2011 April PAD (Poem-A-Day) Challenge: Guidelines

I may make updates to this post as we go along. If I do, I’ll put a little
“updated” message at the top of the post with the date.


This is the initial post for the 2011 April PAD (Poem-A-Day) Challenge, and
it will be used to give the general guidelines for the 4th annual challenge.

Main Objective: Write some new poems during the month of
April. I provide the prompts (and my own poetic attempt); you write the

April 1-30: Beginning at some reasonable
time on the morning of April 1, I will provide a prompt. I will repeat this
around the same reasonable time (usually between 8-11 a.m. Ohio-Georgia time)
throughout the month.

May 5: Each participant will submit his/her five (5) favorite poems from the
month. Rules for how to submit are included below.

July 4: After running the
Peachtree Road Race in the morning (unless I get up super early), I will make an
announcement of the top poems from the month and who the 2011 Poetic Asides Poet
Laureate will be (and possibly a few other notes of recognition).

July 5: We’ll set our sights on
the fourth annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge. (Or so I hope.)

Guidelines during the month:

  • Poets should write a poem each day of April. (After all,
    this is the main goal of a poem-a-day challenge, right?)
  • Following the daily prompt is optional. (However, I will
    only consider poems at the end of the month that follow the prompts and specify
    which prompt prompted them.)
  • Posting poems on the Poetic Asides site in the Comments section is
    (Reason: I know some poets have voiced concerns regarding the
    difficulty in posting comments and the possibility that posting can make a poem
    considered “published” in the eyes of some publishers.)
  • Participation is free.
  • No registration is required.
  • I will not be able to delete poems once they are added to the
    Comments section.

 Guidelines for possible recognition:

  • Submit the 1-5 poems you wrote in April that you want considered as
    possible Top 50 poems for the month.
    Those who submit more than 5 poems
    will be disqualified. (Notes: To be considered for Poet Laureate, you will
    probably need to submit 5 poems, since I’ll be looking for a consistency in
  • For each submitted poem, indicate which day and which prompt
    inspired the poem.
    I always try to stick to an honor system on these
    types of things, so please don’t submit poems written before the challenge.
  • Submissions should be sent to robert.brewer@fwmedia.com
    with the Subject Line: My 2011 April PAD Submission.
  • Submissions should be sent by 11:59 p.m. (Georgia/Ohio
    time) on May 5, 2011.
    (Any received after this time will be
  • Poems should either be submitted either in the body of the e-mail or
    as a .txt or .doc file.
    (Note: You should be able to
    include in the body of the e-mail at the very least.)
  • I will choose a Top 50 for the month or Top 10% (whichever overall
    number is fewer).
  • Most likely, I will only select my Top list from the actual
    submissions, but I may notice a poem or two during the month from reading poems
    posted in the Comments section.
    (Note: This is one extra reason to consider
    posting your poems in the Comments if you’re wishy-washy on doing so.)

Okay, I think that covers the basics, but like I mentioned earlier, I will be
updating these guidelines from here on out. So if you have any questions, please
leave them in the Comments for this specific post.


Please follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


Interested in publishing your poetry collection?

Check out the 2011 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer. It is loaded with poetry publishing opportunities and business of poeming articles and interviews.

Click here to learn more.

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43 thoughts on “2011 April PAD (Poem-A-Day) Challenge: Guidelines

  1. Ginny Gasparre

    If submitting more than one poem, do you want them in separate emails? Or all in one email?

    P.S. Writing a poem a day this month has been inspirational for me! This is my first participation, but won’t be my last.

  2. Dianna Brown

    Hi, I loved this poetry challenge as it kept me writing. The prompts were fun as well as challenging. When I go to submit my poems,what email address do I send them to?

