Last year, we completed our first challenge with guest judges (check out last year’s guest judges), and it was fun for the judges, for me, and–most importantly–for the people showing up each day to grab a prompt and write a poem.
Last year’s roster of guest judges was pretty fabulous, but I’m super excited about who we have volunteering to make final decisions on each day’s best poem this year. We have now received 30 confirmations for 30 days of poeming. I can’t wait to get started!
Here’s how it will work:
- Each day, there will be a new prompt.
- After a few days have passed, I’ll take all the poems attached to that day’s prompt (in the comments) and winnow down the list for a specific guest judge…
- Who will then pick his or her favorite poem for the day…
- And that poem will be included in the Poem Your Heart Out (Volume 2!) anthology published by Words Dance Publishing.
Who are this year’s amazing guest judges?
Feast your eyes on these folks (listed in no particular order):
Denise Duhamel’s most recent book of poetry Blowout (University of Pittsburgh Press) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other books include Ka-Ching! (Pittsburgh), Two and Two (Pittsburgh), Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (Pittsburgh), The Star-Spangled Banner (winner of the Crab Orchard Award, Southern Illinois University Press) and Kinky (Orchises Press).
The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenhiem Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, she is a professor at Florida International University in Miami. In 2013, she was guest editor of the Best American Poetry anthology, in which many of her poems have appeared through the years.
Afaa Michael Weaver
Afaa Michael Weaver is the author of 14 collections of poetry, most recently City of Eternal Spring (UPitt 2014), which completes his Plum Flower Trilogy. The second book in the trilogy, The Government of Nature, won the 2014 Kingsley Tufts Award.
His other honors include 3 Pushcart prizes in poetry, an NEA (1985) and Pew (1998) fellowships, a Fulbright appointment (2002) and inclusion in 2014 & 2015 Best American Poetry. Also a playwright, he received the PDI Award (1993). He teaches at Simmons College and in the Drew U. MFA program in Poetry.
Marge Piercy is the author of 17 novels, including Gone to Soldiers, Braided Lives, The Longings of Women, and Woman on the Edge of Time; 18 volumes of poetry, including The Hunger Moon and The Moon Is Always Female, and a critically acclaimed memoir, Sleeping with Cats.
Born in center city Detroit, educated at the University of Michigan, the recipient of four honorary doctorates, she has been a key player in some of the major progressive battles of our time, including the anti-Vietnam war and the women’s movement, and more recently an active participant in the resistance to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Learn more at MargePiercy.com.
Widely anthologized, Molly Peacock is included in The Oxford Book of American Poetry, as well as leading literary journals such as Poetry (USA), Malahat Review (Canada) and The Times Literary Supplement (UK). She is the author of six volumes of poetry, including The Second Blush and Cornucopia: New & Selected Poems, both published by W.W. Norton and Company (USA and UK) / McClelland and Stewart (Canada).
Her latest book of nonfiction is The Paper Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life’s Work at 72 (McClelland & Stewart Canada and Bloomsbury USA & UK). She serves as Series Editor of The Best Canadian Poetry in English.
Learn more at MollyPeacock.org.
Taylor Mali runs the Page Meets Stage reading series in New York City. One of the original poets to appear on the HBO series Def Poetry Jam, he’s the author of three collections of poetry, including What Learning Leaves and Bouquet of Red Flags.
A vocal advocate for teachers and the nobility of teaching, Mali is also the author of What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World. Former president of Poetry Slam, Inc., he’s one of the world’s most popular slam poets as well as one of the few who makes a living from his poetry.
Learn more at TaylorMali.com.
Dorianne Laux is the author of five collections, including The Book of Men (winner of The Paterson Prize), Facts About the Moon (winner of The Oregon Book Award), Awake, What We Carry (finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award), and Smoke, as well as two fine small press editions: Superman: The Chapbook and Dark Charms, both from Red Dragonfly Press.
Laux is the co-author of the celebrated text The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry. Among her awards are two Best American Poetry Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, two fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Learn more at DorianneLaux.net.
Publish your poetry!
Writing poetry is great, but it’s also fun to share poetry too, whether it’s on a blog, at a public reading, or through traditional publication in online and print publications and eventually in collections. Learn how to navigate the sometimes crazy world of poetry publishing with the 2015 Poet’s Market, which includes articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry.
Plus, dozens of poetic forms explained, a handful of poet interviews, some contemporary poems, and hundreds of listings for poetry publications, poetry publishers, poetry contests, and so much more.
David Kirby has published over 20 books and is the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English at Florida State University. His most recent collection is Biscuit Joint (Louisiana State University Press). His new and selected collection The House on Boulevard St. (also published by Louisiana State University Press), was nominated for the 2007 National Book Award in poetry.
