Editors Blog

Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides Blog

Are you passionate about writing poetry? Check out Robert Lee Brewer’s blog, Poetic Asides. You’ll find poetry prompts, solid tips on writing poetry, interviews with poets, and blog posts highlighting poetic forms like chant, haibun or nonet poems, rispetto, and prose poetry. Sit back, relax, and learn more about the craft of poetry!

Be San Fran's Next Poet Laureate!

Apparently, poet Jack Hirschman’s term has expired, and a new poet laureate for the city of San Francisco is sought. Read the full story at: http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_10189562?nclick_check=1. Nomination forms and even more poet laureate information are available at: http://sfpl.org/poetlaureate.htm. Deadline for nominations is August 28, 2008. If you’re eligible, best of luck to you.  

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 015

Good morning! Did you have any crazy dreams last night? If so, you should consider turning them into a poem. Many poets keep dream journals, which they can refer to in times of writer’s block. And often, a dream sequence can be a poem in and of itself. For this week’s prompt, I want...

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 other poets had...

Wedding Recap!

Quick update: The wedding (between myself and Tammy Trendle–now Tammy Brewer) went very, very well on Friday. It was attended by my baby brother Simon (the stormchaser), my mom, an old friend of the family, and my grandmother. We were married by my grandmother’s boyfriend, who did a wonderful job. As luck–and a little skill on...

I'm going to be teaching!

Some of you have asked over the past few months if I do or will teach any online courses. Well, after speaking with Joe Stollenwerk at www.writersonlineworkshops.com, I will start teaching some poetry courses online. My Fundamentals of Poetry Writing course will begin on 9/18 and it should kick butt. To learn more, including...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 014

My activity on the blog may (or may not) be limited between today’s and next week’s prompt, because I’m getting married to poet Tammy F. Trendle this weekend. So today’s prompt is obviously steered by that event. For this week, I want you to write a poem about marriage. It can be about your...

Rabbit Season/Duck Season/Submission Season

I used to love that Looney Tunes cartoon where Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck would argue over rabbit and duck season until Bugs fooled Daffy into saying, “It’s duck season. Duck season!” And then, he’d get shot, and say something like, “I hate you,” to Bugs–who’s so smart, yet always (always) takes a wrong turn...

Poetic Terms: End-stops and Enjambment

The young woman says, “July is over,but you don’t have to go on andon about it. There’s always August.” And with these three lines, I’m prepared to lay out the difference between using an end-stop or enjambment at the ends of your lines. Want to really impress and flatter a fellow poet at the...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 013

For this week’s poetry prompt, I’m also going to discuss an interesting poetic form called the cento. A cento is a poem composed of lines from other poets’ poems. It’s similar to the “cut-up technique” made famous by William S. Burroughs and others. The main difference is that a cento uses only lines from...

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...