Why I Write Poetry: Sharon Louise Howard

Publish date:

Several weeks ago, I posted about “Why I Write Poetry” and encouraged others to share their thoughts, stories, and experiences for future guest posts. I’ve already received so many, and I hope they keep coming in (details on how to contribute below). Thank you!

Today’s “Why I Write Poetry” post comes from Sharon Louise Howard, who writes, "I write poetry to express the inexpressible."

Sharon Louise Howard holds BA and MA degrees from the University of Central Florida. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in CricketThe FormalistStonecuttersRevelryBranches, PinesongStreetlight Magazine, and Florida English Journal. She is retired and currently living in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina.


Master Poetic Forms!

Image placeholder title

Learn how to write sestina, shadorma, haiku, monotetra, golden shovel, and more with The Writer’s Digest Guide to Poetic Forms, by Robert Lee Brewer.

This e-book covers more than 40 poetic forms and shares examples to illustrate how each form works. Discover a new universe of poetic possibilities and apply it to your poetry today!

Click to continue.


Why I Write Poetry: Sharon Louise Howard

 Sharon Louise Howard (photo credit: Ree Strawser)

Sharon Louise Howard (photo credit: Ree Strawser)

It started as a way to help me keep my sanity during a solitary time. I was 29, on the cusp of 30 and wondering what I had to show for it. Poetry matched my attention span, or so it seemed then. It became my private means of expressing myself when all other avenues seemed blocked.

I've always been an avid reader. I was that girl who went to the library every two weeks, bringing home as many books as my skinny arms could carry. It wasn't much of a leap from that to wanting to write.

Studying on my own, I learned about the various aspects of poetry—line structure, rhythm, imagery, form, etc. It was fun and challenging, and gave purpose to my days. Everyone needs a creative outlet and I had finally found mine.

In time, I entered a few minor poetry contests. I found inspiration in the various category requirements of form and/or subject matter. I even won some awards. One of these poems was subsequently published in The Formalist. I also sold a couple of children’s poems.

My creative outlet was no longer only about passing the time. I'd fallen in live with the process of creating with words. Writing poetry feeds my endless fascination with all the ways words can come together to express even the tragic in beautiful ways.

Over the years I began to write short fiction as well. One of my favorite comments concerning my prose writing is when someone says, "When I read your stories, I can tell you write poetry."

It seems that writing poetry serves also to inform my prose.

I write poetry to express the inexpressible and find out what my subconscious knows that I have yet to discover. But also, sometimes, to simply play with words.


If you’d like to share why you write poetry, please send an e-mail to robert.brewer@fwmedia.com with a 300-500 word personal essay that shares why you write poetry. It can be serious, happy, sad, silly–whatever poetry means for you. And be sure to include your preferred bio (50-100 words) and head shot. If I like what you send, I’ll include it as a future guest post on the blog.


Find more poetic posts here:


FightWrite™: Crime Fiction and Violence

Author and trained fighter Carla Hoch answers a writer's question about writing from the perspective of criminals and when best to utilize a fight.

Poetic Forms

Sedoka: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the sedoka, a 6-line question and answer Japanese form.


Plot Twist Story Prompts: Dream Sequence

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let your characters dream a little dream.

WD Vintage_Armour 12:03

Vintage WD: Don't Hide Your Light Verse Under a Bushel

In this article from 1960, poet and author Richard Armour explores the importance of light verse and gives helpful hints to the hopeful poet.


Tessa Arlen: On Polite Editorial Tussles and Unraveling Mysteries

In this article, author Tessa Arlen explains how to navigate the differences between American and English audiences and create a realistic historical mystery.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 547

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a lazy poem.


Denise Williams: Romance, Healing, and Learning to Love Revisions

Author Denise Williams recounts her experience with writing her first book while learning about the publishing industry and the biggest surprise about novel revisions.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2020 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Next Steps

Here are the final steps for the 13th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript. Here are some tips and guidelines.