diane Doyle, has been busy-busy-busy this summer working with teen writers. But not too busy to share with her fellow Poetic Asides crew a new poetic form she developed with one of her students, David Edwards. Since Sara knows the form best, I’ll let her explain the...

Exclusive Interview With Poet Laureate Denise Low!

Wow! What a weekend! I celebrated with 30th birthday with my sons, announced my engagement to poet Tammy F. Trendle, and completed an interview with the poet laureate of Kansas: Denise Low. (So yeah, 30’s getting off to a great start!) Yes, Denise Low agreed to answer a few questions for the Poetic Asides...

It's official!

I turned 30 years old today. If anyone wants a fun Friday prompt, they can write a poem about the number 30 or about birthdays. I’d write one, but I’m overly stuffed from an excellent birthday lunch at this Mexican place over here with my co-workers. Hope everyone has a great weekend!  

Kay Ryan tapped as next U.S. Poet Laureate!

Kay Ryan will succeed Charles Simic as the 16th Poet Laureate of the United States. She was selected by James H. Billington, the librarian of Congress, with advice offered by poets, critics and academics around the country. Here’s the piece from the NY Times: “Kay Ryan, Outsider With Sly Style, Named Poet Laureate,” by...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 011

Last year I read Ted Kooser’s The Poetry Home Repair Manual (Bison Books) and was struck by how he writes every one of his poems with an audience in mind. For today’s prompt I want you to pick an audience and write a poem to that audience. Put the name of your audience in...

Poets Helping Poets: On Handling Bio Notes

Over on Facebook, I have a personal account with a bunch of poetry friends, as well as a Poetic Asides group with a lot of members. So yesterday I asked the published poets who are members to share a little bit of advice on writing those tricky little bio notes that poets are often...

Super Cool News: 2009 Poet's Market!

After copying some of my writing into my super sophisticated composition notebook at lunch, I discovered that the 2009 Poet’s Market is back from the printer, which means that soon (very, very soon) this directory will be getting to both print and online bookstores. Yes, another edition of Poet’s Market is on its way...

Reader Comments: Parody, slams, getting started, and more

One of the things I value about this blog is the community that’s built up around it. As a result, my posts are often just a springboard to more helpful information and poetic discussion. So, when it seems appropriate, I’m going to collect comments that readers have made to posts that could benefit the...

More good news!

Earlier this month I learned that a poem of mine was accepted for the next issue of Barn Owl Review. I was thrilled, because I’d kind of hit a “no submitting” slump for a while. This morning I found out another of my poems has been accepted by this Australian online and print journal called Otoliths, which I’d...

Poetry FAQs: Making Your Mark

So an anonymous poet recently sent me the following message: “I was just curious to know how I can go about getting my name out there and getting my poetry published. I love to write and I am very anxious, but I just don’t know where to start. This is all new to me....

Exclusive Interview With Poet John Korn

Totally unrelated, but my oldest son is today 1 year older: That’s right, he’s 7 years old today. Go Benjamin! ***** Okay, I’ve known John Korn for a few years now through online social networks–we first met on MySpace. I’ve always enjoyed his words and his sincerity as a person. So when he mentioned he...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 010

While I was on vacation last week, I had the opportunity to run the world’s largest 10K road race in Atlanta, Georgia: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race. Along with 55,000 other runners and cheered on by more than 150,000 spectators, I jogged 6.2 miles in around 61 minutes in complete awe and amazement....

Back from vacation and…

…it appears we had a server crash last week, tied to some power outage thing-a-ma-bob. Apparently, all the poems posted between Wednesday morning and Thursday around 7ish in the evening for the most recent poetry prompt have been wiped clean of the site. Totally bummed, because I read a lot of great stuff on...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 009

I’m currently in the middle of a very nice vacation. And so, my mind is not too focused on work (the vacation is working). But we (my boys are with me) have had a lot of fun visiting with friends and family, playing outside, and reading (and writing) our own stories about bobcats. Today’s...

Poetry FAQs: Editing Your Poetry

TanyaB–one of my friends on Facebook–recently sent me some poetry-related Q’s she’d like addressed on the blog. One series (of three) had to do with editing. So, I’m going to list the questions below and try to answer them the best I can. Any blog readers who have a different take are more than...

Shady poetry contest update!

Here’s a link to a piece on a supposedly shady poetry contest: “Shady poetry contest gets religion,” by Bill Chapin from mlive.com ***** Here’s an experience of my own from way back in high school: http://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/Im+Coming+Out+Of+The+Closet.aspx ***** If you’re not sure what a shady poetry contest might be, please read both pieces and educate yourself....

Happy Birthday!

The Poetic Asides blog is one year old today! Click here to read the introductory post for the blog. I still remember getting excited about doing a poetry blog when Writer’s Digest editor Maria Schneider put an internal call out for bloggers here at F+W. And who better to start it with than then-editor of...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 008

Back in the “good old days” of writing for creative writing courses in college, I found myself learning and becoming obsessed with form and structure–both in my poetry and my fiction writing. In fact, I became so enamored with form and structure that sometimes I tried forcing words into a structure without any cares...