Tag Archives: Robert Lee Brewer

Poetics Serendipity

8:11 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Train, Train sung by Blackfoot

Hello, all. We finally have autumn-like weather. At least we do until the afternoon when it’s still climbing into the eighties. We’re getting there. In a couple of days, NaNoWriMo starts. For new people, during November I’ll post some links more directed to the writing of prose, and the Tuesday prompts are for prose writers but easily adaptable to poetry.

1] First up, Robert Lee Brewer. There was a momentary panic amongst participants, last week, when Robert had not posted regarding his November Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge, but it’s official: Robert is providing his usual forum. Head over to read the guidelines.

2] The second find sounds interesting. Novlr describes itself as built by writers for writers, a place to safely hold your words, workable on any computer. They offer a free trial period for the whole of November. It sounds worth trying. You’ll know if you must have it or not.

3] The next is from The Writer’s Circle. They have many good things; you’ll be seeing a lot of them this month. This first offering is to remind you to relax and laugh at yourself this month: Writing a First Draft: The 8 Stages Writers Go Through. (Ignore the stuff around the poster)

4] Grammarly kindly asked whether I wanted to share Which Literary Monster Are You?  Well, of course, I do. It’s Halloween weekend coming up. Have some fun. I found the questions asked, interesting, although I’m not sure about the conclusion. When you arrive on the page, hit the Let’s Play button. (Yes, it would be better if I embedded the link — let’s not go there)

5] A last second addition. Tawnya Smith asked me to post a call for The Mayo Review. The deadline is this weekend, but you just might have something that fits.

I will see you Tuesday for a prompt; and Thursday for links.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 29/10/2015 in links, poetry, writing


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Poetics Serendipity: National Poetry Month — It’s Almost Here

8:57 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Mandy Patinkin singing I’m Old Fashioned

Hello, all. I’m having a lazy morning. Skip is chaperoning a band trip for four days (I did not snicker), so my entire routine changes. Today, I’m going to list as many National Poetry Month links as I have found. The only one I can’t give you is the one in which I am participating, the Found Poetry Review’s. The link will stay private until April 1st, at which point I’ll put the link up, should you wish to follow some found poetry madness. Misky, the two Barbaras, Richard Walker, Pamela and Ros are all participating.

1] I love the first site ( which offers 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month, running from ordering a free National Poetry Month poster to chalking a poem on a sidewalk to participating in Poem in Your Pocket Day. Don’t miss Ginsberg’s essay on Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’.

2] Robert Lee Brewer will run his annual April Poem a Day Challenge with guest judges.

3] NaPoWriMo is one of my favourites to follow. If you head their way now, you’ll find them in the midst of a countdown where they are giving us sources and resources.

4] Kelli Russell Agodon is hosting The Big Poetry Giveaway, which starts tomorrow. I have participated several times (both as giver and recipient) and have a wonderful library of chapbooks. Visit Kelli for an explanation of how you can participate. I loved the years when I gave away books and I loved winning books. This year I will only put my name down for the drawings and I look forward to wandering through the poetry blog world adding my name to the hopefuls.

5] At the Poetry Foundation, we are told: One week from today we kick off National Poetry Month with our annual blogging extravaganza. We know, dear reader, you’ve been waiting all year to see who the 20 poets will be for 2015. Wait no longer! Join these poets in April for conversation, insight, and a celebration of our favorite art.

I will see you tomorrow for the roundup of this week’s prompts; and next Tuesday for an image prompt. Then the blog goes dark for the month of April. I think. I know I can’t run the normal blog posts and participate in writing a poem every day. What I don’t know is whether I will appear occasionally with news from the Found Poetry front.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 26/03/2015 in links, poetry, writing


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Poetics Serendipity

7:58 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Queen singing We Are the Champions

Hello, all. I have a diversity of goodies, today. I have packing to do and borscht to make (when one’s husband arrives home and excitedly produces produce grown by colleagues, what is one to do?), so we will jump right in.

1] Robert Lee Brewer opens his post with: It’s time! Time for the 8th annual April PAD Challenge on the Poetic Asides blog, and I’m super excited about it. I’m happy to report that we’ll have the anthology and a new round of guest judges this year (more on both below).

Many of you have participated in Robert’s PAD Challenges. If you haven’t and are looking for a place to hang your poetic hat during April, head over to read what else Robert says. His post offers the complete guidelines.

2] This is a follow-up on two previous PS items. Two weeks ago I mentioned the University of Iowa’s free online course, upcoming. Now, I have words from a participant: I did this MOOC last year, and plan to use it again this Spring. The materials are good, and presented clearly. You can choose your level of involvement: to watch a video now and then if that’s all you want; to go all out–writing, critiquing, discussing points with others in the forums, writing essays–as if it were a seminar; or anything in between. Barbara says one or two more things, if you want to visit her.

