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.

To keep that community going, I asked WritersDigest.com editor Brian Klems to set up a Poetic Asides specific group in their forum located at http://forum.writersdigest.com. If you have an account, just log in and click on the Poetic Asides link. If you don’t have an account, it’s super easy to create one–and it’s totally F-R-E-E (and it don’t even cost you any money). I have a welcome message up for the group, but you can begin your own topics and start chattering away. I’m sure there will be some crossover between the new forum group and the blog moving forward, too.

Also, on that main forum page, you may notice there are genre-specific critique groups in Critique Central. One of those groups is labeled poetry, and that’s where you, umm, can critique, umm, poetry. Yeah, pretty obvious, I know.


As far as the blog and prompts, I’ve decided I will continue to do prompts, though not at the breakneck pace of one each day. I’m planning on providing a prompt each Wednesday throughout the year–figuring there’s no better way to get over the hump of the workweek than a little prompting and poeming. I hope that’ll be a good pace for everyone until next April.


I’m considering the possibility of critiquing one poem per week. More info on this later. But stay tuned–and prod me if I seem to forget about it.


The Poet’s Market newsletter is going to make a comeback starting later this month. If you wish to receive the free monthly e-mail newsletter, you can sign up at www.poetsmarket.com.


On May 21, plan on attending the Poetic Asides 2008 April PAD Challenge awards ceremony–at this blog. I’ll be recognizing those who completed the challenge, as well as some extra nods and pats on the backs and such.

Plus, at that time, I’ll also be handing out awards to poets. Those who completed the challenge will be able to receive one or both of two awards: one is a badge that the magazine design group put together for poets who want to put the award on their blogs and/or Web sites (to show that you completed the challenge); two is a certificate that the book design group is working on that you can print up and tuck away somewhere safe (or proudly frame and display).


On May 22, I’ll be answering poetry questions all day somewhere in WD forum. More details to come on this as the event approaches.


Okay, this post is long enough now, I guess. Let me know if you have any questions, concerns, comments, etc. And again, thank you so much for being so awesome!


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46 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Wrap Up

  1. Rodney C. Walmer

    Thank you for your kind words Corrine and Sally. I am back. I did not leave because I wanted to, I left because I had to, in order to do end of year paperwork for my job. But, it is summer now, and I am free to write again. 🙂 Just check out the Wednesday prompts, I have at least one poem in each.


  2. Karen

    Robert and all you other amazing poets (yes, even if we’re not published), thank you for the encouraging posts, incredible poems, and stimulating prompts. We all have lives, so you all inspired me with your consistency and clever words. I had to play catchup today to get my last two poems in, and all of you served as the force behind me.

    Reading the posts each day made me believe I could do it, and it’s been the most productive period I’ve experienced as a writer since I began in earnest two years ago. Cranking out these poems has upped my creative flow, and I find myself eager to write about so many things. And all of you have gelled my resolve to continue writing poetry. Hope we’ll all see one another in print.

    Till then, see you on this blog!

  3. Linda Hofke


    Thanks for the challenge. That’s exactly what it was for me as
    I just decided in February to revive the dream I never followed of being a writer. Okay, so poetry isn’t my chosen direction, and I will admit that even though there were a few I was happy with, some of mine were, well, just completed in a rush in between life’s obligations. I’d like to write for children (nonfiction and perhaps a bit of fiction) and thought that since I am just starting that this challenge might bring me motivation and discipline. It wasn’t easy with my workload but I did all but 3 prompts…and perhaps I can work on them this week. I might even take part in the Wednesday prompts. Who knows? I got much more out of this challenge than I had expected. Bravo, Robert.

    Cheryl Wray–what type of nonfiction do you write?

    Corinne–a ghost? Ha. I noticed your poems. Really, I did.

    Rosemary–I hope things are looking up for you. And if you enjoy writing poetry, you should ignore your son’s comments. I write because I enjoy it. If I am published one day, that will be great. If not, I still had fun. A writer needs to write to be happy. Don’t let them take that away from you.

