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!

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...

Exclusive Interview With Poet Joseph Mills

A-ha! Here’s an interview with a poet who participated in the April PAD Challenge and wrote his first ever sestina as a result. As Joseph Mills, author of Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers (Press 53, 2008), comments, “It was smart of you (meaning me, of course) to put that towards the end since by then...

Day 22 Highlights

On Earth Day, I asked poets to write either a poem about nature or industry; many poets chose to write about both. Here are the ones that caught my eye. *****   A Haze over Holland   A haze over Holland looks yellow and gray. It comes from machines of this modern day. Those...

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 is the natural...

Getting Them Started Young

Both of my sons are participating in a summer reading program with the Preble County library system in Ohio. Among the various activities they’ve been asked to complete was writing a poem. While I was planning to work with them on that this weekend, imagine my surprise (and joy!) when they both already put together...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 007

Recently, I’ve been watching a lot of sci-fi and horror films with my boys, who both totally love the Universal horror flicks as much as the Steven Spielberg films (E.T., War of the Worlds, Jaws, etc.). Anyway, in many of them, I’ve noticed the movie is based around the concept of an invader coming...

All Apologies

I just want to apologize for a brief absence on the blog here–almost a whole week gone, eh? But as I was instructed as a young lad, if I ain’t got nothing good to talk about, then shut my trap. Or something like that. Anyway, the past week has been busy for me. After...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 006

There are many reasons people write. For instance, some just wish to communicate; others write for money; still, more than a few write to be remembered–or even be the inspiration for another to take up the pen (or keyboard, since pen is soooooo last century). For this week’s prompt, I want you to write...

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 harped on these...

A few interesting titles…

I was playing outside with my sons most of this weekend–and I’ve got sunburn to prove it. For me, it gets hard to do any reading at the beginning of summer, because I feel like I’ve got to be out doing stuff. However, there always comes that point when I feel like I need...

Open Books: A Poem Emporium

Recently, we sent the 2009 Poet’s Market to the printer for a July release (actually, it’s due back on my birthday of July 18, funny enough). In the book, there’s an in-depth interview with the owners of Open Books–one of only two poetry-only bookstores in the country. While the following article isn’t as thorough as...

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. I have not...

Day 21 Highlights

That’s right! I have not forgotten there are still 10 days of highlights left from the April PAD Challenge–well, actually, 9 days after this one. For Day 21, I asked poets to write a “snooping” poem where they take some overheard conversation and work into a poem. Here are the highlights. *****   Listening...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 005

Some of you may remember me mentioning my baby brother is a storm chaser. Apparently, NBC contacted him to star a reality storm chasing show for this fall season. While these things can always fall through at a moment’s notice, he’s currently in the process of filming. So imagine the irony last night when I unintentionally drove...

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 in poetry, I...

Back from LA, and I find…

…this really cool portrait painted by poet/publisher/artist Didi Menendez of MiPOesias, Ocho, Oranges & Sardines, Menendez Publishing, and so much more. The portrait is of yours truly, and you can see it at http://americanpoets.blogspot.com/2008/05/robert-lee-brewer.html. When Didi’s not publishing poets, she’s painting them. In this year alone, she’s painted several poets, including Suzanne Frischkorn, Courtney...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 004

I’m prompting from sunny Los Angeles this week. The weather is perfect outside and the palm trees are already swaying. But enough about me, let’s get to the prompt. For today’s prompt, let’s write a poem about commerce. You can write about haggling over Christmas tree prices, bleeding money at the gas pump, getting double-charged for shampoo...

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 afraid too much...

Here, there & everywhere!

Okay, had a great Memorial Day weekend with my boys. And I’m now super tired, because something told me it was a good idea to go for a 3 1/2-mile run late last night and then follow it up with a 4-miler this morning. But such is life when trying to get in shape with...

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,” by Arifa Akbar...