Commentary

8 Reasons Why Poetry Is Good for the Soul

Here’s a guest post from KM Barkley, a writing coach and editor from Lexington, Kentucky, in which he shares his eight reasons why poetry is good for the soul. If you have an idea for a guest post too, just send an e-mail to robert.brewer@fwcommunity.com with the subject line: Poetic Asides...

Reviewing Poetry Books: Why Does It Matter?

Please welcome the incredible Jeannine Hall Gailey to the blog! She’s going to cover a topic that I don’t feel gets enough coverage: poetry book reviews. I’m enjoying the guest posts on this blog, but they can only continue with your participation. If you have an idea, send it my way...

Scaling in Nature Poetry

This is the final installment of a three-part series on nature and poetry by guest Daniel Roessler. If you’d like the opportunity to be a guest on this blog, send your ideas (and a little about yourself) to robert.brewer@fwmedia.com. ****** This is the final post in our three-part series on how...

Relating Nature to Human, Social, and Urban Themes

This is part two of a three-part series on nature and poetry by guest Daniel Roessler. If you’d like the opportunity to be a guest on this blog, send your ideas (and a little about yourself) to robert.brewer@fwmedia.com. ****** In my first post of this series, we investigated how to freshen...

Contemplating Nature’s Changing Role in Poetry

Thursdays will be guest post days going forward on the Poetic Asides blog. Daniel Roessler will kick things off for the guest posts with a three-part series on nature. The other two parts will run on the 10th and 17th. If you’re interested in writing a guest post, please just send...

What Is the Value of Poetry?

In the opening poem (“matters of great importance”) of my collection, Solving the World’s Problems, I ask a simple question: what’s more important / writing a poem / or building a bridge… At least, the question starts off simple enough, but then it continues to spiral out into giving thanks, stocking...

An Appeal to Poetry Editors

Dear Poetry Editors,* For years, poets have grown accustomed to rejection in several forms (as in rejection forms) and the occasional nice note. However, there are some editorial practices that need to be done away with for the good mental health of poets, who already have their mental health called into...

How to Write Poems About Specific People or Events

Today’s Tuesday, so I’ve been tweeting poetic on Twitter at the #poettues hashtag. If you have a Twitter account, please jump in and join in or follow along. Many poets share links to poems they like, ask questions about how to write or publish poetry, and/or just share what they’ve been...

Taking Risks in Poetry

Over this past weekend, Tammy and I read at the Decatur Book Festival. You can read about it on my personal blog (click to continue). I was invited at the last minute by JC Reilly, and it was a great experience. ***** Anyway, I’m not a person who usually does poetry...

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...

Reading at the Georgia Poetry Society

Yesterday, I read some poems and gave a little workshop on the sestina at the Georgia Poetry Society. When I was asked to present, I asked if I could bring my wife Tammy along, so she was a featured reader along with poet Barry Marks, who earlier this year released his first...

How Poeming Is Like Dating

We’ve been discussing the composition of poetry on Twitter today. It sounds like many poets (including myself) tend to treat writing poetry like dating. Start off for funAt first, it’s just an image. Or an idea. Or a line. Something small and (what initially) seems unique triggers the beginning of a poem....

Altering poetry for publication: Good or bad?

I like making these post-#poettues posts after tweeting poetry on Tuesdays on Twitter. (Click here to view this week’s transcript.) Today, we discussed self-publishing poetry in unusual formats, the importance of quality and design in publication, and selective poetry journals vs. those that accept about anything. And then, we hit upon...

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...

ForGodot.com ruffles poetic feathers

Wow! This is a busy day for the blog. How many posts am I going to make today anyway? This post was inspired by a developing story brought to me by my wife Tammy. First, she found this post on Atlanta poet Collin Kelley’s Modern Confessional blog: http://collinkelley.blogspot.com/2008/10/my-poem-at-forgodotcom.html. It talks about...

Poetry FAQs: When is something considered published?

Okay, this question has been coming up a lot recently in the comments section of this blog: What counts as previously published? And, in relation to this blog, does posting a poem in the comments of this blog mean it’s “published”? Before I begin, I think it would be beneficial for...

Fake Bio Note Contest!

Recently, I was reading about how the Wine Spectator magazine was duped by a fake restaurant in its restaurant awards. This got me thinking how fun it might be to have a “fake bio note” contest. And since we just recently released the 2009 Poet’s Market, I can offer that up...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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,”...

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...