Author Archives: Robert Lee Brewer

About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 6

New day, new city. We’ve made it to Austin–just in time to write a new poem. For today’s prompt, write a poem about a sound. The poem could be about a small sound, a loud sound, a happy sound, or a creepy sound. And yes, music sounds count as well. ***** Order the New...

2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 5

This is the 10th annual April Poem-A-Day Challenge. During the first one, Tammy and I had to hunt down (and pay for) Internet access in a “cyber cafe” (located in an arcade) to post the prompt and poem. Now, we’re in New Orleans (on our way to Austin for the Austin International Poetry Festival),...

2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 4

Quick note on commenting: I’ve been receiving reports of comments not taking, but today appears to be worse than normal. Always feel free to contact me at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com to report this stuff. Our tech team will try to figure it out, but in the meantime, one possible “workaround” suggested by Marie Elena Good is...

2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 3

I’ve found over the years that most people who can make it through three days have the stamina to keep poeming for 30. So let’s get through this together! For today’s prompt, take the phrase “(blank) of Love,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your...

2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 2

Okay, the first day is in the books, and it was a lot of fun. But we’ve got plenty of poeming left to go. For today’s prompt, write a “not today” poem. Maybe it’s normal to give in to outside pressures, but not today. Or maybe you’re usually very disciplined in your health and...

2017 April PAD Challenge: Day 1

Let’s get this poeming party started. For today’s prompt, write a reminiscing poem. In my mind, this means a poem that remembers something (a moment, a relationship, etc.). The poem could be kind of nostalgic or sharing lessons learned. But for those new to these challenges, you should know that I consider these prompts...

Austin International Poetry Festival

10 Things in the World of Poetry I Love

One feature I’ve been trying out this year is to write poetry spotlights. It’s been fun focusing on one specific piece of the world of poetry each week. And since we’re about to hit a pause in that series (for April’s poeming), I thought I’d collect the most recent 10 spotlights in one centralized...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 390

Last Wednesday prompt before April’s poem-a-day challenge. Hope to see y’all here bright and early each day beginning on Saturday morning. For today’s prompt, pick a music genre, make that the title of your poem, and then write a poem. So your poem could be titled “Jazz;” “Baby, I got the blues;” “Heavy Metal...

3 Tips for Navigating the April PAD Challenge

Last week, I posted the guidelines for the 2017 April PAD Challenge, which will start at the end of this week. This will be my 10th time through, so I thought I’d share some tips on how to get through a month of daily poeming. ***** Re-create Your Poetry! Revision doesn’t have to be...

10 Short Poetic Forms

I’ve put together a couple poetic form lists by nationality (French poetic forms and Japanese poetic forms) recently, but I thought it’d be fun to assemble a list of short poetic forms. Like less than 10 lines short poems! ***** Master Poetic Forms! Learn how to write sestina, shadorma, haiku, monotetra, golden shovel, and...

2017 April PAD Challenge: Guidelines

It’s that again–time to start prepping for the 10th annual April PAD Challenge. That’s right! How we’ve done it has changed, but one thing is for certain: We’ve been poeming daily in April for 10 years! In a little over a week, we’ll start meeting here every day to poem like it’s (Inter)National Poetry...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 389

Yesterday, I finally released the 2016 April PAD Challenge Results. Tomorrow, I’ll release the guidelines for the 2017 April PAD Challenge. But first, I know some people have been having trouble posting comments to the site. If you have (even if you’ve contacted me before), please contact me again at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com with information about...

2016 April PAD Challenge: Results

Okay, long overdue, but here they are: the 2016 April PAD Challenge results post. We tried a new method of narrowing down the poems via e-mail submissions, and well, then we changed e-mail platforms. So reading the poems was not as smooth as I was hoping, but that’s okay. I did get through them...

Descort: Poetic Form

Recently, I shared 11 French poetic forms on the blog, but there are still many more to share, including today’s form: descort! Descort Poems The descort differentiates itself from other forms by differentiating its lines from other lines within the poem. That is, the main rule of descort poems is that each line needs...

Poetry@Tech: Poetry Spotlight

For this week’s poetry spotlight, I’m staying close to home with the Poetry@Tech program in Atlanta, Georgia (just down the road from where I live in Suwanee). As always, I appreciate the poetry spotlight ideas people send my way. Keep them coming at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com with the subject line: Poetry Spotlight Idea. ***** Order the...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 388

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “As (blank) as (blank),” replace the blanks with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “As Good As It Gets,” “As Much As You’ll Give Me,” and “As Happy As a Puppy.” ***** Re-create...

Jaswinder Bolina: Poet Interview

Please join me in welcoming Jaswinder Bolina to the Poetic Asides blog! Jaswinder Bolina is an American poet and essayist. He is the author of the chapbook The Tallest Building in America (Floating Wolf Quarterly) and the full-length collections Phantom Camera (winner of the 2012 Green Rose Prize in Poetry from New Issues Press)...

37 Common Poetry Terms

While I try to explain them as I go, I often drop common poetry terms on this blog in the course of describing poetic forms, during poet interviews, and more. So I’m going to share some common definitions in this post–most of them appear in the glossary of Poet’s Market (one more reason to...

Open Books: Poetry Spotlight

A month back, I posted on Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop in New York; this week, I’m going to focus on a poetry bookstore on the West Coast: Open Books! By the way, I appreciate the poetry spotlight ideas people have sent my way. Keep them coming at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com with the subject line: Poetry Spotlight...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 387

For today’s prompt, write a one poem. Not write one poem, though it’s totally fine to write one poem, but a poem that plays with the number one or concept of one. For instance, a poem about doing something one more (or less–or last) time; a poem about one person, one thing, one moment....

11 French Poetic Forms

Last week, I shared a list of 10 Japanese poetic forms that I’ve covered over the years. This week, I’m giving the same treatment to the French poetic forms. As anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I love the French forms, especially the rhymes and refrains. Click on each link below to learn...

Cywydd Llosgyrnog: Poetic Form

Just when you think we’ve uncovered every poetic form under the sun, we unearth another Welsh form–this time, cywydd llosgyrnog. Cywydd Llosgyrnog Poems Besides the spelling of the name, a poet can figure out this is a Welsh form pretty quick because it’s a syllabic-based form with internal rhymes. Here’s the structure of this...

Poetry Hickory: Poetry Spotlight

For this week’s poetry spotlight, we’re going to go off the beaten path a bit and focus on Scott Owens’ monthly Poetry Hickory events. As always, I appreciate the poetry spotlight ideas people send my way. Keep them coming at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com with the subject line: Poetry Spotlight Idea. ***** Order the New Poet’s Market!...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 386

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Good (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 might include: “Good Morning,” “Good Evening,” “Good Bye,” “Good Golly, Miss Molly,” and so on. I hope you have a “good time”...

10 Japanese Poetic Forms

I’ve been covering poetic forms on this blog for nearly 10 years now. To celebrate, I’ve collected 10 Japanese poetic forms below. While poetry in general is known for concision of language, there’s little argument that Japanese forms take concision to extremes. Click on each link to learn how. ***** Master Poetic Forms! Learn...