  3. Joseph Beckman

    2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 10
    Posted by Robert
    For today’s prompt, write a never again poem. Maybe you’ll never again fall in love or never again tell a lie. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll never again not write a sestina.(Like that? It’s a
    double negative.) Today, find my poem in the comments below.
    Never Again
    Never again, no never again will I
    Dance with the moon, my hair in the wind
    as it blows and grows cold, from the salty sea,
    as it blows and grows cold deep within me.
    Never again, no never again, will I
    Taste sweet nothings that youth can bring
    as it burns and passes years I can’t see
    as it burns and passes life before me.
    Never again, no never again, will I
    Be that young soul, nor be so unkind
    to leave my love’s heart broken in three
    to leave my love’s heart so far from me.
    Never again, no never again, will I
    Be not the man, nor the lover’s friend
    to love her and keep her, my heart is free
    to love her and keep her so close to me.
    © April 10, 2011 by Joseph Beckman

  4. Joseph Beckman

    2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 5
    write a goofy poem; write a serious poem
    the truth in his eye
    driving along to the snow for a day
    the five year old there in the back does say
    that mountain( a hill ) doth have a big point
    the dad does respond, it could sever your joint
    to step on the peak with a foot or a shoe,
    he laughs just a bit, ‘cause that’s what they do,
    when unsure, if the truth or a joke was just said,
    like that which doth come from the politico’s head.
    © April 5, 2011 by Joseph Beckman


    2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 6

    For today’s prompt, take the phrase "Don’t (blank), (blank);"

    Don’t grow up; stick around a bit.
    Don’t grow up; stick around awhile.
    There’s more mud to be pied and piled,
    On shoes and hair and pavers galore.
    Don’t fret; give me a chuckle,
    The road seems high, challenges too,
    But your heart is strong, and brave and true.
    Don’t do that; Listen to me,
    Perhaps one hurt, mistake will never be,
    If you listen to me, if you listen to me.
    Don’t worry; I’m close,
    When you think I am far, so far from you,
    My road always brings me back to you.
    Don’t grow up; stick around a bit.
    A day or a century more, who knows,
    But my heart will always be so close.
    © April 6, 2011 by Joseph Beckman


    2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 7

    For today’s prompt, write a "what if" poem. 
    What if?
    What if, from birth, to my very old age,
    I behaved less a fool, and more a sage,
    To love and hold, not run and hide,
    To share open feelings, not my tough hide.
    What if, from death, I did learn how to cry,
    So life can then teach me the reason why,
    It’s not status, nor wealth that makes happiness,
    But the love of the Loved who share their True Kindness.
    © April 7, 2011 by Joseph Beckman
    2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 8

    For today’s prompt, write a ready to celebrate poem. 
    I am ready to celebrate all my good cheer.
    I am ready to celebrate for all this long year.
    The kindness and love that flows through my day,
    From my lover- my wife, and my child as he says
    Daddy come here and help me with this,
    And my wife says come here as we share marital bliss.
    Yes I am ready to celebrate all my good cheer,
    but it must start right now, it can’t wait a year.
    © April 8, 2011 by Joseph Beckman

    2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 9

    For today’s prompt, write a time of day poem.  In fact, make the title of your poem the time of day. 
    5 minutes to Dawn
    Five minutes to dawn, am I ready for light?
    I have lived many years, and struggled, the fight
    That defines and makes me the man that I am,
    Has consumed and created me right where I stand.
    So with minutes to go before my new day begins,
    Or is it that moment just before it all ends?
    It should not matter, I should not care,
    For Carpe Diem, yes, death is always near.
    © April 9, 2011 by Joseph Beckman

