Poetry Craft Tips

April PAD Challenge: Day 3

As with many programs, getting through the 3rd day is usually the toughest. So I’m going to try and make Day 3 a little easier to help everyone complete the first 10% of our challenge. The way I look at it 3 days should equal 3 lines; in other words, today...

Exclusive Interview With Up-and-comer Jillian Weise!

My girlfriend and I are both poets. As a result, we share our writing with each other, as well as the writing of other poets we admire or discover. Recently, my girlfriend happened upon The Amputee’s Guide to Sex, by Jillian Weise from Soft Skull Press, and she’s read me about every...

Exclusive Interview With Poet Kevin Pilkington

Like so many good poets, Kevin Pilkington also teaches writing–in his case, he’s a member of the writing faculty at Sarah Lawrence College and teaches a workshop in the graduate department at Manhattanville College. But he doesn’t consider teaching a means to an end. “I feel fortunate that I have always enjoyed teaching,” says Pilkington....

Exclusive Interview With Poet Dorianne Laux

As I’ve mentioned on this blog previously, I have a Facebook account under my full name (Robert Lee Brewer). And as I’ve mentioned previously, I’m all about playing online Scrabble at that account as well. And one of my more consistent opponents is none other than poet Dorianne Laux, who’s authored...

Are You Planning Ahead for a Big Hit in Poetry?

I received a couple questions over the weekend as part of my Writer’s Market thing I do. And I thought they both would work well as things to ponder here. In fact, I’m opening myself up to poetry specific questions at my work email (robert.brewer@fwpubs.com) if you put “Poetic Asides Poetry...

A very good instructional book for poets

While I don’t want to promise that I’ll be doing a lot of poetry reviews and critiques and such, I think it makes sense for me to share good things when I happen upon them. The current “good thing” I just finished reading is Ted Kooser’s The Poetry Home Repair Manual...

Should Poets and Politics Mix?

“Stranded: Poet Mark Strand Preaches Political Indifference at UCI,” by Victor D. Infante from About.com (reprinted from The Orange County Weekly), examines a comment made by Strand that poets should rise above politics in their poetry, as well as stating that rap and poetry share no connection. Since I was not there...

Found Poetry: Converting or Stealing the Words of Others

Here’s one of my earliest published poems from a 2006 issue of Children, Churches & Daddies. “RE: your hips” OKtime to get serious… Don’t you think it’s about time you dropped a few pounds? No diet, No exercise…No BS,Only safe, substantial results in a few weeks,period. It only takes 24 bucksto...

Triolet–an easy way to write 8 lines of poetry

Today, we’re going to look at the triolet (TREE-o-LAY), which has 13th century French roots linked to the rondeau or “round” poem. For over a year now, I’ve been trying to find a way to use the repetitive line heard so often in airport terminals: “The moving sidewalk is about to...

Haiku Revisited

Michael Dylan Welch, who wrote on haiku for the 2005 Poet’s Market, stopped by and offered some great advice in the comments to my “Haiku: Easy or Hard?” post from earlier this week. While it’s probably best to read the comments first-hand, I figured I’d make it easy on people since the advice is...

Stealing each other's kittens…

The October 2007 issue of Writer’s Digest includes “Vice Versa” by Michael J. Vaughn, in which “three author/poets discuss why prose writers should try poetry, and poets should pen prose.” The three poets interviewed are Diane Ackerman, Kim Addonizio, and Naomi Shihab Nye.   In answer to the question “How do...

Mom Jokes & Insult Poetry

Back in the days of track & field and cross country, the guys and I would be running for literally miles and miles with little to occupy our minds but the joys of breathing and muscle fatigue. Maybe joy isn’t the proper word. Anyway, we would distract ourselves by talking on...

Abstract or Sound Poetry

One thing I would like to do with this blog is present a picture of the different poetic forms available to poets. I will lump all these in the Poetic Forms category in the left-hand toolbar. By knowing the different forms, you can experiment and ultimately grow as a poet and...

Cut IT Out!

If you found “Put THAT Thing Away!” helpful at all, or at least interesting, then you should know another one of my pet peeves is the use of the word “it” in poems. I only became a stickler for “it” in the past few years, and I think my writing has...

Put THAT Thing Away!

Be careful; it’s easy to do. That is, it’s easy to write in a way that overuses that word “that.” Or in other words, it’s easy to overuse the word “that.” Look: I used to be a major offender myself. Of all places, a techincal writing course helped me improve my...