Annie Newcomer: Poet Interview

Author:
Publish date:

Please welcome Annie Newcomer as the latest poet interview in the Top 25 series of poet interviews from the 2013 April PAD Challenge!

Annie Newcomer

Annie Newcomer

Here's Annie's account of getting started writing: "In 2005 cancer unexpectedly claimed my brother, John Klier, a renowned Russian historian, Jewish scholar and popular professor. While in shock, my husband and I changed airline tickets from our original destination, Galapagos Islands, to London, where he taught and lived. Writing the eulogy on the plane triggered my entry into the world of writing. Delivering my words to a full St Lawrence Church, and seeing that what I expressed held meaning for the mourners, made me realize that through writing I could and would smile again. The unexpected consequence of that talk helped me realize that through writing I could keep my brother close by. I am a former teacher but now I am a student and my goal is to continue to learn as well as to motivate myself and any one else who loves words and life, to write."

Here is her Top 25 poem:

Grandpa's autograph, by Annie Newcomer

Grandpa didn't use pens;
he wasn't a man of letters,
never sat in a school desk,
nor was given a primer.
Never was fitted for uniforms
(he was his own man).
Didn't know how to share
the poetic verses
that lined his mind.
But when asked to give his word,
he knew to extend his hand
believing his handshake
more indelible than any ink.

*****

Where are you located?

I live in Prairie Village, Kansas, where we celebrate Kansas City Chiefs football (this year), the University of Kansas Jayhawks’ basketball (every year), the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the world renowned Nelson Atkins Art Gallery, Shakespeare Festival in the Park which hosts an adult sonnet contest each year (entries due March 1st), Kansas City Voices (submissions March 15th), Kansas City jazz, and Kansas City barbeque.

Who are your favorite poets?

Emily Dickinson caught my attention early as a youngster when I first read, "Because I could not stop for Death, / he kindly stopped for me." I thought her lines so simple and straightforward. Now I know better.

Paul Laurence Dunbar's, "I know what the caged bird feels, alas! / When the sun is bright on the upland slopes; / When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass…” Ah, Paul Laurence Dunbar fills my soul.

And a shout out for these talented Kansas poets: Jo McDougall, Denise Low, Eve Brackenbury, Brian Daldorph, Jeanie Wilson and Thomas Zvi Wilson.

What do you like most in poems?

I love the feel of the words of a poem in my mouth and mind so I want the poet to place them there sensitively and intelligently. I want each poem that I read to add to me and/or cause me to want to add to myself.

What were your goals for the 2013 April PAD Challenge?

I am late to writing so I want to learn all that I can. The April PAD Challenge was the first time I wasn’t afraid just to write each day. Every morning I jumped up anticipating the next prompt offering. A few days I think that I even beat Robert Lee to the computer.

*****

Workshop your poetry!

Click here to learn more.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer's Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World's Problems. He's currently hosting a free challenge with a $500 top prize (learn more). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

Find more poetic posts here:

20_most_popular_writing_posts_of_2020_robert_lee_brewer

20 Most Popular Writing Posts of 2020

We share a lot of writing-related posts throughout the year on the Writer's Digest website. In this post, we've collected the 20 most popular writing posts of 2020.

Malden_1:16

Carla Malden: Writing With Optimism and Innocence

Screenwriter and author Carla Malden explains why young adult fiction and the '60s go hand-in-hand and how she connected with her main character's voice.

writing_mistakes_writers_make_talking_about_the_work_in_progress_robert_lee_brewer

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Talking About the Work-in-Progress

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake writers make is talking about the work-in-progress.

Kelly_1:15

Greta K. Kelly: Publishing Is a Marathon

Debut author Greta K. Kelly reveals how the idea for her novel sparked and the biggest surprise of her publication journey.

Poetic Forms

Mistress Bradstreet Stanza: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the Mistress Bradstreet stanza, an invented form of John Berryman.

capital_vs_capitol_grammar_rules_robert_lee_brewer

Capital vs. Capitol (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use capital vs. capitol with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Dulan_1:14

On Writing to Give Grief Meaning and Write Out of Challenging Situations

Author Lily Dulan explains why writers have to be willing to go to difficult places inside themselves for their writing to make a positive impact on ourselves, others, and the world.

Brandt_1:14

Gerald Brandt: Toeing the Line Between Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Science fiction author Gerald Brandt explains how this new series explores the genre boundary and how he came to find his newest book's focus.

plot_twist_story_prompts_moment_of_doubt_robert_lee_brewer

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Moment of Doubt

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character experience a moment of doubt.