  5. Michael Grove

    Very Nice stuff with a somewhat difficult topic…
    Thank You Hannah, and PSC and Marie Elena
    For Roberts’ start, either 6:35 or 7:35 are way to early for me.
    Rox, it is the dog that gets me going too.
    Debra – never a waste white writing.
    Margot – love it when it flows early
    Daniel – O Dark Thirty was something my dad said once in awhile. I was going to work it but I liked yours far too much.
    Joy – I feel the pain in the feet here.
    Connie – hear the sounds or not, from the missing bell to the troops rising. Nice picture painted.
    Nancy – the shifting between left and right brain is making me tired. And I don’t understand how they can measure that closely either.
    Jerry – Teddy, mmmmmmmmmmmm
    Brian – Each arrow has its wound to fill …… kills
    Andrew – Suspicious indeed
    Salvatore – Speechless. Lovely.
    Lori – Same schedule as my daughter
    Janet Rice – each day you stir my pot. Sounds like that was a wonderful commitment and a special time in your life.
    Joseph – LOVED without the cross of time upon our shoulders.
    Beth – Another trip around the sun is always worthy of celebration.
    Walt – Very nice efforts with your thumbs…
    Richard – Glorious tribute – AMAZING depth to your writings.
    Billie – “Mommy”
    Melisa – Whenever I travel I feel like I need a time tool too.
    Linda M. – “The Soul releases” – incredible imagery…
    Tamara – Tenderness
    M.A. – our clocks are synchronized
    Michele – How many are hungry now.. the faithful poet and chef. AND Nice early vision.
    Rallentanda – Please… not at 2:00 am
    Hannah – Loved it ALL especially – Crickets add fiddle
    Katrelya – An interesting Halloween!
    Wow – just looked at the side bar and only ¼ way thru… Good stuff here today. Back later.

  6. Joseph Beckman

    A little late to class here but I hope I can get caught up with four for the last 4 days.
    I apologize for the periods as it was the only way I could get the form i wrote them in.
    2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 1
    what got you here
    Roads travelled.
    Torrents growing
    rowing, tossing to
    and fro-ing.
    Hearts’ beginings,
    love’s leanings, pushing
    pulling groping singing.
    Playgrounds playing,
    but ground’s undoing,
    shaking quaking, breaking
    young soul.
    Torment starting,
    torment growing chasms
    widening and flowing
    to no end.
    Time growing,
    Old clothing but
    New beginning,
    awakening, singing
    love’s leaning to and fro-ing.
    Hope springing eternally
    Eternally singing.
    © April 1, 2011 Joseph Beckman

    2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 2
    postcard poem where you are right now
    Here now.
    I am here now, finally

    resting, home now, the

    final testing.

    The run’s been good.

    Its now understood,

    love is the reason,

    its my family,

    the Season of my

    Most Content.

    © April 2, 2011 Joseph Beckman

    2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 3
    the world without me
    By me.
    I glide through the day
    a shadow on walls,
    some walls don’t matter
    as I scatter like rainfall.
    My day of no more,
    with my wife and my son,
    do they laugh? do they cry,
    less the longer I’m gone?
    when mornings are days
    and days become years
    do they miss me? tear for me?
    only I now, shed tears?
    a world without me
    is ok it would seem
    but wife and our child
    then but only a dream?
    leave me, take me,
    throw me away,
    gaia’s billions won’t miss me
    even one day.
    But to my wife, dear sweet lover,
    and another, perhaps,
    Bring our son, our sweet boy
    and his oh special light.
    © April 3, 2011 Joseph Beckman

    2011 April PAD Challenge: Day 4
    pick a person type

    wife, and now mother,
    whichever comes first.
    Is it love or the other
    whose pain, the worse
    for to give of herself,
    so freely and spent,
    from wife to the mother,
    life, blood, energy lent.
    when giving is done
    this year or next, or
    next to the following
    forever, no end,
    the gift of the mother
    to wife is returned,
    as life’s gentle fruit
    lives past her dear end.
    © April 4, 2011 Joseph Beckman

  7. Lindsay Oberst

    I’m going to try to write a poem a day because I need more poetry in my life, and prompts usually inspire interesting things for me. It’s also inspiring to think about all the people sitting down to write. Thanks for this.