    Maybe I’ll see some of you in the forum. It’s been great. (Does anyone know if the snake has been found???)

    Linda Hofke

  4. Judy Roney

    This was fun and very productive, Robert. I’m proud of myself for having accomplished this PAD feat and I’m sure every one that finished is. I know I have many friends who also took on the challenge and were successful but did not post them on your site. Oh, well, no certificates for them. LOL My point is that you have inspired so many people with your Poetic Asides, more than you know about.

  5. Hope Greene

    I’m with Nancy. I’ll be compulsively posting the last few poems, just to have all my documents in my personal file for the challenge highlighted in green. What does it say about a personality that needs to finish the task, but is incapable of working on it consistently? Hmmm…any poet/psychologists out there?

    Thanks to everyone for this month’s great collective work! It’s been VERY good to be part of an artistic group again, however intangible.

  6. Jolanta Laurinaitis

    Thanks to all for a very inspiring month… I’m going to miss it!!!
    I was stuck for a muse had not written a poem for a year until I came online here… You have revamped my muse and now it is unstoppable!!!!
    Thank you so much!

  7. ck

    I finished a sestina today and posted it. I did it! — even if it’s a poor one. Thanks for the challenge, Robert. It has been so much fun.

  8. Barbara Tzetzo Gosch

    This has been one of the best and rewarding experiences of my life, and I’ve had plenty. I realized how difficult it is to actually write every day. I used to keep a journal and wrote daily, but emailing cut that out. There were so many things I learned about writing and about myself. I’m very active but decided "nothing" and I mean "nothing" would stop my doing PAD. Some nights I thought I’d fall asleep over my p.c. keyboard and I’m not kidding, but I did it. One day I was subbing and saw a children’s pub. I had a prep time in my day and wrote a short, poetry, kind of piece that I submitted. If it doesn’t get accepted that’s okay. But, I realized you have to just keep at it. It was so easy to do my children’s magazine submission–given the challenge we had. THANK YOU!

  9. Bruce Niedt

    Heather: sorry! I didn’t realize pathetic.org was currently closed to new members. I’ll have to ask the administrator what’s up with that.

  10. Nancy

    If one of the poems I submitted (while I was out of town at a strange computer) didn’t show up–and it was the only one I didn’t back up), so I need to resubmit one (the apology) to be 100%? I’m sure Myers-Briggs or something could explain my need to finish what I start. This has been so stimulating. I can’t wait until Wednesday.

  11. Diane

    Linda, I have had the same trouble when going back to read earlier day’s poems. On the left side of this page is a list of links. The one called Poetry Prompts will get you to all of the prompts, including some from before April.

  12. LindaTK

    I have a question…I cannot find a place to put Day 6, which was to create a poem out of the events of a day in your life. Other than that, I have done all of the others and I am deliriously happy! Ta-Da!!!!!!! Huge Sigh of Relief, LindaTK

  13. Marin


    Thank you for your wonderful challenges — I only wish I had known about it sooner (and thanks to Lisa C. for directing me here). Although I only contributed a handful of poems, I really enjoyed the daily creativity (and I loved the sestina challenge — yes, I am a total poetry geek!) Its been too long since I’ve practiced my writing (whether poetry or other genres) on a daily basis and thank you for that.

    I will try to join you as much as possible for the Wednesday challenges — so glad you decided to continue. I also found it very rewarding to read everyone’s wonderful poems and see what others were creating from the prompts and thank you all!

  14. Heather

    I checked out pathetic.org, tried to become a member and it said, "Registration is indefinitely closed" . . . *sighs*

    Thanks anyway for the suggestion.

  15. ann malaspina

    In a month of work deadlines and car trouble, writing poems for your inspiring blog was a highlight. For those moments I spent "meeting the challenge," all the other stuff disappeared and I could focus just on the words. It was really fun! Thank you.