The second item is that, sadly, The Poetry Storehouse has closed for business. You can still visit and wander through its archives. Here’s the why and wherefore, from Nic Sebastian. Stay tuned.

3] Here’s your thought-provoking item: The Most Successful Creative People Constantly Say ‘No’, written by Kevin Ashton for Business Insider (trust me). I skimmed the first part, thought, Maybe, and began to move on. Something held me. I reread the first part, where Ashton offers statements by a few people, and read further into the article.

The author is clearly a creative. He says, Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations. It is not when we feel like it. It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation. The common thread that links creators is how they spend their time. Sound familiar? Read the article.

4] Of interest: The Pubslush Foundation revealed a new grant for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). How about a $10, 000 prize? The item is short and I know many of you take part in NaNoWriMo or know people who do, or know people who want to.

I will see you tomorrow for the week’s roundup of prompts and then not until Tuesday 17th for my weekly prompt.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 05/03/2015 in links, poetry, writing


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Poetics Serendipity

8:51 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to The House You’re Building sung by Audrey Assad

Hello, everyone. Shall we get to it? I had a bit of a lie in and my brain isn’t even up to talking about the weather (and that’s one of my favourite topics — for real). Let’s see what we have.

1] First up, an announcement. There was much popping of metaphorical corks earlier this week when Robert Lee Brewer announced the winners of his November PAD chapbook contest. I heard the corks because two of the top five are people I know and whose names you have seen on this blog’s Tuesdays, often. Out of one hundred manuscripts, here are the top five:

  1. A Good Passion, by Barbara Young
  2. A Nest of Shadormas, by William Preston
  3. The Staircase Before You, by Jess(i)e Marino
  4. Lives Other Than Our Own, by James Von Hendy
  5. 1991 Winter, by Marilyn Braendeholm

Particular congratulations to Barbara and Marilyn (aka Misky).

For those of you who don’t know who Robert is and why this is a rather big deal, here’s his writer’s bio: 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 newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

2] I don’t know how many of you know Magma. They say of themselves: Like all the best poetry, Magma is always surprising. Every issue of Magma has a different editor, either members of our board or a prominent poet acting as a guest editor. It’s that fresh eye in each issue which gives Magma its unique variety. Magma publishes three times a year and, while they are UK based, they welcome all contributions (submissions). Their theme for the next issue is conversation. Visit them to see what they are about and whether you might not like to send in some poems.

3] I love this interview with poet Dana Gioia: Collaborating With Language. I found it in an issue of The Writer magazine and posted it back in 2013. I delighted in reading it again, thus decided you would too.

4] Finally, an excellent article, brought to us by Jessica Strawser, in Writer’s Digest: 5 Unexpected Lessons From Inside the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, written by Dina Nayeri.

Forgive my brevity. My computer is acting up and I want to get this posted fast. I will see you tomorrow for the week’s roundup of prompts; Tuesday for my prompt; and next Thursday for more links and such.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 05/02/2015 in links, poetry, writing


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Poetics Serendipity

8:06 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to a sampling from Google Play, based on my play-lists

Hello, all. How are you? Enh, you say? Come with me and wander through some distractions.

1] The first has all sorts of possibilities for distraction. Poet Robert Peake is one of a small group I have been following since the inception of this blog. He has written a lovely little essay ‘How Bedtime Stories Restored My Faith in Humanity‘. Sounds heavy, but it isn’t. In his essay Peake describes a recent epiphany regarding paper and ink books: I never thought a slim paperback of children’s poems, packed with silly illustrations, sing-song rhymes, and bottom humour would restore my faith that printed books will endure.

As for further distractions, you will have noticed that Peake writes beautifully. Look at the right hand column and check out some of his other posts. He also mentions a free, live online poetry broadcast and gives the link to investigate this project which he helps produce.

2] NaNoWriMo is hoving into sight and while many of you sharpen your pencils, you may have forgotten that Robert Lee Brewer has a November Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge. I have known some of you do both challenges [I will wait until November to give you a hard time]. Brewer tells us: While I’ve always considered the April challenge as a free-for-all; November is when I try (though don’t always succeed) to write around a specific theme. The article to which I have linked you, gives the guidelines.

3] This next is a weightier, but none the less interesting read. Kimberly Veklerov wrote an article for the Daily Californian, titled Poet in Motion about Robert Hass. One of my theories regarding the writing of poetry is that not only should we read a lot of poetry, but we should read about some poets and their work. Ideas spring from a variety of sources many of which we aren’t expecting. Reading what a writer says about his work can be helpful to our own. Besides, I love the final statement by Hass: Grief is the poetry of the world. What happens to bodies is the prose.

That should do us for today. I shall see you tomorrow for the prompts roundup; Tuesday for our image prompt — we might go surreal again; and Thursday for more links and such.

