Thursday, April 20, 2017

Poetry Challenge: Quit

Hello Poetteers,

Today's poetry challenge is the letter Q. You can find all the challenges in the April Poetry Bundle.

Word Prompt

  1. What are you currently trying to do?
  2. What did you give up on?
  3. Why did you give up on it?
  4. Was it a good or bad choice to give it up?

Poetry Form
Quatern: This poem has 16 lines broken up into 4 quatrains (or 4-line stanzas).
  • Each line is comprised of eight syllables.
  • The first line is the refrain. In the second stanza, the refrain appears in the second line; in the third stanza, the third line; in the fourth stanza, the fourth (and final) line.
  • There are no rules for rhyming or iambics. (source).

Stay inspired,

Find all the challenges in the April Poetry Bundle

Friday, April 14, 2017

Poetry Challenge: Love

Hello Poetteers,

Today's poetry challenge is the letter L. You can find all the challenges in the April Poetry Bundle.

Word Prompt
Love and Lost

  • What was love to you when you were a child?
  • What is love to you today?
  • Did you lose something recently, how and why?

Poetry Form
A limerick is a poetry form in five lines with a strict rhyme scheme of AABBA, which is sometimes meant to be humorous.

Share the poems on Instagram using #dailypoetrygram and tagging me @poetfida. These questions are here to guide you in writing your poem. You don’t have to answer all the questions or use all your responses in the poem. Pick your favorite responses to be in the poem and rearrange them until you’re satisfied. These word prompts are up to your creativity and interpretation.

Stay inspired,

Find all the challenges in the April Poetry Bundle

Friday, April 7, 2017

Poetry Challenge: Gratitude

Hello Poetteers,

Today's poetry challenge is the letter G. You can find the whole challenge in the April Poetry Bundle.

Word Prompt

  1. How do you give yourself to the world? 
  2. How are you given your friends?
  3. What do your friends give you?
  4. How do you show gratitude? 
Poetry Form

Gogyohka was a form developed by Enta Kusakabe in Japan and translates literally to “five-line poem.” An off-shoot of the tanka form, the gogyohka has very simple rules: The poem is comprised of five lines with one phrase per line. (source).

Share the poems on Instagram using #dailypoetrygram and tagging me @poetfida. These questions are here to guide you in writing your poem. You don’t have to answer all the questions or use all your responses in the poem. Pick your favorite responses to be in the poem and rearrange them until you’re satisfied. These word prompts are up to your creativity and interpretation.


I show my heart
to the world
showing gratitude
friends see me
everything in my heart. 

Stay inspired,

Find the whole challenge in the April Poetry Bundle

Monday, April 3, 2017

Poetry Challenge: Burning Fiercely

Hello Poetteers,

Welcome to the first day of the A to Z Poetry challenge. I won't be blogging every day. You can find all the challenges in the April Poetry Bundle. Today's challenge is the letter A.

Word Prompt

  1. What sparked a fire in you?
  2. How are you fierce?
  3. What strong emotions are you feeling?
  4. What bright colors describe those emotions?
Poetry Form

Share the poems on Instagram using #dailypoetrygram and tagging me @poetfida. This is all optional. These questions are here to guide you in writing your poem. You don’t have to answer all the questions or use all your responses in the poem. Pick your favorite responses to be in the poem and rearrange them until you’re satisfied. These word prompts are up to your creativity and interpretation.


Burning Fiercely 

I'm always asked about my faith and culture
of why I fast and wear the headscarf
blue with frustration and red with anger 
instead of letting them burn me down with exhaustion 
I turned to writing, expressing my faith
purple with devotion
yet wondering if it's enough
I hear about my work and know
it's educating and inspiring other people.

Stay inspired, 

For the A to Z Poetry Challenge, get the April Poetry Bundle

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Reveal of April Poetry Challenge

Hello Poetteers,

As you know the A to Z blog challenge is coming up. April is also national poetry month. Of course, I found a way to combine the two events. Three years ago I wrote original poetry. This year I will be writing poetry prompts. Along with this, I'll be participating in the 100-day project. My project will be sketching my poetry. Follow along in #100daysofsketchedpoems.
List of word prompts. For in-depth prompts, check out the April Poetry Bundle

I won't be blogging every day like the challenge calls for. I will be keeping to my regular schedule of blogging once a week. That won't take away from the content or value of the challenge. You will be able to find all the poetry prompts in the April Poetry Bundle.