  8. PSC in CT

    Wow! Hard to believe it’s April already! Been away from writing for too long and I could really use a "kick start", so I’m going to give this another try. Made it all the way through my first two PAD challenges, but had my computer die during both of the last two PADs, so I’m back — with hopeful fingers crossed — to join in the fun. Happy April, all! 🙂

  9. Mary Richards

    April 2: prompt–postcard poem, personal

    At last! A day of sunshine, clean-washed skies, bold shadows
    After days of March-gray comes April-bright;
    It scoops my mood up from the sodden, still-brown earth,
    Suspends it, breeze-blown, in the budding trees.

    Mary Richards

  10. Gloria Bonnell

    Thanks for the chance to enjoy poetry month! I’ve been looking for some great prompts and a strong motivation to write. Looks like I’ve found it.

  11. Gloria Bonnell

    Thanks for the chance to enjoy poetry month! I’ve been looking for some great prompts and a strong motivation to write. Looks like I’ve found it.

  12. Mary Richards

    April 1, 2011 (prompt: What got you here)

    Taking the Long View

    The silence of my house listens to the rush of wind outside—
    the Prairie Wind, that briefly snags soft clouds on spiky branches
    pregnant with leaf buds. The Prairie Wind,
    a constant, grounding presence in my life for forty years

    together with his sister, Prairie Sky, who spreads her infinitely extending roof
    above my head. I never tire of her kaleidasope of colors in the day,
    her endless spangled stars at night,
    her ever-present backdrop for my existence.

    When I came to this Middle Earth a young wife and mother,
    following a young husband and father to this Land Between Two Rivers,
    who could have guessed that wind and sky would capture me,
    remold me, call me, after countless journeys and adventures far afield,

    To return again with joy to this vast space and moving air,
    These elements that subtly and inevitably spell “home.”_

  13. Charles Robert Hice

    April one foolishly advances
    by Charles Robert Hice on Friday, April 1, 2011 at 10:01am

    April one



    if not for her own husband, who is constantly on the road attempting

    to sell more units for his boss, who blames his money-focused approach

    to life on his shabby upbringing by his father, who often lost jobs

    (and even a finger once in a car factory) while daydreaming about

    becoming a great writer like his favorite poet, who chose composing

    stanzas over spreadsheets and as a result found himself often worried

    late into the evenings about how he would manage to pay his rent

    while realizing he had absolutely no one left to blame save himself.

    late at night when i should be asleep

    excerpted from Robert Brewers poem


    CharlaX Poetry

    Five Lines of Freedom

    In the eye of the Clergy your husband will not save himself but wind up keeping you from going inn to Glory but shortly you will see the truth again

    In the Laymens terms selling items for the living is not work but feeding frenzy needs the job the husband will be home to sleep to love you more then ever more

    IN her own eye she wishes she could give the Father back the finger give the finger to the Father of the Man

    From the passing stranger the point is the poem he wishes to write poetry he must be homeless to fulfill his destiny

    from no viewpoint

    in 100 April years God will stop these fears he will wipe away your tears for YOU my April fools who live inn loving Harmony

    Anne McWilliams version

    instead details swim, paddling back from the brink

    of ruin, bearing down hard on middle age

    life’s wrong turns have brought me to my knees

    eternal questions cannot be taught

    all i have is a voice, what you have heard is true

    choices can take everything away

    not even born as promised, a premature life

    knows there is misery enough in this world

    no one exists alone

    fair warnings long outgrown, i shut the door

    to turn energies towards a file drawer, spring cleaning

    no sacrifice seems trivial

    time always finds the hole

    a silent appeal confronts years left

    stands at the foot of my bed each morning

    ready to start over


    the end of poems in America

    Aprils Fools

  14. Marcia Gaye

    I so do want to try this again. Have done this challenge for two years. Am also hip-deep in a time-sucking writing class, and next weekend is my states’ writers’ conference and pitch sessions. So adding poetry to the mash-up is probably way crazy. I’m taking a deep breath and preparing to dive …

  15. Michael Grove

    Well, it is opening day of baseball season. I am ready to step up to the plate and hit a grand slam on this challenge. Good Luck to all who choose to participate in this discipline. ~ Michael Grove