Happy writing, everyone.

P.S. Did you notice that all three posts involve Roberts? I didn’t notice until proofreading.

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Posted by on 23/10/2014 in links, poetry


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Poetics Serendipity

8:33 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to They Rage On sung by Dan Seals

Hello, everyone. As Fall and Spring try to make their way across much of the world, Washington DC gets hit with everything; as my daughter put it when I checked that she was home in one piece, It’s downright apocalyptic round these parts. They got hit with a hailstorm accompanied by thunderstorm and cyclone warnings. Exciting times. I’ll try to provide an eye of calm with a few things to read.

1] The first is an announcement from Red Wolf Journal. Red Wolf Journal requests your submissions for its Winter 2014/2015 Issue #4, and invites your poems to “Play. The journal has an interesting shtick: Poems are published on an on-going and random basis on this site. Each posting is announced on the Red Wolf Journal page on Facebook. Your poem may be published at any time from October 2014 to January 2015. The entire collection will be released in PDF format in January 2015.

Head over to read the submissions guidelines. You might click on the editors tab and read about your editors. Misky and Barbara are helming this issue. Deadline is 21 December 2014.

2] I’m going to let Robert Lee Brewer do the talking for this next post, which he titles The Poetry World A–Z. (There is an audible ad, but you can pause it after it starts — on the right, scroll down)

Poets, save this post! It just may be the most incredible, informational, controversial, and blah-blah-blah poetry-related post you ever read! Ever!!!!

After saving the post, be sure to share it with everyone–whether they like poetry or not. Because this post is about uncovering the wide world of poetry by using the…wait for it…alphabet! Spectacular, I know, and yes, I’m being silly right now.

This list includes poets, events, publishers, and more. Any and all omissions were either made intentionally (because I’m a snob) or more likely through pure ignorance (because I don’t know everything–that’s why blog posts have comments). If you see any glaring omissions, please don’t keep it all to yourself; share in the comments below.

I thoroughly enjoyed the list and Robert’s inimitable style.

3] Check out this next bit of play, Word as Image, literally (using the word as it should be used). Ignore all the bumph surrounding and push the play icon. The whole will take you a little under three minutes. Enjoy (someone has a strange sense of humour… thank goodness).

I will see you tomorrow for the prompts roundup; Tuesday for my next prompt; and Thursday for more links and such.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 16/10/2014 in links, poetry, writing


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Poetics Serendipity

9:50 a.m. — Atlanta

Listening to Lawrence Reynolds singing Grandpa’s Song — we’re going country, today

Hello there. Yes, I am a little late. I got a little distracted, something I am prone to when lining up things for today. Last week I gave you quite a bit of reading, so let’s keep it lighter this week.

1] We start with a TED talk — I even found one that is short-ish. You’ll need ten minutes. Kirby Ferguson… whoa! I lied. You’ll need an hour all told. Checking his bio, just now, I noticed a comment about Everything is a Remix being a four parter. I am now at the original site and it is, indeed, in four parts plus a couple of connected videos. The video I watched and which caught me, is: Embrace the Remix. Scroll down to the first video after the four parts. if you like Ferguson’s delivery as I do, and are interested in his contention that everything is remixed from what has come before, then you have a whole bunch of entertaining videos to watch.

2] Next, a visit to Robert Lee Brewer [yes, it has been a while — I have been remiss]. Robert had a volume of poetry, Solving the World’s Problems, published a year ago (a year!). The post I am linking you to is Robert’s take on the year, as regards what he has learned about selling poetry books, as well as missed opportunities. For anyone thinking of publishing this is worth bookmarking. As long as we’re here, if you don’t have Robert’s book and feel in the need of some good poetry, I love it for his subject matter and for the poems’ readability.

3] One of the sites I whip through occasionally is Buzzfeed. The article I am linking you with had me laughing from the first. The title: 29 Words That Mean Something Totally Different When You’re a Writer, and it is written by Daniel Dalton from the Buzzfeed staff. You’re intrigued, aren’t you? As soon as I post this, I’m going to reread the list, which begins with: Writing
What it means: Committing words to paper or text to an electronic document.
What it means when you’re a writer: Doing literally anything else.

4) This last was in my Facebook feed, so some of you may have seen it on your own walls. The site Open Culture whose aim is to find and give us the best free cultural & educational media on the web, reports that the University of California has made available 700 free e-books. For research and found poetry possibilities, the titles are well worth investigating.

I shall see you tomorrow for prompt sites; Tuesday for a borrowed prompt; and next Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.



Posted by on 18/09/2014 in links, poetry, writing


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Poem Tryouts: Content = Form

8:18 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to a vociferous mourning dove

Hello, all. Surviving? I hope you enjoyed reading the poems posted this past week. I loved reading both the familiar and the new. We might have to have another reading day sometime.

