Poetic Asides

Robert Lee Brewer, former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere publishes a blog for Writer’s Digest called Poetic Asides. I’ve been following his blog for a few months now and he puts out an impressive amount of relevant information on poetry today. Additionally, he interviews established as well as up-and-coming poets, publishes writing prompts, provides advice and guidance for the modern poet, and more.

Quick bios at the end of every post read: “Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.”

Brewer published his first post for Poetic Asides on June 26, 2007 and quickly found his niche with followers. One of the features he has run nearly since the beginning is his “Wednesday Poetry Prompts” first published on May 7, 2008. This is one of the features on Brewer’s site that keeps me coming back on a near daily basis. Brewer published the most recent, the 398th prompt, on June 21st. The prompts are sometimes brief explanations, sometimes a single word, sometimes a few short paragraphs. He follows the prompt with his own humble attempts and encourages fellow poets and bloggers to post their own attempts in the comments section.

Brewer regularly publishes a feature called “Poetic Forms” where he discusses everything from traditional forms to forms invented by poets today. The most recent of these is from June 19th when he covered the Huitain, a French form. Brewer discusses the forms history, its rules, and again follows with his own attempt.

Another feature Brewer publishes regularly is Poetic Terms. The last time Brewer published anything on Poetic Terms is back in March when he posted “37 Common Poetry Terms”. In these posts, Brewer defines terms common to poetry. You may find them in any poetry dictionary or they may be too obscure even for those.

Combing through 71 pages of Brewer’s posts I found one mention of a workshop post. This was completely different from the workshops Writer’s Digest hosts for fees. In Poetry Workshop: 014, Brewer critiqued Khara E. House’s poem “Our Daily Bread”. In true workshop fashion, Brewer reviewed elements of the poem in detail, provided some notes, and closed with some suggestions to improve the poem. I miss the workshop format from my MFA program and I would love to start something up in my local area or online. Workshop critiques such as Brewers are always intended as suggestions the individual poet can accept or decline.

In April 2010, Brewer was voted in as Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere! The now-defunct site BloggingPoet.com held the contest with several poetry bloggers in the running. Followers of the blogs were meant to visit the site and vote on their candidate. I haven’t found much information on the honorary position written since Brewer was selected. I love the title and I think it would be cool if blogosphere poets collectively decided to honor the position again.

Brewer’s most recent series is something he is calling “Why I Write Poetry”. He admits that this sentiment is not new to his writing, but he wants to use this as a sort of poet interview. On June 12th he published his own revised essay with a call-to-action for poets to e-mail their essays. He published the first guest essay on June 20th from poet Nurit Israeli. I hope to be featured in one of Brewer’s posts soon. I am still writing my own essay, which I hope to finish this week.

Keep writing!

Cheers,

Bryan

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