Talking about the April prompts, this time last year I started #dailypoetrygram. I'm changing it up. I asked you if you wanted daily or weekly prompts and the chosen one was weekly prompts. Stay tuned next month for the change.

Thank you,

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Poetry Collab: Bread

Hello Poetteers,

After a #PoetteerChat about food and poetry, I had the pleasure to collaborate on a poem with Charlotte Hamrick.

The Well Worked Globe

Bread is a part of every meal
and Monday mornings
were for bread-making.

My five-year-old self
would sit at the big, worn
kitchen table and watch
Grandma's hands
as they expertly kneaded
and rolled the dough, grabbing
the edge, folding it to the center,
then pushing it down
with the heels of her palms,
gradually turning the pale round
disc until all edges met
in the middle, over and over,
her fingers flexing, arms relentlessly
churning like waves on a shore.

I'd watch as she chatted
and sometimes sang,
a merry-go-round of domesticity,
a goddess of the kitchen,
until time to rest the well-worked
globe in a bowl in the corner.

Later, the whole house
was filled with the smell of freshly baked bread
we sat around the dining room table
I tore off a piece of pita to dip in hummus
as we waited for the main course
on the flip-side
I tore off a piece of flatbread
to scoop up some curry

Bread owns no culture,
yet belongs to every culture.
A staple of life,
bread is universal.

by Fida & Charlotte

Thank you for reading! 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

How To Come Up With Prompts

Hello Poetteers,

This blog is for me but it is also for you. Usually, I am the one to give you word and poetry prompts. Sometimes the prompts aren’t up your alley or you want your own set of words instead of a general set of word prompts. I am open to receiving suggestions. You always create your own set of word prompts. There are several ways to get started and places to pull words from.
  1. Open a thesaurus or dictionary and look for works that stand out.
  2. Narrow in on an event and pick words that come from it.
    • Example: After the inauguration and women’s march all these words popped up in my mind. That’s how I came up with the March poetry prompts
  3. Pick a theme and the words that go with it. 
Most poetry prompts last for a month. Sometimes that can be too much. You could do one that goes one prompt per week or 7 prompts in one week and gauges if that week is one of writing or not. Another option is to simply cut it in half and have 15 prompts for the whole month. Like I always say, the prompts are up to your interpretation and creativity.

Stay inspired,

Purchase a downloadable version of the Create Prompts Guide so you can reference it whenever needed. Click Here For More Info.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Response Poetry

Hello Poetteers,

As I read poetry, I like to note when I’m inspired. if it’s an ebook I use the notes feature to add notes and it can be as long as you want it to be. With a physical book, you are limited with the margins, so I have a notebook with me. My notes include how the poem made me feel, the thoughts or memories the poem brought me.

The inspiration unfolds in different ways. Once I read the poem I may write my own version of that poem or write like I’m talking to the author. I would add a continuation to the piece. The continuation could be similar thoughts or thoughts opposite of it. I will share my experience of what the author talked about in the poem.

Have you written a response poem?

stay inspired,

Purchase a downloadable version of the Response Poetry Guide so you can reference it whenever needed. Click Here For More Info. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Annual Look At My Bucket List

Hello Poetteers,

I've written and published poetry collections. I've written a novel in verse before. My next step is to write one that is publishable.

On my blog, I've shared my poetry bucket list. Initially, I was able to cross two things off my list:
  1. Publish a poetry collection (I self-published two books, A TO Z POETRY and HER OLIVES)
  2. Lead a poetry workshop (I co-lead one at a camp)
A couple years later I was able to cross off half my list:
  1. I've done live performances at the camps I've been to. I'm also doing some recorded pieces on SoundCloud.
  2. I made my first poetry short film this week and will be sharing it in the coming days.
  3. If you have seen my tweets I am working on being a poetry editor.
Today I can cross two more things off my list:
  1. I've met several poets virtually
  2. I have an ebook poetry collection. 
That's 8 out 11 things. I say that's pretty awesome! I'm also working to cross of a 9th item: I'm slowly working my way to write a poem in every format.