  16. Bruce Niedt

    Let me add my name to the legion of fans of this blog and the PAD challenge. Even though I started here late (on the 7th, but after writing a poem a day on my own for the first six days), I really got caught up in the spirit of the community here, and read some really fine poetry from my fellow "boardies" as well. Thanks again, Robert – I said it elsewhere and I’ll keep saying it: you are "the man" for doing all this, especially reading through over a hundred poems a day. Thanks for helping keep the community going too.

    BTW, not to take anything away from this site, but I’ve been involved for quite some time in another excellent poetry community at http://www.pathetic.org. Check it out! Application and a poetry sample is required, but I don’t think most of you would have any trouble getting accepted.

  17. Cari

    April was a very busy month for me, and although I was not able to write a poem a day like I intended to, I wrote more than I have in a long time and I wanted to thank you all for your inspiration and to Robert for dedicating himself to this group and this challenge! I look forward to Wednesdays!!


  18. Sally DiUlus

    Thank you Robert for setting this up. I really had a great time even when I was pulling my hair out on some of those more challenging poem days.

    I also wanted to thank everyone else too, who participated in April’s PAD. Rod will be sorely missed as he has some great words to share. I feel a bit out of touch with poetry folk as we are in Ecuador for a few more months and I have met nary another poet here. Yet, I have felt at home among all of you great people and will look forward to writing still among you. See you in our Robert space and beyond… Wednesday’s to come!

  19. Cheryl Wray

    Thank you again, Robert, for all the time and dedication you gave to this challenge. I was thrilled to take part in it, although I have about 3 challenges that I didn’t get done. I’m going to get them done in the next day or so, so I can say I did them all! As a "non poet" (I write nonfiction for a living), this was a refreshing challenge and jumpstart to each day. Thanks again!

    And, also, you have some wonderful ideas for continuing this community. I will definitely try and take part in the weekly challenges. And I will be back here for the Blog Awards. LOL (I love that idea, by the way. So fun!)

    And good luck to all of you I’ve met on this road. Keep writing; there are so many talented poets here!

  20. Ang

    Ditto thank yous to Robert!! I had so much fun getting out of the teacher’s seat and into the student’s for a change! I’m pleased that I completed the challenge and had a BLAST doing so!

  21. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    I kinda raced in and out, didn’t have time to read all (yet – treats still in store!)let alone be part of the community. sadly will mot be joining new group for similar reasons, but will very much welcome Wednesdays prompts. I DID manage to complete the challenge, and while it was going on I had some very emotional stuff happening in my life. At one point nearly left my husband, but we decided to re-unite instead … which led to the parting of the ways with my youngest (39 years old. Our relationship was always difficult; he came for a LONG visit, 11 weeks in all with a gap in the middle, and basically tried to take over my life "for my own good". Ah well, you don’t want the story, but I want you to know how incredibly valuable it was to have the opportunity to work it all out through the poems, an what a saving of my sanity it was to have that outlet. And the serendipity was amazing. Each prompt seemed to have been designed with the exact right timing! Right up to the final piece, about ending, just as he declared himself done with me. (And I sad but also thankful, as he bordered on violent at times.) Whew! Little did you know, Robert, what you did in giving me t hat gift this April … and all of you, although I didn’t participate beyond the minimum, it was somehow good to have all those poems around mine, and all those people behind them. One thing, incidentally, the Prodigal Son kept telling me was that I am not a poet and have wasted my life living a lie. But I just kept on writing ’em….

    Excelsior, folks!

  22. Terri

    To those of us who made it through–Do we rock, or what? LOL My only regret is that I didn’t have time to read all the wonderful poetry. I don’t know how you did it Robert, but hats off to you my man.

  23. LBC

    Yippee! I completed the challenge!
    Posting Prompt #30 last night gave me a great feeling of accomplishment.
    I usually bake as therapy, but it was time to stop that. – you may have read my "Sorry For A Reason" written to my husband about his state of overweight. Everyday in April I wrote a no calorie poem instead!

    A Wednesday challenge will keep all the poets posting! I look forward to reading the poems. Thank you to all for sharing your creations.