Kirby’s work has won numerous awards, including four Pushcart Prizes, the James Dickey Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.
Learn more at DavidKirby.com.
Matthea Harvey is the author of five books of poetry–If the Tabloids are True What Are You?, Of Lamb (an illustrated erasure with images by Amy Jean Porter), Modern Life (a finalist for the National Book Critics Cirlcle Award and a New York Times Notable Book), Sad Little Breathing Machine and Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form.
She has also published two children’s books, Cecil the Pet Glacier, illustrated by Giselle Potter and The Little General and the Giant Snowflake, illustrated by Elizabeth Zechel.
Learn more at MattheaHarvey.info.
Eduardo C. Corral
Eduardo C. Corral is a CantoMundo fellow. He holds degrees from Arizona State University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His poems have appeared in Best American Poetry 2012, Beloit Poetry Journal, Huizache, Jubilat, New England Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, and Quarterly West.
His work has been honored with a “Discovery”/The Nation Award, the J. Howard and Barbara M. J. Wood Prize from Poetry, and writing residencies to the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. He has served as the Olive B. O’Connor Fellow in Creative Writing at Colgate University and as the Philip Roth Resident in Creative Writing at Bucknell University.
Slow Lightning, his first book of poems, was selected by Carl Phillips as the 2011 winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, he currently lives in New York City, teaching at Columbia University in the spring 2013.
Learn more at EduardoCorral.com.
Author of 18 books of poetry and poetics, Annie Finch has devoted most of her life to the art of poetry. Her most recent books are Spells: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press); Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters (Random House/Everymans Library) and A Poet’s Craft: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Sharing Your Poetry (University of Michigan Press).
Finch’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Harvard Review, The Paris Review, and many other journals and in anthologies including The Norton Anthology of World Poetry, The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, and The Penguin Book of Twentieth-Century American Poetry. She reads, lectures, and teaches poetry widely across the U.S. and abroad.
Learn more at AnnieFinch.com.
Kim Addonizio’s most recent book is My Black Angel: Blues Poems and Portraits, with woodcuts by Charles D. Jones. Her previous books include five poetry collections, two novels, and two books of stories, as well as two books on writing: The Poet’s Companion and Ordinary Genius.
Her next collection, Mortal Trash, is due out from W.W. Norton in 2016. Her work has been awarded a Guggenheim, two NEA Fellowships, and other honors.
Visit her online at www.kimaddonizio.com.
Michael Dylan Welch
Michael Dylan Welch is poet laureate of Redmond, Washington, and his latest book is True Colour. His poems, essays, reviews, and interviews have appeared in 20 languages in three Norton anthologies, and in such journals as Hummingbird, Line Zero, Modern Haiku, Poetry Nippon, Rattle, Rivet, Sand Hill Review, StringTown, and The Writer’s Chronicle, among hundreds of other journals and anthologies.
Michael is a director of the Haiku North America conference, cofounder of the American Haiku Archives, founder of the Tanka Society of America, and founder of National Haiku Writing Month (www.nahaiwrimo.com).
His personal website, devoted mostly to poetry, is www.graceguts.com.
For some poets, revision is the boring and/or intimidating part of the writing process. It doesn’t have to be, and really, it shouldn’t be. In the 48-minute tutorial Re-Creating Poetry: How to Revise Poems, Robert Lee Brewer shares his 3 important rules of revision, 7 revision filters, common excuses for avoiding revision (and how to overcome them), and so much more.
Poets will learn that revision is not a separate part of the creation process–the thing that happens after the first draft–but a fun part of getting to that final draft.
Kathryn Stripling Byer
Kathryn Stripling Byer served for five years as North Carolina’s first woman poet laureate. Her poetry, prose, and fiction have appeared widely, including Hudson Review, Poetry, The Atlantic, Georgia Review, Shenandoah, and Southern Poetry Review.
Her first book of poetry, The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest, was published in the AWP Award Series in 1986, followed by the Lamont (now Laughlin) prize-winning Wildwood Flower, from LSU Press. Her subsequent collections have been published in the LSU Press Poetry Series, receiving various awards, including the Hanes Poetry Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Poetry Award, and the Roanoke-Chowan Award.
Learn more at KathrynStriplingByer.com.
Ruben Quesada is editor of the forthcoming volume, Latino Poetics: Essays from University of New Mexico Press, author of Next Extinct Mammal and Exiled from the Throne of Night. He is poetry editor for The Cossack Review, Cobalt Review, and Luna Luna Magazine.
A fellow of CantoMundo, Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, Vermont Studio Center, Squaw Valley Writers, and Lambda Literary Retreat, his writing appears in Guernica, Rattle, American Poetry Review, The Rumpus, and The California Journal of Poetics. He is a professor of English and creative writing for the performing arts at Eastern Illinois University.
