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!

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 19

A week ago, I had you write a poem focused on a tiny detail. Today, I want you to write a poem that shows the big picture. You can still get very specific, but I want you to try incorporating a big picture concept related to your theme. For instance, if you’re writing war...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 18

So after today’s poem, we’ll be three-fifths of the way through this November challenge. That’s pretty impressive. And, as has been noted by several of you, it’s not just the quantity of writing that’s been amazing about November; it’s also the quality. Oh yeah! For today’s prompt, I want you to write a point-of-view...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 17

Wow! Are we really 17 days into this challenge? It just doesn’t seem possible that time would be moving so fast, but I guess it’s been so much fun that the time has been flying. Again, wow. Today’s prompt is to write a love poem. This may or may not gel with some poets’...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 16

Every once in a while, I like to offer these title prompts where you fill in the blanks on a title. For instance, I want you to write a poem today with a title that is: “If It (blank), It (blank)” So an example title might be: “If It (Hangs From the Ceiling), It...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 15

Did you sleep well last night? That’s too bad, because I want you to write a nightmare poem today. You could write an actual nightmare, or present a nightmare scenario related to your theme. Here’s my attempt for the day: “The closet” He wakes up screaming, “Mommy, mommy!They’re coming for me again. The alienswere...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 14

Good morning! I’m hitting the road this morning, so the prompt is super early. For today’s prompt, I want you to write a warning poem. Offer some kind of caution or warning related to your theme. Like, maybe, watch out for bad traffic. (Did I mention my trip starts off with driving through Atlanta?...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 13

Wow! As many of you have noted, I’ve been super pleased with the quality of the poems written so far. Y’all’re swinging for the fences with your efforts this month. Very, very cool! For today’s prompt, I want you to write a “By the Numbers” poem. That is, I want you to write a...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 12

For today’s prompt, I want you to write a poem that focuses on or discusses a tiny detail. It could be a tiny detail that is often overlooked, and you’d like to call attention to it. The detail could be one that if overlooked can cause good or bad things to happen. Here’s my attempt for...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 11

Today is 11/11. What a mathematical day! (As some of you know, Tammy and I were married on 08/08/08 at 8:08–so I don’t take numbers for granted.) I also don’t take these prompts for granted. For instance, today’s prompt is to write a deep thought or observational poem related to your theme. The poem...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 10

Hooray! Once you finish your poem today, you will be one-third of the way to completion. Isn’t that awesome? And isn’t this month speeding by so fast? Possibly even, too fast? Well, it’s not over yet. Today, I want you to write a “survival of the fittest” poem. Try to come up with a...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 9

My stepson’s fifth birthday extravaganza soldiers on today, which means my time is limited for the intro to the prompt. By 2pm, I need to have a cake baked, a meatloaf loafed, and chili simmered. I think I can do it. For today’s prompt, I want you to write a dream poem–or dream-like poem....

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 8

Good morning! I’ve been hanging out with my stepson all morning (he just turned five yesterday!), and he’s being kind enough to let me throw up a prompt real quick while he sings the Transformers theme song (guess what he got for his birthday last night?). Soooooo, I’m going to make this one pretty...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 7

Once you finish today’s prompt, you’ll officially be a week in to the challenge. Woo-hoo! Yay! Fantastique! Okay, so today’s prompt is to write a myth poem. Investigate a well-known myth associated with your theme. Or make up a brand new myth. Be literal, or get surreal. Whatever you do, finish today’s prompt and...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 6

Good morning, y’all. Saw there was some back and forth yesterday about focusing on a whole chapbook for the month. I understand how looking at a huge project can get very intimidating, which is why I suggest just taking things one poem at a time. My feeling with the PAD Challenge (whether in April or...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 5

As requested, I’m getting today’s prompt out a little earlier in the morning than usual. Hopefully, everyone didn’t stay up too late watching the election coverage last night (if you were watching the election coverage, that is). I know I’m still a little sleepy-eyed (though that may have more to do with these spreadsheets...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 4

I’ve heard the pleas from the Poetic Asides commonwealth asking that I post the November PAD prompts earlier in the day. I’ve been on Main Street and seen Joe Poet and Jane Poet working to put food on the table and still write a poem-a-day. I’ve visited schools, hospitals, and random fast-food restaurants and...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 3

Okay, this prompt may be a little out there, but it’s inspired by a few albums I’ve listened to (and loved) over the years. They’ll have kind of a foreshadowing or refrain piece that shares a snippet of a song to come later on the album. And I want you to write a foreshadowing...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 2

Okay, we’ve made it through the first day. We’ve got our first poems and our themes established. Now, let’s get to the second prompt, which is to write a declaration poem: that is, a poem that makes a statement about your theme. A good way to attack this poem may be to write it...

November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1

Good morning. Here we are. Another PAD challenge. Feels like it was just a few weeks ago we were doing one, but I guess it hasn’t been since April. This time around I’m going to be throwing out a prompt (and my attempt at a poem) each day, but we’re going to do it...

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 same writer but...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 026 (On Thursday)

As I was in the middle of typing up the Wednesday Poetry Prompt yesterday, my Internet service went down. Apparently, some construction crew cut through a cable that disabled all their operations in Georgia. Anyway, I finally got my service around 9:15 this morning. So, here is the prompt I wrote yesterday. ***** This’ll...

Interview With Poet Nin Andrews

I don’t usually post interviews on back-to-back days, but I thought I’d make an exception in this case, because it might be the last interview posted until after November with this November PAD (poem-a-day) challenge coming up. And I’m just so excited to share Nin Andrews with anyone who hasn’t read her work. You...

Interview With Poet Tom Lombardo

Poetry is often at its best when it’s helping readers gain greater insights into life. In the case of After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life-Shattering Events, edited by Tom Lombardo (Sante Lucia Books), poems have been chosen to help readers to recover from subjects such as war, abuse, addiction, death, and more....

NaNoWriMo for Poets? PAD Challenge for November?

Okay, we’re getting closer to November, which for some writers of fiction means it’s getting closer to NaNoWriMo time. (Btw, NaNoWriMo translates into National Novel Writing Month.) There are would be novelists lining up to attempt writing 50,000 words or more during the month of November. There’s even a NaNoWriMo website you can visit...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 025

Often, poets write with an eye to timeless subjects, such as love, loss, war, death, etc. In college, I was often warned against being too timely in my writing for fear that my fiction and poetry would eventually need a thousand footnotes to explain it. I understand that point of view, but I think...