    Thank you,Robert, for providing encouragement and a place to share my work. I don’t consider myself a poet – I just love to write!

  24. Corinne

    Hey, Iain, thanks for the mention in the previous day’s post of my work. I was surprised! No-one really says much about anything I write, so I thought I was a bit of a ghost on here. Nice to think I have touched someone. I must say, you’re hilarious, and I have had my stint with Cuban rum – not something I am fond of remembering, but that was 1983 and I am a bit wiser now.

    Also, in my whirlwind with this job opportunity, I did not see when Rod took his leave. That is a sore loss. I hope he reconsiders.

    Lots of neato nifty peoples here. Looking forward to getting my F-R-E-E account in our new hideout. The virtual treehouse, how cool. Kind of like a secret club anyone can join.

  25. SaraV

    I have to join in with the "Thank Yous." Poetry has always been my love but I’d put writing it aside to write stories. This challenge has brought the joy back–this morning while walking the dog I was composing a poem about the Pond Apple Blossoms–thanx for waking the muse! Looking forward to Wed.

  26. Diane

    Thank you Robert for all the time you have put into this poetry challenge. I had almost quit writing poetry and this has shown me that the main obstacle was lack of practice. Last night I got an email for a group in my area asking for submissions from members for an anthology. I could actually get paid! So I guess it is more poems for the month of May! After this challenge, I’m more ready to try for it. Thank you.

  27. Sheryl Kay Oder

    Robert, I would also like to thank you. I’m sure some days you wondered what you had gotten yourself into, but you kept on going and going.

    I must admit most of my poems felt like prose being quickly flung onto paper instead of poetry, but I am only behind on two, which I plan to do soon. Ideas for one are already swimming around in my head.

    One prompt a week sounds much better than one everyday. I have been taking pictures instead of writing poems. I am on Flickr as S K Oder for any who are curious as to what I have been doing. I would put the URL up, but I have no idea of how to do that as well as stay on this site.

    My guess as to why my poems have not so far been highlighted is my type and run method this month and my not so much opening a vein as being more lighthearted and cerebral. I’ll join the forums when I can, but life beckons.

    I spent many hours reading poems and loved many more than I had a chance to comment on. The apology poems were some of my favorites. Many of them were quite tender hearted.

  28. Linda Brown

    Dear Robert,

    This was a wonderful way of making me discipline myself to write more. Thank you so much for taking the time and interest to do this for all of us!! I love the idea of each Wed, because one poem a day was difficult for me to keep up with and I hope I’ll have the time to turn in better material this way. You are an awesome person! Congrats to EVERYONE!!!
    Linda Brown

  29. Khara House

    I’m so glad I did this–
    And I’m proud to say
    I did every day:
    But I’m sorry it’s over.

    I just had a meeting with one of my professors, and was laughing at the fact that right after being accepted to my MFA Fiction program I start writing poetry like I can’t quit it … But I’m glad. I have a Word document on my desktop with every single one of my poems from this month. I started wondering what it would be like to do a poem a day for a year … But maybe I’ll keep that one under wraps until next year!! 🙂 Peace and blessings to all; thanks for the adventure.

  30. Corinne

    Robert, much gratitude for you: your spirit and energy and commitment. It’s been a remarkable month. Thanks for the new space to hang out in.

    And to all the PADers, every single one, muchas gracias for opening your veins here every day and inspiring, touching and transforming me.

    See y’all around!
    Gracious peace,

  31. Rox

    Wait – there are AWARDS?! Man, I *knew* I should’ve gotten up earlier to work on those poems before going in to work….

    Robert – Thank you. The list is too long to chronicle everything you should be appreciated for in regards to this, so just thank you. I enjoyed every minute of it. (Well…. except for the painting poems and the sestina, and even then the challenge was worth the frustration.)


  32. Robert Brewer

    To anyone who’s still playing "catch up": Yes, feel free to catch yourself up. If it looks like you’re off by a couple, I’m sure I’ll contact you to see what’s up. (Or perhaps, I’ll send a big, bad sestina after you for collection.)