The last two things still left untouched are making a spoken word album and doing my own poetry book signing. Today I want to add the 3 more items to my bucket list:
  1. Write a play in verse.
  2. Get published in hardcover
  3. Get translated into Arabic
I hope to change that by the end of this year. What do you have on your bookish bucket list? What have you crossed off? What should I add to mine?

Thank you,


Get a poetry bucket list when you join the Poetteer Newsletter.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Review: Eccolo Planner

Hello Poetteers,

As you know I enjoy journaling. Somewhat recently I realized I’ve stuck with the same style. That brand is Eccolo Ltd. After using their journals for a while I finally picked up one of their planners. In the past, I always picked planners with the horizontal format.

This planner had just that. I split each day in half between personal and work. I don’t have to worry about doing that again in this planner. On one page they have the whole week in the horizontal format. One the second page is a weekly to do’s list and notes section. I use the weekly checklist for my personal tasks. It’s helpful to see everything in one spread. I don’t have to transfer unfinished tasks day by day. I can check it off as I get it done. The work is more deadline centered, unlike my personal to-dos. If the personal or work task is important I have the notes section to add information.

The lines and spacing are big. You get a mini month at a glance of the current and next month. I do notice a light ghosting. I use the Pilot G-2 pen. The ghosting doesn’t bother me. The planner comes with an attached ribbon bookmark. You get several note-pages at the end of the planner. In the beginning of the planner, you get a two-page month at a glance of all the months. You have plenty of space to write along with a column for notes.

The pages feel thin but think enough to not easily rip. The whole planner is thin. The size is 8 x 10”. I don’t like chunky planners. I also don’t like coiled planners. They do have coiled planners but this one isn’t. It’s a soft cover. I like the faux gold in the end pages and the gold foil on the cover. It’s not too much, just enough for the title. This is really simple and I like it.

Thank you, Fida

Thursday, March 2, 2017

March Poetry Prompts: Activism

Hello Poetteers,

I'm bringing in the new month with a new set of poetry prompts! These prompts are different. You got a taste of it in past prompts about culture and faith. The others have been fun, random and lighthearted. These are a bit more important, serious and mature. For in-depth questions to help with these word prompts you can purchase the poetry bundle.

I'll be participating along side you. The prompts are up to your interpretation and creativity. You can repost my challenge graphic on your Instagram profile for reference. Be sure to tag your poems on Instagram with #dailypoetrygram so we can all see it.Tag me (@poetfida) so I can leave some love.

Stay inspired,

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Storytime: Poetry Submission

Hello Poetteers,

In the beginning of my poetry career, I had done a few poetry submissions. After doing those few submissions I saw their appreciation for my work and stuck with their magazines. I eventually stopped doing new submissions. Even after the old ones, I stuck to closed their doors. At the end of 2016, I picked up the poetry submissions again.

All the poetry submissions were to literary journals. I never submitted to small presses. For a while, I didn't find ones that seemed trusting. Once I found a small press it makes me feel better to recognize an author they have published. I may start sending to presses. It's best to find them through Poets Market, P&W, etc.

I’ve heard bad stories about poetry submissions. It never happened to me but then one caught up to me. I found a new literary journal and it was the first one I saw with the theme that it had. It's hard to find literary journals with that theme. I'm not mentioning which journal and theme for the sake of their privacy.

I revised a poem of mine and submitted to them. After emailing me saying my poem has been accepted they promised to send me a link when it will be live. Weeks have gone by and I never got the link. I had to go on their website to search for my poem. After finding it they had a different author listed for the poem. I reached out to them to bring up the misprint to their attention. I heard back quickly and was told she would forward my concern to the main editor. I never heard back. Again I had to search for it myself. They did fix it. And I didn't reach out to thank them because I didn't think they should get one for never having gotten back to me.

What do you think of the situation? 

Stay inspired, 


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Imperfect Boss Reflection

Hello Poetteers,

I'm grateful for this campaign. When I heard of it before I thought it was great but I thought I had nothing to say. Seeing other posts I realized I have things to confess but I'm scared of saying them. I missed the opportunity. As I shared more original poetry I felt stuck. I couldn't move forward unless I shared behind the scenes and truths. I started the series, Poet Confessions (blog and IG). After starting that I felt better. I could finally move forward.

