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!

Interview With Poet Sarah James

I love interviewing poets, but I really love interviewing poets who publish their first collection and let me know that the title poem was originally a response to a Poetic Asides poetry prompt. And yes, I’m talking about today’s interview with poet Sarah James. Sarah’s collection Into the Yell was published in 2009 by...

Poetic Form: The Bop

Since it’s always good to challenge ourselves to do new things, I’m going to try two in this blog post. First, I’m going to try and incorporate images. Second, I’ll try my hand at The Bop. The Bop is a poetic form that was developed by poet Afaa Michael Weaver (pic below) at a...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 107

For this week’s prompt, write a cycle poem. I think my initial thought on this prompt was to write a poem that involves a cyclical process, such as a life cycle, election cycle, etc., but I suppose there are other interpretations out there too. Poems could be written on the re-cycle process or riding...

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Monotetra Winner

These form challenges are fun and good at accomplishing at least one thing: They burn the forms into my brain. Such has been the case with these monotetras. After reading over the poems (many of them multiple times), I found myself thinking in 8-syllable lines with 4-syllable refrains. I’m surprised there weren’t more poems...

Simile vs. Metaphor: Smackdown!

The title to this post makes it sound like I’m going to have similes breaking chairs across metaphors’ backs. Maybe metaphors will pin similes. As if. Similes and metaphors both have their uses in poetry. I don’t want to say that one is always better than the other, because they are both devices of...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 106

This week, write a poem about a person. Any person will do. The person can be famous, infamous or someone you know personally. I suppose imaginary friends and/or fictional characters might count for this prompt as well. If you wish, please put the name of the person in the title of your poem. I...

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 doing the past...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 105

Before we get into this week’s prompt, I just want to shine a light on Bruce Niedt’s call for submissions, which he shared in the comments of yesterday’s post. The call for submissions is for the publication Up and Under: The QND Review. (Click here to learn more.) ***** For this week’s prompt, write...

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 readings, because it’s...

Interview With Poets Kate Rogers and Viki Holmes

Sometimes the best way to discover new writers is through an anthology. For instance, I buy The Best American Poetry each year so that I can get a good sampling of poetry from the (mostly) big journals. I also love reading more thematic anthologies, including the world poetry anthology Not a Muse: The Inner...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 104

For this week’s prompt, we’re going to try something a little different. I want you to respond to this statement: “I’m going to set the world on fire.” You can use that line as the title of your poem and/or in your actual poem. Or you can completely avoid that line, but write a...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 103

For this week’s prompt, I want you to take the phrase “Whatever (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles might include: “Whatever you say,” “Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” “Whatever happened to my three-legged...

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 Asides and my...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 102

This week, write a service poem. Originally, I was thinking of service as a car mechanic or server at a restaurant, but there’s also military service and general services that people provide to each other every day–sometimes even free of charge. Writing poetry could even be considered a service that the poet provides to...

Poetic Form: The Blitz Poem

A few poets have asked me over the past year to write up something about the blitz poem, which I’d never tried or even heard of before. So I did a little research, and it actually looks pretty fun. It was created by Robert Keim and is a 50-line poem of short phrases and...

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Monotetra

For this Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge, I’m asking poets to write a monotetra or three. Please don’t stress out about the meter so much, because I won’t. But the rhymes and refrains, yes, please follow the rules. If you’re not sure, click here to learn more about the monotetra. Many have already said...

Poetry Workshop: 015

There are many ways to try revising a poem; I hope that’s a lesson that is delivered by these poetry workshops. Of course, another rule that I hope hits home is that there is no “one true way” to write a poem. The goal of any workshop is to point things out, make some...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 101

For this week’s prompt, I want you to use the phrase “As I was saying” as a springboard into your poem. You can use it as the title of your poem or within your poem, but neither is mandatory. You could use it as motivation to write a poem about someone who’s telling a...

Poetic Form: Monotetra

The monotetra is a poetic form developed by Michael Walker. Here are the basic rules: Comprised of quatrains (four-line stanzas) in tetrameter (four metrical feet) for a total of 8 syllables per line Each quatrain consists of mono-rhymed lines (so each line in the first stanza has the same type of rhyme, as does...

Call for Submissions: 2012 Poet's Market

The 2011 Poet’s Market has been making the rounds, which means there’s another great edition of this poet publishing resource at bookstores–online and off–around the globe (though mostly in North America). (If you don’t have one yet, click here to order your copy.) While poets can enjoy the most recent edition of Poet’s Market, I’ve...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 100

Sorry for the late prompt time today. I’ve been busy cooking up my first ever batch of Brunswick Stew, which means that Baby Will and I were shopping for ingredients at the Kroger this morning. Last night, the Brew Crew was “Back to School” shopping–looking for clothes, scissors, glue sticks, paper, crayons, etc. And...

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 full-length collection of...

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 099

I don’t know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but it is super hot around these parts. Even the evening can’t cool things off, because first thing in the morning is still hot and humid. Blech. Soooo, in an effort to change the tide with wishful thinking… This week’s...

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Lune Winner

I swear these challenges just keep getting harder and harder to judge. Of course, that’s only because the poems continue to be more and more enjoyable to the point where it’s hard to pick a winner. I loved reading everyone’s lunes (click here to go to the original post and read all of them...

Interview With Poet Kristina Marie Darling

I’m very pleased to share Kristina Marie Darling with the Poetic Asides community. Darling is a graduate of Washington University and has published several chapbooks, including Fevers and Clocks (March Street Press) and The Traffic in Women (Dancing Girl Press), before her 2010 full-length collection Night Songs was released by Gold Wake Press. Naturally, she’s well-published...