    Also, I am a little behind on posting some of the poems poets have emailed in my direction. I will continue getting those up through the month as well.

    (Btw, you guys all rock so much!)

  33. Salvatore Buttaci

    Thank you, Robert, for a great poetry-writing month! And thank you for allowing me to e-mail you those daily poems during my NJ getaway this month and promising to post them for me. I feel good that I managed to write poems for all the April prompts.

  34. AlaskanRC

    Thanks Robert for creating such an awesome and inspiring challenge. I also wanted to thank all those that made this poetry challenge great by participating. Reading everyone’s work was just as much fun as writing my own.

    Happy Writing!

  35. Tonya Root

    Thanks so much Robert for all of the work that you put into the challenge and then for recognizing and fostering the little community that sprang up from there. I am looking forward to not only this forum, but also all of the other forums. One of my biggest challenges as a writer is my rural location and lack of support from other writers and I think that the WD forums will finally fill some of that gap for me! Thanks to all of you poets who posted such wonderful work. I am so looking forward to continuing this journey with all of you!

  36. A.C. Leming

    I haven’t said it yet, but wanted to thank everyone, but especially Robert, for support, musings, and the prompts (damn the sestina, damn it to hell!). I look forward to more prompts throughout the year, and hope to complete another PAD challenge next year!

    And, maybe the person who sent me the link will not drop out eight says into the next PAD challenge. [Ahem, Ric!]

    Reveisons, here i procrastinate!

  37. Linda

    Thanks Robert! This was an incredible month and really stretched me. I don’t consider myself a poet, so have been very pleased at how this ‘genre’ has enlivened my writing and thinking.

    And woo-hoo! I made it! 30 pieces to play with, refine and polish or perhaps throw in a trashcan. Even the dratted sestina (I dare you – for next year – a rondeau redouble?)

    Looking forward to continuing the journey here and on the WD forums (convenient for me – I’m a regular). Peace, Linda

  38. Earl Parsons

    That was great fun. I’m looking forward to the Wednesday challenges. Thanks for taking the time, and it was a lot of time, to organize this diverse group of poetic misfits. We all benefited from it in one way or another. God bless.

  39. LindaTK

    This has been really fun, while at the same time, challenging, as the blog site indicates. I have stretched my poet muse on beyond zebra! I have five poems that I didn’t get in on time. In fact, I am still working on my Sestina..argh. Can I still submit? I am so near, yet so far, if I can’t. Thanks, Linda

  40. Lori

    I want to add my thanks for this challenge as well. I did miss a couple of days when I was out of town, but plan to go back and complete them even if I didn’t actually finish the challenge by April 30th. Just can’t let that sestina go to waste.

    I haven’t written poetry in years and it was fun just to get the juices flowing again, even on the days it was baaaad. 😉 I will check out the new forum soon and Wednesday’s poets sounds like fun!

    Again, thank you so much Robert and thank you to all who participated and made it a fun month. 😀

  41. Susan Bell

    I did not think I would make it. Once we got to the sestina challenge, I figured I was done for. Low and behold I made it. WOW!!
    Thanks Robert. This was great fun…and a lot of work. I’m looking forward to working on these "rough drafts" I’ve created this month and submitting them to some literary journals. I’m also looking forward to keeping up with this group. The fun will go on.

  42. Matthew

    I made it! I cannot even believe it. It was challenging as poetry is not my chosen bit of writing – but it was fun. And it helped me write everyday, which improved my prose and my entire thought of myself as a writer.

    This has helped my writing a lot. Thank you for hosting an excellent event – and keeping up with it yourself!

  43. Christa R. Shelton

    Thank you SO much for facilitating this challenge. This is one of the best things to happen for me creatively this year. I now have so much new material to work on and use for my next publication. It was so energizing for me to log on each day and be challenged with my writing. Thank you so much for the added push and inspiration to commit myself to growing as a writer.

    All my best,

    Christa R. Shelton


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