Skip to main content
Publish date:

Annie Newcomer: Poet Interview

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:

15 Promotional Ideas for Nonfiction Authors

15 Promotional Ideas for Nonfiction Authors

For the introverted writer, the process of promoting your book may seem to be a daunting, even frightening undertaking. Here, nonfiction author Rick Lauber lays out 15 promotional ideas for authors to get their books into as many hands as possible.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26

For the 2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a Well Blank poem.

Black Friday Savings 2021

Take Advantage of Our Black Friday Deals This Weekend

At Writer's Digest, there's no need to get up early or push and shove at stores to get your Black Friday deals. In fact, we give you the whole weekend to take advantage of them. Check them out here.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Break

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Unexpected Break

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, your character receives an unexpected break or benefit.

The Joys and Challenges of Writing About Food

The Joys and Challenges of Writing About Food

Food takes on a main role in Annabel Abbs' novel, Miss Eliza's English Kitchen, where research incorporated all the senses. Here, she discusses the joys and challenges of writing about food.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 25

For the 2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a thankful poem.

How To Turn an Idea Into a Chapter Book Series

How To Turn an Idea Into a Chapter Book Series

From finding the idea to writing the manuscript and sending it off to agents, author Christine Evans maps out how to turn an idea into a chapter book series.

8 Tips for Developing a Thrilling Espionage Premise

8 Tips for Developing a Thrilling Espionage Premise

Maintaining tension and high stakes requires careful attention in the writing process. Ambassador Philip Kaplan offers 8 tips for developing a thrilling espionage premise that helped him in writing his debut book, Night in Tehran.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 24

For the 2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge, poets are tasked with writing a poem a day in the month of November before assembling a chapbook manuscript in the month of December. Today's prompt is to write a response poem.