This time when The Imperfect Boss campaign presented itself I jumped at the chance to be a part of it. I felt less alone. I saw myself in many of the fears other people expressed. I came up with more confessions than I shared. More came up as I shared the few you saw. I worried about sharing mine. I worried I would ramble. Maybe I did. I worried if I made sense. After this, I feel understood. Another layer of me was peeled back and seen. I love to reflect on the opportunities I take.

I learned about myself. Some fears are interconnected. As I wrote those newfound confessions and looked back at the questions that were there to help guide us to come up with confessions, I came up with an action plan for myself.

I'm excited about the future! Stay inspired, 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Repetitive Poetry Titles

Hello Poetteers,

The title is almost as important as the poem itself. Not all my poems include the title within the poem. And that's okay. I believe that most of the time the title of the poem should be within the poem. Together, it connects the two. It gives the reader an AHA moment. It shouldn't be put in there just for the fun of it. It has to add something to the poem. The title has to relate to or deepen the poem in some way or it will just seem repetitive.

Speaking of repetitive, some of our original poems have the same title. If it's my own poems it's frustrating if they share the same title because then I don't know which one is which poem. If your poem does have the same title as someone else's poem there's nothing wrong with that. As you initially write the poem it's alright to leave it without a title or call it 'untitled' but do remember to add a title soon, so that you can distinguish between the poems. Also, you will know that the poem is completed.

"If someone's poem has the same title as mine, I can't really help it. There are only so many words to use. I wouldn't want to use a name of someone else's poem for my poem if I knew of it; I would think up my own instead." @FebruaryGrace.

Make your own titles with the poetry title guide

Stay inspired,


Comment: How do you feel about several of your own or someone else’s poems with the same title?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Poems: Za'atar and Zaytoon

Hello Poetteers,

As people read HER OLIVES I realized I should have added a glossary. Here are two new poems to help you better understand the other poems.

Olives in Arabic
is zaytoon

Olives are this dark green color
of brownish green
of nature and it's fruit
also used as an oil

Olives are bitter
but balances a meal

Olives are from the Mediterranean and
all the countries that border it
it's the skin tone of people from that area.

Olives are a symbol of peace.

Za'atar is thyme
a plant connected to the roots of Palestine
Za'atar is a mixture of herbs
to enjoy on bread
baked similarly to pizza
or dipped with olive oil
or a seasoning for hummus.


I realized Her Olives should have a glossary, download it here

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Poets of Faith

Hello Poetteers, 

As a Muslim poet I love reading poems that show one’s faith in God whether they are a muslim or not. Even if not muslim you can feel their belief and strength for their faith. It is something you want and are reminded to keep in your heart.
  1. ibtasempoetry
  2. Rebeca of blendmylove
  3. Sa'diyya of sadiyyanesar 
  4. rosesoftheqalb
  5. keyballah
  6. seemeehearme 
  7. I have to mention myself: poetfida
Stay inspired,

Comment: Do you know of any poets of faith that I should know of?
Read More: Empowerment Poetry

Monday, February 13, 2017

Her Olives 3rd Anniversary

Hello Poetteers,

Today is the 3rd book anniversary of my poetry book, Her Olives! With that, I give you a new poem.

Traditional Dress

She is given a gift of a dress
and thought of it only as that
loving the design on the cloth
not knowing the depth of the embroidery 

but she walks in
tall and graceful
her dress flows
from her broad shoulders to her feet
in black cloth
the cloth of the chest and arms
embroidered with colored threads
called tatreez

she comes to find
each design hand stitched
the variation in tatreez
holds different symbols
there is also variations of the traditional dress
from different parts of Palestine

She barely scratched the surface
of knowing the stories behind the designs
all with stories and history
of Palestine.

stay inspired,

I realized Her Olives should have a glossary, you can find it here. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Changing A Poem

Hello Poetteers,

I always see my poems become something different from the original idea. Sometimes the first stanza stays or I remove it because my poem ends differently than how it started. That change in topic of a poem is what gets me in a groove to write more poems until I have finally gotten down the original idea and how I pictured it.

It's the best feeling when you get the original idea of a poem down in the first try. Sometimes it's not about a missed topic but about the wording. Some words don't give the meaning you want. Or they don't fit the rhythm, so you have to choose a new word or change/rearrange phrases/sentences. Do save the removed words and phrases for future works. 

It can be hard to think of the right words. You have to keep writing until you get where you want to be. Writing poetry is a peaceful act for me but it's a relief when I get exactly what I want down on the page.

