Advice

Evaluating Poems for a Collection

One of my goals for this year is to try and get a poetry collection published, and I haven’t ruled out self-publication if it comes to that. But I’ve been trying to go the traditional route by submitting to open submission periods and even a few contests. From interviews on Poetic...

The Importance of Form

I just updated the poetic forms list on this blog (click here to check out 29 different poetic forms). I feel that attempting poetic forms is an essential step on the path to becoming a good poet. This doesn’t mean that I think poets have to write in forms to be...

Quality v. Quantity: Do they need each other?

Now that I’m escaping from the vacuum of National Poetry Month and another successful April Poem-A-Day Challenge, I find myself wondering about the relationship of quantity and quality in writing. Is there value in writing every day? Is a writing routine a good or bad thing for poets? Questions such as...

Get Your Poetry Published!

On May 29, I’ll be leading an online seminar on how to go about publishing your poetry. After all, it’s one thing to write great poetry, but getting it published? That’s an entirely different hurdle. Topics I plan on covering include: How to identify appropriate markets for your poetry. How to...

Poets Helping Poets: What Makes a Great Chapbook?

In anticipation of the November PAD Challenge (which starts Saturday!), I threw out the above question to members of the Poetic Asides group on FaceBook: What makes a great chapbook? Here’s what some of them had to say: An interesting mix of poems on the same theme, not always by the...

Poets Helping Poets: Self-publishing and poetry?

Recently, I asked members of my Poetic Asides group on Facebook to give me their take on the relationship of self-publishing and poetry. The response was so overwhelming that I couldn’t include everything (and I apologize if your take was not included–or had to be edited), but I did get a...

Poetry FAQs: Having what it takes to be a poet

Earlier this week, I received a long e-mail from an anonymous Poetic Asides reader who asked important questions I’m sure all poets have asked themselves at some point or another in their poetic development. Here’s some of the e-mail: “I want to put together a book of poetry. I have the subject...

Poets Helping Poets: Software for Poets?

Recently, I asked for some feedback on possible software for poets at the request of a poet friend of mine. Personally, I still write poems out with a pen on paper before copying them over into Composition Notebooks. It’s super lo-tech, but it’s a system that works for me. Here’s what...

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...

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...

Sample Cover Letters for Poetry Submissions

After more than 12 years of writing, I finally felt confident enough to start submitting my poetry around for publication in January of 2006. Since then, I’ve had around 20 poems published in print and online journals–quickly growing more as both a writer and a submitter of poems. Writing the poems...

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...

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....

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...

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...

Poets Have Mothers, Too!

And if you’re looking for a brilliant, cost effective, creative and last minute gift for Mother’s Day, do what I plan on doing for my mother: Write her a poem. Actually, I’m going to go a few steps beyond that. First, I’ve written the poem. Second, I will get one of...

Thank You IRS!

While I’m not sure how much this stimulus/rebate thing-a-ma-bob is actually going to help the economy (just as I was skeptical of the earlier stimulus check that apparently didn’t help out), I’m more than happy to have received a bounce in my checking account this morning. Yay! I know not everyone...

The Copyright Symbol and Your Submissions

During the PAD Challenge, I noticed quite a few poets including either the word Copyright or the copyright symbol–a C inside a circle. While I understand the fear of someone stealing your work and may have even done that with my own fiction and poetry earlier on as a writer, I...

April PAD Challenge: Day 4

Sorry for the late post today. It’s been a doozy of a morning. First, the power was knocked out by some intense storms early this morning, so my alarm did not wake me up this morning. Luckily, my girlfriend called–giving me just enough time to rush over and make my oil...

April PAD Challenge: Day 3

As with many programs, getting through the 3rd day is usually the toughest. So I’m going to try and make Day 3 a little easier to help everyone complete the first 10% of our challenge. The way I look at it 3 days should equal 3 lines; in other words, today...

Exclusive Interview With Poet Dorianne Laux

As I’ve mentioned on this blog previously, I have a Facebook account under my full name (Robert Lee Brewer). And as I’ve mentioned previously, I’m all about playing online Scrabble at that account as well. And one of my more consistent opponents is none other than poet Dorianne Laux, who’s authored...

Sample Cover Letter From Pebble Lake Review

The editors at Pebble Lake Review offer a sample cover letter. This specific example is for fiction, but it’s easy to see how it could be modified for poetry. http://www.pebblelakereview.com/samplecoverletter.htm A word of advice: Any time editors go out of their way to give you specific tips or samples of ways...

Are You Planning Ahead for a Big Hit in Poetry?

I received a couple questions over the weekend as part of my Writer’s Market thing I do. And I thought they both would work well as things to ponder here. In fact, I’m opening myself up to poetry specific questions at my work email (robert.brewer@fwpubs.com) if you put “Poetic Asides Poetry...

Busy, busy week…

I’ve just had one of those weeks where I feel like I’m slighting the word “busy” by saying that I was busy. Actually, it was a bit beyond that. In fact, at one moment last night, I sat down at the kitchen table and felt like I was still moving. Very...