Learn more at RubenQuesada.com.
Denise Low, 2nd Kansas Poet Laureate, is author of 25 books, most recently Jackalope Walks into an Indian Bar (forthcoming); Mélange Block (Red Mountain Press); Ghost Stories (Woodley, a Kansas Notable Book; The Circle-Best Native American Books); and Natural Theologies: Essays (Backwaters Press).
Low is past president of the Associated Writers and Writing Programs board. She blogs, reviews, and publishes Mammoth Publications. She teaches professional workshops as well as classes for Baker University’s School of Professional and Graduate Studies. She has British Isles, German, and Delaware Indian heritage. Her MFA is from Wichita State University and Ph.D. is from Kansas University.
Learn more at www.deniselow.net.
He is a co-founder of Birds, LLC, an independent poetry press, and lives in Queens, NY with his wife and their twin son and daughter.
Learn more at JustinMarks.net.
Cecilia Woloch is the recipient of a 2011 NEA fellowship and the author of six acclaimed collections of poetry: Sacrifice, a BookSense 76 Selection in 2001; Tsigan: The Gypsy Poem; Late, for which she was named Georgia Author of the Year in Poetry in 2004; Narcissus, winner of the Tupelo Press Snowbound Prize in 2006 and a finalist for the California Book Award; Carpathia, a finalist for the Milton Kessler Award, in 2009; and Earth, published in January 2015 as the winner of the Two Sylvias Press Prize for the Chapbook.
Other honors include The Indiana Review Prize for Poetry, The New Ohio Review Prize for Poetry, the Scott Russell Sanders Prize for Creative Nonfiction, and fellowships from the California Arts Council, CEC/ArtsLink International, Chateau de la Napoule Foundation, the Center for International Theatre Development and others.
Learn more at CeciliaWoloch.squarespace.com.
J.P. Dancing Bear
J.P. Dancing Bear is the author of five full-length books of poems, six chapbooks, several essays, and more than 1,000 individual poems in such magazines and anthologies as Shenandoah, Mississippi Review, DIAGRAM, No Tell Motel, North American Review, Hotel Amerika, Rattle, and many others.
He is the editor of The American Poetry Journal, owner of Dream Horse Press, publisher of the Orphic Prize and APJ Book Prize series, as well as the first animal rights poetry anthology, And We The Creatures. He is the host of “Out of Our Minds,” a weekly radio show for public radio station KKUP, featuring some of today’s best contemporary poets.
Learn more at Bear’s website.
Megan Volpert is the author of five books on communication & popular culture, including two Lambda Literary Award finalists. She has been teaching high school English in Atlanta for the better part of a decade & was 2014 Teacher of the Year.
She edited the American Library Association-honored anthology This assignment is so gay: LGBTIQ Poets on the Art of Teaching.
Predictably, www.meganvolpert.com is her website.
Hélène Cardona is a poet, literary translator, and actor, author of Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry), Pinnacle Book Award & Reader’s Favorite Award winner; The Astonished Universe (Red Hen Press); Life in Suspension (Salmon Poetry), Ce que nous portons (Editions du Cygne), her translation of Dorianne Laux; and Beyond Elsewhere (White Pine Press), her translation of Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac.
She holds a Master’s in American Literature from the Sorbonne, taught at Hamilton College & LMU, received fellowships from the Goethe-Institut & Universidad Internacional de Andalucia, and co-edits Dublin Poetry Review, Levure Litteraire, and Fulcrum.
Learn more at HeleneCardona.com.
As many of you already know, you don’t need an advanced degree to reap the rewards of a rich poetic life–writing poetry is within the reach of everyone. In Writing the Life Poetic, Sage Cohen invites you to slow down to the rhythms of your creative process and savor poetry.
From creative prompts to nuts & bolts instruction, this book is filled with practical poetic purpose. It takes poetry from its academic pedestal and puts it back into the hands of the people.
Todd Boss is a poet, public artist and film producer in Minneapolis. His poetry collections are Pitch and Yellowrocket (both W.W. Norton). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, Poetry, and NPR.
He is the recipient of McKnight and Minnesota State Arts Board grants, the Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award, and the Emily Clark Balch Prize from Virginia Quarterly Review. He is the founding Executive and Artistic Director of Motionpoems, a nonprofit initiative that partners with major publishers, literary organizations, and film companies to turn great contemporary poems into short films.
Learn more at ToddBossPoet.com.
Alison Stine is the author of three books of poetry–Wait (University of Wisconsin Press), Ohio Violence (University of North Texas Press), and Lot of My Sister (The Kent State University Press)–and a novel, Supervision (HarperVoyager, 2015).
