Poetry Craft Tips

4 Poetry Chapbook Strategies

Since many poets are getting together their November chapbooks this month, here are some poetry chapbook strategies. These are different than the 5 Tips for Organizing Poetry Chapbook Manuscripts, which is also worth a quick read. Here are four poetry chapbook strategies: Include Only Your Most Vital Poems. Ten pages of great poetry is...

Breaking the Mold: How to Revise Poems for Publication

Here’s a guest post from James Von Hendy (written earlier this year) about whether material is published on blogs and a sound strategy for handling both poem sharing and revision, including how to revise poems for publication. If you have an idea for a guest post too, just send an e-mail to robert.brewer@fwcommunity.com with...

5 Ways to Revise Poems

My blog spends a lot of time on the creation of poetry, but I haven’t dedicated anything to revision in more than a year. While I’m always writing and revising poetry, I think my recent book deal and subsequent intense editing has inspired me to share a few of the more common editing tricks...

Best Opening Poetry Lines

Everyone has their personal list of best opening poetry lines–or at least, everyone should have their list of favorite opening lines. While the first line of a poem isn’t the most important for the whole poem to work, it can often guide whether a reader keeps reading through to the end. Here are some...

The 20 Best Poems for Kids

As a father of five children who loves to read to them at night, I’ve learned a thing or two about which poems play best for kids. In fact, I’d say there are three key types that appeal to kids the most: Short Poems Funny Poems Rhyming Poems This post links to several kids poems of...

Interview With Poet Aaron Belz

I’m so happy to share Aaron Belz with the Poetic Asides community today! Credit: Thomas Crone In 2010, Aaron’s second collection of poetry–Lovely, Raspberry–was released by Persea Books. Before that, there was the The Bird Hoverer, which Boston Review called “masterfully strange.” Aaron is an English professor at Providence Christian College (in Pasadena, California)....

Interview With Poet Erika Meitner

Earlier this year, Harper Perennial released Erika Meitner’s Ideal Cities, which has already received praise from poets such as Paul Guest, Nikki Giovanni and Denise Duhamel. And you can go ahead and throw me on the bandwagon too, because I really enjoyed the way Ideal Cities dealt with both location and family.   In...

Interview With Poet Nancy Posey

We’re two days into the 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge. (Click here to read about the 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge.) Recently, I interviewed the 2009 November PAD Chapbook Challenge winner: Nancy Posey. Her collection, Let the Lady Speak, got into the skins of many different women and beat a field of more than...

Blogging Poets: Jessie Carty

Way back on April 26 (in the heat of running for Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere), I posted that I wanted to do a better job of informing my readers of other poetry blogs. Well, it’s taken longer than I expected, but here is the first in what I hope will be many Blogging...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

How Poeming Is Like Dating

We’ve been discussing the composition of poetry on Twitter today. It sounds like many poets (including myself) tend to treat writing poetry like dating. Start off for funAt first, it’s just an image. Or an idea. Or a line. Something small and (what initially) seems unique triggers the beginning of a poem. You start to...

Altering poetry for publication: Good or bad?

I like making these post-#poettues posts after tweeting poetry on Tuesdays on Twitter. (Click here to view this week’s transcript.) Today, we discussed self-publishing poetry in unusual formats, the importance of quality and design in publication, and selective poetry journals vs. those that accept about anything. And then, we hit upon the big topic...

The Importance of Form

I just updated the poetic forms list on this blog (click here to check out 29 different poetic forms). I feel that attempting poetic forms is an essential step on the path to becoming a good poet. This doesn’t mean that I think poets have to write in forms to be considered poets, but...

Quality v. Quantity: Do they need each other?

Now that I’m escaping from the vacuum of National Poetry Month and another successful April Poem-A-Day Challenge, I find myself wondering about the relationship of quantity and quality in writing. Is there value in writing every day? Is a writing routine a good or bad thing for poets? Questions such as these have been...

Interview With Poet Laurel Snyder

Interesting (maybe only to me) story: This interview with Laurel Snyder came about after Laurel responded to one of my “tweets” on Twitter. (By the way, you can follow me there at http://twitter.com/robertleebrewer.) Yes, social networking really can benefit all writers–even (or maybe especially) poets. In 2007, No Tell Books published Laurel Snyder’s collection,...

Poetic Forms: Villanelle

(Okay, I’m going to try posting this again. Apparently, this blog is anti-villanelle.) So, the French form I had not covered yet was not the rondeau, but the villanelle. Oh well. We got a nice rondeau refresher earlier this week. (Check it out here.) The villanelle, like the other French forms, does have many...

Interview With Poet Katy Evans-Bush

Since I know this interview is a little on the long side (which is a good thing), I won’t spend too much time introducting Katy Evans-Bush, who recently released her first collection of poetry Me and the Dead through Salt Publishing. She also maintains the very popular literary blog Baroque in Hackney. As I’ve...

Interview with poet Cherryl Floyd-Miller

Earlier this year, Tammy and I took Baby Will with us to his first poetry event, a reading by Cherryl Floyd-Miller at Wordsmiths Books in Decatur, Georgia. Sadly, Wordsmiths has since closed, but Cherryl was nice enough to be interviewed for the Poetic Asides blog. Her most recent collection of poems, Exquisite Heats, was...

Interview With Poet Denise Duhamel

(Note to prompt-hungry poets: This is not a prompt; please don’t mistakenly post your poems for prompts into the comments of this blog post.) Okay, so I know everyone’s busy with writing poems for the April PAD Challenge and reading everyone else’s poems, but I’ve got a great interview with a great poet burning...

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...