  16. Just Someone

    I had a question on the PAD – I have a poem blog, so can I post the daily poems on that? Would they then be eligible for submission at the end of it? Thanks,

  17. Lauren Dixon

    Dear Robert,
    First, thank you for this opportunity again this year. I am a poet with limited time to be the poet I want to be. Your April PAD Challenge makes me find the time to do what I enjoy. Previously I have presented my poems on the "comments" for the day each day in April. As you have mentioned many publications consider this as "published." Do I send my poems to you via e-mail on a daily basis if I don’t want to do the "comments" this time? I know you say to do that after the contest is over, but is it ok during the month itself? Sorry for my lack of understanding… Lauren Dixon

  18. Linda Voit

    Hello fellow PAD poets! I’ve been missing you and am looking forward to exercising our collective poetic muscles every day. Happy National Poetry Month. I look forward to celebrating it with you. Here is a little quote from Billy Collins to help set the mood: "But tomorrow, dawn will come the way I picture her, barefoot and disheveled, standing outside my window in one of the fragile cotton dresses of the poor. She will look in at me with her thin arms extended, offering a handful of birdsong and a small cup of light." – Billy Collins

  19. Matt Conlon

    Hey, this is a great Challenge! I just recently created a blog to help people who are hosting these challenges and people who are looking for challenges to join, get together. I’d like to list this challenge there!

    I just started Join Something! just recently, so it’s a little sparse, and design is likely to change a but, but content is starting to build. Please stop by and comment if you like what’s there!

  20. Sandy Bakke

    Just found this writing poetry invitation as I was searching poetic forms. Haven’t tried this before – think I will! As Rashmi said "I would like to teast myself…"

    Looking forward to the prompts.

  21. Dheepikaa

    Can not wait. I was a part of the November PAD 2010, but never sent it through cuz I had not completed editing. 5 poems is good target to work in a month as opposed to 20. 🙂 Really look forward to it, and I am watching this space.

    Thanks, I love your prompts.

  22. Colette ;D

    Is this the place where you get an extra day for every poem you write, and then don’t know what to do with all the extra time except. . . write more poems? Or is it the place where the prompts are so good it’s hard to only write one poem a day? Either way, I hope to be here in April. . . every day! ;D

  23. Willy

    H’ray! I am SO looking forward to this. Illness and surgeries kept me out the loop for November’s PAD, so I’m REALLY excited about April. Thanks, Robert.

  24. Rob Halpin

    Going to give this a shot. I hit the Poetic Asides blog for the Wednesday Prompt every week, but don’t always find the time/focus/inspiration to crank out a poem… so, indeed, this will be a challenge. Looking forward to it.

  25. J. Martin

    I participated in 2009, but missed the ball last year, so I’m back to take on the April challenge again this year. Excited to see the outputs from all of you!

  26. Walt Wojtanik

    A whole year has passed? Wow! And looking at just the few names listed above, I would love nothing more than to hand the Laureate to any one them, all exceptionally gifted poets. And I hope the names that have been absent of late (also of the E.G.P. status) find it within themselves to rejoin the fracas. I look forward to reading and participating (always comfortable at "home"). Thanks again for your confidence in my abilities, Robert. It’s an honor I’ll carry with me far past April. Good luck, Poets! Write on!

  27. vivienne blake

    Your prompts are so inspiring, that I have to have a go at this. Last year in April I did Napowrimo, which introduced me to blogging, and I’ve written at least one poem a day ever since, not to mention fiction and life-writing. This time, I hope to favour quality over quantity!

  28. Miskmask

    Yeah! I’m so looking forward to it. Spending last week of April in the Yorkshire Dales walking with my hubby and Springer Spaniel, but I’ll be here whenever possible.

  29. Maxie Steer

    Looking forward to April already!

    I have to mention that this challenge, because I missed it last year, has opened me up to other writing challenges (including Nov PAD) and if it wasn’t for PAD, I would have been a major slacker in 2011.

    Thank you for bringing the inspiration.


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