My theme is faith and culture. It's carried through all my poetry.
I'm talking about writing about specific situations
for individual poems. | Instagram 

Stay inspired,

Comment: Does that happen to you?
Read More: Poet Confessions | Never Wrote A Sonnet

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Curse in Poetry

Hello Poetteers,

I don’t curse in my own poems and don't like reading it in other poems. In other poems, I may give an exception.

Curses in poetry take away from the poem. I skip over it. They feel like something extra. It's unnecessary. I don't like it but there are exceptions to that. If there is a reason for it and I can't see the poem without it then the cursing is okay.

It sometimes works in spoken word. Curses have to be used sparsely. More than three is too much. Curses may give raw emotion or add emphasis the poem needs to show emotion. There are pieces where cursing fit the author's voice.

Comment: What do you think about cursing in poetry?

Read More: Putting my Beliefs in Poetry | Poet Confessions

Stay inspired,

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Empowering Poems

Hello Poetteers,

For today's top ten Tuesday I'm sharing ten empowering poems. There are many more out there for you to find. Keep the hope and the fire in your hearts. 

Find B. Oakman on Instagram. 

Find Anna on Instagram . 

Find Ava on Instagram. 

Find Rupi Kaur on Instagram. 

Find Lang Leav on Instagram. 

Find Christina on Instagram.  

Find Salma on Instagram. 

Find Alison on Instagram. 

Find J.R. Rogue on Instagram. 

Find me on Instagram

Stay inspired,

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hack Your Poetry

Hello Poetteers,

Writing and editing poetry can be simple. You can "hack" poetry. Download the PDF for future reference to use as a checklist.

Writing Poetry Hacks
  • Start with a title: I haven't tried it, so I don't know if it works.
  • Write a "found" poem: take words, phrases, & passages from other sources & reframing them as poetry.
  • Word association exercise: pick a word and write everything that comes to mind. Pick your favorites and rearrange into a poem.
  • Choose to write a shape poem. You will already have a subject & visually appealing.
  • Acrostic: Write about the word you choose and you already have a title. 
  • Book Spine Poetry: pick several book titles and arrange them into a poem.
  • "Transcribing poetry from admired masters can help, too, I've found. It's more visceral than reading." from @abetterjulie.
  • Situate yourself away from noise and distractions. 

Editing Poetry Hacks
  • Read aloud.
  • Try removing or moving around stanzas. Start reading without the first line. In the second read, read without the first stanza and go from there. Repeat until you've reached the end of the poem. Sometimes the first stanza stays or I remove it because my poem ends differently than how it started.
  • Replace or rearrange words.
  • Go through and try to get rid of any extra adverbs. They mean you need stronger verbs. 
Do you know of any poetry hacks I haven't mentioned? 

Stay inspired, 

Read More: Poetry Hacks

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Poetry Read & To Be Read

Hello Poetteers,

I ended and started the year well with reading. I've been enjoying my poetry finds. I'm about to read:
I'm currently reading:

I recently finished reading (My poetry reads of 2016):
What poetry books have you read/currently reading/will read?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Poet Confessions

Hello Poetteers,

Over on Instagram, I’ve started a new series of sharing my poet confessions.
  1. When I first started writing poetry I didn't read much poetry. 
  2. Before last fall, I never wrote a sonnet. 
  3. I got a poem published in my high school lit magazine and afterward, I noticed a big spelling error. 
  4. I almost never rhyme in my poems. 
  5. I don't memorize my poems. 
  6. I search my own poems for verses to make sure I actually wrote them. 
  7. Sometimes I struggle to finish writing a poem. 
  8. Other times I can write a good poem in one try. 
  9. I don't curse in my poems. 
What is one of your poet confessions?

Stay inspired,


Read More: Never Wrote A Sonnet Part 1 | Part 2

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Get Focused!

Hello Poetteers,

As we welcome in the new year, our focus should be our main priority.

1. Keep a pen near by and a notebook open
As writers we constantly have new ideas. Without having a place to put them we may forget them and trying to remember them will make us lose focus.

2. Go to a quiet room
Working in a quiet area will lessen the distractions. Only listen to music if it pumps you up to work.

3. Meditation
Meditating will help us visualize our day and to constantly let go of thoughts instead of staying hung up on them. 

stay inspired,