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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!

Day 19 Highlights

On Day 19, I asked you to write a poem about a memory of yourself that you personally could not remember. For instance, something from early on in your youth, from blacking out because of drinking or medication, or from just having a horrible memory, I guess. I used some anecdotes from my youth and something...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 001

My baby brother is (finally) going to graduate with a degree in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma after nine years of study. You see, his big problem is that he’s even more interested in experiencing weather than he is in studying about it. So, he’s missed studying for tests and finishing projects because...

Day 18 Highlights

There is no connection: That is the line I asked you to use in writing your poems on Day 18. It was a line that’d been rolling around in my head for awhile, though the context is totally lost on me now. As it should be. It’s amazing how one line can go so...

Day 17 Highlights

Before we get into the highlights: I’m going to be posting the Wednesday prompts here on the blog starting tomorrow. Let the good times roll! Also, the community is buzzing along in the Poetic Asides forum at http://forum.writersdigest.com. It’s free and easy to sign up and start talking with your fellow poets. ***** As...

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 want you to...

USPS ups its rates–effective May 12

Beginning May 12, the United States post office is changing its rates (after doing so less than a year ago). First-Class Mail stamps will increase from 41 to 42 cents; however, those who have the Forever stamps can still use them–a savings of one penny per letter (or bill). I’m glad, because I’ve still...

April PAD Challenge: Wrap Up

Thanks to all of you, the April PAD Challenge was a phenomenal success. In fact, I think there’s no way around making this an annual event moving forward. You can’t even know how honored you’ve all made me feel throughout the entire month, and I’m thrilled to see that a supportive community has developed....

Day 16 Highlights

On Day 16, I asked you to write a poem with a twist at the end–something I was calling the “Alfred Hitchcock” poem. I was really impressed with the results and the creativity. Here are the highlights. *****   Wanted:   Roommate willing to share the rent, the bills, the responsibility; to put the...

April PAD Challenge: Day 30

So this is it: the final prompt of the April PAD Challenge. We’ve made it; we’ve made it. I’d be sad that it’s all over, but I think in some ways we’re only beginning. (For more on that, check back tomorrow when I do the April PAD Challenge Wrap-Up.) Today, I want you to...

Day 15 Highlights

Wow! On Day 15, I offered two prompts for Tuesday. And an overwhelming number of you wrote a poem for each prompt. Some of you even went well beyond that. I’m guessing it’s because of the prompts themselves: one prompt was to write about taxes (it was Tax Day here in the U.S.); the...

Gary Snyder Wins 2008 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize!

Kudos to my managing editor Alice Pope for sending along the following press release from the Poetry Foundation: CHICAGO — Poet Gary Snyder is the winner of the 2008 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Established in 1986 and presented annually by the Poetry Foundation, the award is one of the most prestigious given to American...

April PAD Challenge: Day 29

Yay! So many of you have made it past the sestina! And I’m still alive, though I’m sure many of you no longer consider me your friend. It’s nice to put in a very tough exercise every so often (don’t worry, the final two days should be a little more relaxed). In fact, with...

Day 14 Highlights

On Day 14, I asked you to write a poem with the title “This is how (blank) behaves” where you fill in the blank and go from there. Many people wrote about their hearts, their minds, their pets, and two people even wrote about Mr. Monk from that one TV show that I’ve never seen,...

April PAD Challenge: Day 28

I was distressed to read the following message in the comments for yesterday’s prompt this morning: Doubt I can finish the month…spent the last 24+ hours in ICU after my husband suffered an accident. Had to be airlifted to a city 3 hours away (40 min. by air) Will get back and follow the...

Day 13 Highlights

With Day 13’s poems, I got the best of both worlds: poetry and music. I asked you to write a poem that’s inspired by a song or lyrics from a song. Most of the music that inspired you was already known by me, so I found myself often humming the songs as I read...

April PAD Challenge: Day 27

Well, we’re working our way closer to the end. After we finish today’s prompt, only three days will separate us from finishing this April PAD Challenge. On May 1, I plan to give a recap of the month and some details of how we can keep this community going beyond April. Something to keep an...

April PAD Challenge: Day 26

Today’s prompt is to write a poem with the title of “I’m so over (_____).”  You get to choose what you’re “so over” with, and write a poem about it.  I’ll be looking forward to reading these.  Here’s my poem for the day: “I’m so over commuting to work.” In getting up at 5:30...

April PAD Challenge: Day 25

A few times this month, I’ve felt like the forces working around my daily life are keeping track of my prompts (most of which I had set in stone before April started). For instance, I wasn’t able to get Day 13’s highlights up this morning (look for them on Monday), because my Clark Kent...

April PAD Challenge: Day 24

Today’s prompt is to use a photograph to create a poem. You can raid your dusty photo albums, look through your daily newspaper, scour the Internet, etc. But you must use a photograph. Them is the rules, yo! (Sorry for the brevity today, but my book is soooo close to being done!) Here’s my...

Day 12 Highlights

You were asked to write an apology poem on Day 12, but I want to start off by saying, “Thank you,” for all the great poetry written on this day. Good poems are usually marked by a great degree of honesty (even when making things up) and fearlessness on the part of the poet. These...

April PAD Challenge: Day 23

It’s hard to believe that a week from today I’ll be posting the last prompt of the month. We’re already almost a month older than we were at the end of March. Time just continues to fly by–even in a poetry challenge, huh? Well, today’s prompt is sympathetic of the fact that time continues...

Day 11 Highlights

Paper clips! There were a lot of paper clip poems written on Day 11–when I asked you to write a poem describing a thing. Actually, I found that your focus on description led to some really, really great poems. One of my favorites, in fact, is a poem about–you guessed it–the paper clip “Bent...

April PAD Challenge: Day 22

Today is Earth Day! Yay! I think most people can agree that this planet is a good thing. However, wars are fought over how we should use it and/or live on it. So, today’s “2 for Tuesday” prompts will play off the opposing sides of the environmental coin. Prompt 1: Write a nature poem. This can...

Day 10 Highlights

On Day 10, I asked you to pick a location and write about it. I feel so redundant, but these poems just keep getting better and better. Seriously. I actually had to do a couple rounds of cuts to get a manageable highlights list. Great job everyone! Here are the highlights. *****   ROOM...

April PAD Challenge: Day 21

Today’s prompt requires that you do a little snooping. That’s right: I want you to write a “snooping” poem today. Basically, you need to write a poem that incorporates a bit of overheard dialogue (can be in real life or off the television) or even a quote taken from a news story online (if...