One item of interest, which some of you will have seen on my Facebook wall: Many of you know Sasha Palmer, aka The Happy Amateur. Sasha has just written and submitted to a competition, a short story ‘Born’. The competition is based on fan votes and Sasha is in 1st place. Consider checking the story out and if you enjoy it, rate it.

First go to: [you do not have to sign up, or log in]
Then enter: hughhoweyfanfic in the search box

Sasha’s story is in the top line, Ist, ‘Born’. She also created the sound track. Enjoy!

Now, let me give you something to tussle with and distract you from any summer woes. Today, I want you to try a form you have never written in. I know, but it’s good for you. It’s good for your poetry, too. At its best, form enhances content.

Last week, I gave you two places to look: The Academy of American Poets and Robert Lee Brewer’s list at Writer’s Digest. You may have your own site — in which case, do let us have the link.

Where to start? Pick your topic and then read over some of the forms you haven’t tried to find one whose technique suits your theme. Or, find the form you have been meaning to conquer and figure out a topic that will work well with it. Then, tussle. That’s the fun part.

See you next Tuesday when we shall write a blazon, a form that fascinates me, thus appears each summer. It’s a form I think we can play with beyond its original intention.

I look forward to seeing the forms you choose.

Happy writing, everyone.



Posted by on 22/07/2014 in exercises, poetry, Summer


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Poem Tryouts: We Read Poems, Too

7:18 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to the sound of the computer fan [I, too, will be glad to get back to my music]

Hello, all. Halfway through the summer, I hope we are all surviving. I thought you might like something a little different, this week. I want you to consider some of your favourite poems by other people. They can be contemporary, or classic(al), the poets alive, or dead. Pick the one that you love enough to share with other people and post it for us to read.

For those who are saying, ‘But, I want to write something,’ you can write a mirror poem to the one you are sharing, or a response poem. Or, talk about what it is you love about the poem. My favourites move around, but there are a few that stay, such as Coleridge’s Kubla Khan, which I love purely for the sound. I always read it aloud. Then there is James Wright’s:

Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s
Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,
asleep on the black trunk,
blowing like a leaf in green shadows.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
the cowbells follow one another
into the distance of the afternoon.
To my right, In a field of sunlight between pines,
two droppings of last year’s horses
blaze up in golden stones.
I lean back, as evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for a home.
I have wasted my life.

The poem is about as summery as imagery gets [no, that is not a requirement]. I love the feel of the poem, as I read it. So, start thinking and let us have your favourites, to while away a pleasant afternoon.

I have hopes of getting to last week’s poems, but no guarantees that I can comment. I shall endeavour. Meanwhile, I shall see you next Tuesday when we will investigate forms. That’s right, I said forms. Now stop groaning. I’ll give you a couple of places to look. The Academy of American Poets gives a list with a brief definition. You can pick a couple and Google them; or, Robert Lee Brewer, of Writer’s Digest, has a list and if you click on the link, you will be taken to a ‘how to’ page. Oh, and you must pick a form you have not tried.

Happy reading and writing, everyone.


Posted by on 15/07/2014 in exercises, poetry, Summer


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Poetics Serendipity: National Poetry Month

8:17 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to If sung by Petula Clark

Hello, all. Let’s see where we are: four days away from April 1 and the beginning  of a poem a day for many of us. For those who think we are nuts [and those participating are among them], you will have an abundance of prompts throughout the month to play with, try, stash, whatever you wish. The rest of us? Well.

1] Robert Lee Brewer is justifiably excited over what is quite a coup on his part. His Poem-a-Day, aka PAD, takes an interesting twist this year, with guest judges, one for each day of the month. If you head over to his place, you will see a list of the judges. Amazing.

2] Quickly’s will be on tap for the month with her refreshingly bracing style. I’m sending you to her pre-game pep talk.

3] NaPoWriMo is gearing up. They were on my list last year and I used some of their prompts [I had a buffet style: I picked and chose from among all the prompters]. At the moment they are counting down. Today’s post has links to some new poetry sites, one of which will provide your phone with a poem every day. I was excited until I found it’s for iPhones only. I’m excited for them. Really.

4] While the Found Poetry Review’s challenge is a closed one, there is no reason you cannot follow along and select some of their prompts to try. I shall post their prompt each day along with my response. The challenge, as I mentioned previously, is to write with Oulipian constraints and source the poems from our daily newspapers. The link takes you to this blog.

5] From Quillfyre’s comment below: This is the second year that The Poetry Superhighway plans a NaPoWriMo event. Last year I recall some great prompts from them. Here’s the link from the website, which in turn points to a FB page for posting the responses:

If you know of another site participating, let me know and I will add it.

I shall see you tomorrow for the prompt roundup and then not until May for the regular blog postings, but every day for oulipo work.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 27/03/2014 in exercises, poems, poetry, writing


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