By Robert Lee Brewer
Sometimes, you get lucky. That’s how I feel about starting the Poetic Asides
blog, and in particular, the April and November poem-a-day challenges. I still
remember the meeting in which I proposed a poetry blog, a subject that
had long been neglected by the Writer’s Digest community. As a poet
myself, I felt that somebody needed to make poetry a bigger part of the WD
community. After a little back and forth, Poetic Asides was born.
The blog wasn’t exactly focused in the beginning. The goal was to get at least
two blog posts up each week (one by myself and one by former Poet’s
Market editor Nancy Breen) and that the posts had to have something
to do with poetry. Eventually, I started covering poetic forms and
interviewing poets. Then, I had an idea to challenge poets to write a
poem each day of April based off a daily prompt. To help with the process,
I would share my own attempt at a poem too.
On the evening before the first ever prompt, I remember telling my future wife—
the poet Tammy Foster Brewer—that I wasn’t sure how many people would
participate. Up to that point, we had a lot of page views, though not many
comments. I was seriously expecting five or fewer poems each day—if that.
Instead, there were well more than 100 poems posted. And the rest is history.
The success of the first April challenge inspired me to post a weekly prompt (on
Wednesdays) and create a November poem-a-day chapbook challenge.
However, something more significant than just page views, poems, and comments
started on April 1, 2008: A community was born.
Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of watching the Poetic Asides community
grow and shift and accomplish some truly amazing things—both as
individuals and as a group. Prompted is one of those truly incredible
When I look over the table of contents, I see poets who are spread around the
country—and even the planet—and who all share a love of poetry. I also
see a group of connected voices who share their love of poetry and
enjoyment in each other throughout the year.
Often, I’m given a lot of credit for the strength of the Poetic Asides
community, but I honestly feel like I was blessed with an amazing group of
people. As this collection shows, I’m just one link in the chain, and that what
really makes the Poetic Asides community so strong is the community
itself, the poets who work well by themselves but also as part of a group to
make truly remarkable things come to life.
Prompted is filled with incredible poems by amazing poets. As usual, I feel
lucky just to be invited to come along for the ride. Thank you!
Below is a list of some of the participants and their corresponding websites...
Pearl Ketover Prilik
Catherine Choi Lee
Diana Terrill Clark
Iain Douglas Kemp
Laurie Harris Kolp
Amy Marie Trumble
Michelle Krause Hed
Prompted at Barnes and Noble
Prompted at Amazon
Last Updated: 10/8/12