WD Poetic Form Challenge: Gogyohka

You knew it was coming: another poetic form challenge. And, as you may have guessed, we’ll focus on the concise (but liberated) gogyohka this time around. Click here to read the guidelines on writing the gogyohka.

Since it’s such a short form, I’m expecting a lot of submissions. Plus, I’m hoping I can fit in a runner-up or two this time around. So start writing them and sharing here on the blog (this specific post) for a chance to be published in Writer’s Digest magazine–as part of the Poetic Asides column. (Note: You have to log in to the site to post comments/poems; creating an account is free.)

Here’s how the challenge works:

  • Challenge is free. No entry fee.
  • The winner (and sometimes a runner-up or two) will be featured in a future edition of Writer’s Digest magazine as part of the Poetic Asides column.
  • Deadline 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on November 3, 2014.
  • Poets can enter as many gogyohkas as they wish. The more “work” you make for me the better, but remember: I’m judging on quality, not quantity.
  • All poems should be previously unpublished. If you have a specific question about your specific situation, just send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com. Or just write a new gogyohka.
  • I will only consider gogyohkas shared in the comments below. It gets too confusing for me to check other posts, go to other blogs, etc.
  • Speaking of posting, if this is your first time, your comment may not appear immediately. However, it should appear within a day (or 3–if shared on the weekend). So just hang tight, and it should appear eventually. If not, send me an e-mail at the address above.
  • Please include your name as you would like it to appear in print. If you don’t, I’ll be forced to use your user/screen name, which might be something like HaikuPrincess007 or MrLineBreaker. WD has a healthy circulation, so make it easy for me to get your byline correct.
  • Finally–and most importantly–be sure to have fun!


Win $1,000 for Your Poetry!

Writer’s Digest is offering a contest strictly for poets with a top prize of $1,000, publication in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a copy of the 2015 Poet’s Market. There are cash prizes for Second ($250) and Third ($100) Prizes, as well as prizes for the Top 25.

The deadline is October 31. Enter as often as you’d like; win as much as you can.

Important note: This is separate from the gogyohka challenge. The Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards is open to all forms, styles, subjects, etc. So enter your haiku, free verse, and so on.

Click here to learn more.


roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53).

He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He loves learning new poetic forms, sharing them with the Poetic Asides poets, and then with the world (through Writer’s Digest magazine).

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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604 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Gogyohka

  1. victoriahunter

    When His Mother Calls

    His mothers voice, is like heavy metal, broken in parts
    and twisted around itself, like one of his fathers unfinished projects
    she calls him to fix something, that can’t always be fixed
    like something from a crash, like something from the past,
    like he is his father.

    — Victoria Hunter

  2. victoriahunter

    True Love

    True love– you come from the woods, with your red fangs out,
    you circle me, slowly, like a hungry wolf
    and I say,
    “You can have me, and drink of my sweet blood,
    but this time, please don’t bite so hard.”

    — Victoria Hunter

  3. Jane Shlensky


    Questions mushroom upward
    curved like shepherd’s hooks
    corralling the unknown, answers
    dropped below them like luggage,
    grown too heavy to carry.

    These are great fun to write. Thanks, Robert, for another cool form and challenge.

  4. Jane Shlensky


    Old Buddah’s hands are rough and thick,
    his nails jagged from digging deep,
    dislodging stones, pulling at roots,
    his mortal scars a testament
    to less than noble paths.

  5. shethra77


    Robbie’s box is his spaceship;
    sometimes it’s a stagecoach,
    last week it was a submarine.
    My boxes
    were those things, too.

    Shethra Jones Hoopes

  6. taylor graham


    that blue sphere
    with its oceans wind-ruffled,
    tiding under a skiff of cloud.
    So far below you now.

    the shared listening for rain
    on the dark backside from the sun
    when your feet were soled
    with soil.

    That rumpled height of crystals –
    could that be your own sweet Sierra,
    where you used to hike
    so high above sea-level,
    its summit Scout-Carson blue?

    The results of flight –
    aerodynamically predictable,
    they say.
    Oh to be back on Earth
    and reunited with your shadow.

  7. victoriahunter

    Cans of Cold Soup,

    They’re like accusations, lined up, all in a row
    fat ones, little ones, and red and green ones
    ones with plastic, peel away lids, on their metal heads
    I can dump one on his white shirt, knowing he can’t clean it up
    all by himself, but I’ll do it– just to see him try.

    — Victoria Hunter

  8. victoriahunter

    Cans of Cold Soup

    They’re like accusations, lined up, all in a row
    fat ones, little ones, and red and green ones
    ones with plastic, peel away lids, on their metal heads
    I can dump one on his white shirt, knowing he can’t clean it up,
    all by himself, but I’ll do it, just to see him try.

    — Victoria Hunter

  9. victoriahunter

    Sacks of Salt

    Two sacks of salt, in the alleyway
    each one a different color, and a different size, at heart
    but too close, like this person and that person, on a public bus
    I can separate them, easily– I think,
    but I can never throw either, over my shoulder, and carry them home.

    — Victoria Hunter

  10. victoriahunter

    Having Chicken Soup For Breakfast

    The steam from my hot chicken soup
    rises up to my face, almost scolding it
    and I can’t complain, it’s like misery, when you’re alone
    it feels the way it should–
    it is what it is– it can be nothing else.

    — Victoria Hunter

  11. victoriahunter

    Why I Won’t Stay the Night

    At home, there are clean white walls, all around me
    they touch me like a holy song
    and watch me like kind strangers, who think I am somebody–
    this is why I always go home–
    I go home to the clean white walls.

    — Victoria Hunter

  12. victoriahunter

    In the Early Morning

    Upstairs in my bedroom
    there’s a clutter of madness, a nightmare continues–
    I’m downstairs, opening a poem
    thinking of going upstairs–
    but why am I thinking of that?

    — Victoria Hunter

  13. DanielR


    A second baby at twenty-one,
    a premium view from her trailer’s front porch,
    the neighbors whisper of her past glory
    and she hates it but just smiles and waves
    ‘cause she’s had plenty of practice.

    Daniel Roessler

  14. DanielR


    Floating through the air
    the remains of dandelions
    get caught up in her auburn hair,
    she gracefully swipes them away
    perched on her end zone throne.

    Daniel Roessler


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