Trained as a performer, Ali’s original stage plays and musicals have been produced at the Cleveland Playhouse, the University of Nebraska, La Habra Depot Theatre, and the Trilogy Theatre Group. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and received the Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation.
Learn more at AlisonStine.com.
Christian Bök is the author not only of Crystallography (1994), a pataphysical encyclopedia nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, but also of Eunoia (2001), a bestselling work of experimental literature, which has gone on to win the Griffin Prize for Poetic Excellence.
Bök is currently working on a project, entitled The Xenotext (which involves the creation of “living poetry,” through the encipherment of a text into the genome of a bacterium). Bök teaches English at the University of Calgary.
Todd Swift is a British-Canadian poet, university teacher, editor, critic, and publisher based in the United Kingdom. In the 1990s, Swift wrote hundreds of hours of television (mostly animation) for HBO, Paramount, Hanna-Barbera, Fox, Cinar, and DIC Entertainment, and was story editor for many episodes of Sailor Moon.
Swift is the author of several full-length poetry collections, including The Ministry of Emergency Situations: Selected Poems; When All My Disappointments Came Home at Once; England Is Mine; and Seaway: New & Selected Poems. He is Director and Publisher of the indie press Eyewear Publishing Ltd.
Learn more at ToddSwift.blogspot.com.
Matt Rasmussen’s poetry has been published in Gulf Coast, Cimarron Review, H_NGM_N, Water~Stone Review, New York Quarterly, Paper Darts, and at Poets.org.
He’s received awards, grants, and residencies from The Bush Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, Intermedia Arts, The Anderson Center in Red Wing, MN, and The Corporation of Yaddo. He is a 2014 Pushcart Prize winner, a former Peace Corps Volunteer, and teaches at Gustavus Adolphus College.
His first book of poems, Black Aperture, was a finalist for the National Book Award, won the 2012 Walt Whitman Award, and was published in 2013 by LSU Press.
Learn more at MattRasmussen.net.
Alberto Rios is the author of 10 books and chapbooks of poetry, three collections of short stories, and a memoir. In August 2013, Rios was named Arizona’s first state poet laureate.
His collections include The Dangerous Shirt; The Theater of Night, winner of the 2007 PEN/Beyond Margins Award; The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body, finalist for the National Book Award; and Whispering to Fool the Wind, which won the Walt Whitman Award.
In 2014, Rios was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
Terri Kirby Erickson
Terri Kirby Erickson is the author of four collections of poetry, including In the Palms of Angels, winner of a Nautilus Book Award and other prizes, and A Lake of Light and Clouds (both from Press 53). Among her many honors and awards are the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize and the Poetry for their Freedom Award.
Erickson’s work has appeared in the 2013 Poet’s Market, The Writer’s Almanac, American Life in Poetry, Asheville Poetry Review, The Christian Science Monitor, North Carolina Literary Review, Verse Daily, and many others.
For more information, visit her website www.TerriKirbyErickson.com.
Jessie Carty is the author of seven poetry collections, which include her newest full-length collection Practicing Disaster by Aldrich Press. Other collections include Paper House, Fat Girl, and Morph.
Jessie is a freelance writer, teacher, and editor.
She can be found around the web, especially at http://jessiecarty.tumblr.com.
Okla Elliott is currently an Illinois Distinguished Fellow at the University of Illinois where he works in the fields of comparative literature and trauma studies. His nonfiction, poetry, short fiction, and translations have appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, A Public Space, and Subtropics, among others.
He is the author of the fiction collection From the Crooked Timber (Press 53) and poetry collection The Cartographer’s Ink (NYQ Books). His novel, The Doors You Mark Are Your Own (co-authored with Raul Clement), is forthcoming from Dark House Press, as is his book of translation, Blackbirds in September: Selected Shorter Poems of Jurgen Becker (Black Lawrence Press).
Learn more at OklaElliott.net.
Martha Silano has authored four full-length collections of poetry, including The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, winner of the 2010 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize and a Washington State Book Award finalist, and Reckless Lovely (Saturnalia Books).
She is also co-editor, with Kelli Russell Agodon, of The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice (Two Sylvias Press). Two Sylvias Press just released a redesigned and expanded second edition of her award-winning poetry collection, What the Truth Tastes Like.
Martha teaches at Bellevue College and serves as poetry editor of Crab Creek Review. Learn more at http://marthasilano.net/bioblog.html.
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. In addition to managing this blog, he edits Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market, writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine, and lots of other fun writing-related stuff.
Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.
More fun poetic posts here:
- WD Poetic Form Challenge: Paradelle.
- 2015 April PAD Challenge: Guidelines.
- Kristina Marie Darling: Poet Interview.