Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sectioning off Poetry

Hello Poetteers,

Sectioning off your poetry collection can be difficult. The easiest way to section it is by theme or topic. For example, if you have a series of nature poems, group them together. You may have two poems that present opposite ideas but are in conversation with one another, so pair them connection apparent to the reader.

  • It’s a good idea to keep poems together that are written in the same creative period. 
  • Maybe your poetry collection does not even need to be sectioned off if it's one big theme or reads like a story. 
  • Maybe you can get more on the emotions side of the piece use an adjective that describes that set of poems as the section title.
  • Another strategy is a lyric ordering, in which each poem is linked to the previous one, repeating a word, image, subject, or theme. 
  • Order it in a way to create a sense of growth or evolution.
  • Other times I follow one or several emotionally charged poems with one that provides comic or other relief.
  • Other categories include images, speaker, setting, events, issues, color, format; chronology, alphabetically.
  • Lastly, maybe try to make them still appear mysterious to the reader so the reader does not feel they are being told what to expect in each section.

Poetry sections give the breathing space needed. It gives space to the poems and gives the reader a moment to soak it in before moving on to the next.

How do you section your poetry collection?

Stay inspired,

Title Your Poems/Sections/Book with this poetry titles guide

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Poet Rant

Hello Poetteers,

I love finding poetry books from poets I find online. It's kind of disappointing when half the the poems in their books are poems they have shared online before the book is published.

I have to confess I once did the same thing. I'm more conscious of it now.

One or two sneak peeks are fine for promotion but more than that and what's the point of getting the book unless the poet's work is something you read and can read it multiple times. They have to be really good to be able to have that. Some poems I read multiple times and it still surprises you. Other poems I've read once and it's enough for that one time because they are simple. It's hard to explain but I hope it makes sense.

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

How To Poetry Chat

Hello Poetteers,

I started #PoetteerChat because I barely saw any twitter chats about poetry. That is starting to change.

How to participate
  • Chats are time specific, so be timely. 
  • Don't directly tag the host unless you are having a conversation with them. If you are just answering a question of the chat then don't. Then the only people who will see the tweet is the people who follow both you and the host. The chat is for everyone participating. The chat is created to help you grow and create new friendships.
  • Questions are presented as Q1, Q2, etc. Answer the questions by A1, A2, etc so that we know which questions the responses belong to. 
  • Use hashtag specific to chat, so that everyone participating can see what you have to say. 
  • Engage with other participants. Invite those who may be interested. 
  • Suggest topics for future chats. 

How to host
  • Choose a day and time. 
  • Choose theme or topic. 
  • It can be a one-time thing. If re-occurring, make it weekly or monthly. 
  • Create a Twitter list for those who participate and want reminders.
  • Batch create questions to go with a specific topic. Do it ahead of time. 5 to 6 questions are the average amount for an hour-long chat. 
  • Make graphics to go with reminders and questions. 

Examples of what to chat about
  • Poetry Writing Sessions 
  • Book club
  • Bring guests 
  • Different topics of chosen theme
  • Celebrate writing or book anniversary

Stay inspired,


Thursday, May 18, 2017

100 Day Project Reflection

Hello Poetteers,

I was running on the excitement of a new idea and working on something new. But then it wore off and I fell behind. I kept going and at one point I thought I didn't love this idea anymore. I wanted to quit. I told myself no. I still love this idea. I just need a little more wiggle room. So I changed up some things.

When I started the project I limited myself to one book but then I let myself use any of my books. As you saw I tried to keep organized by going in order of the book. I switched to doing what calls to me. Drawing the Muslim girls was my favorite part. It felt like I needed to do a new piece every day but I let myself redraw something if I felt the need to do so.

I fell behind for a few days and caught up. But I fell behind for a week and caught back up. But then I fell behind again. I saw some people use the progress pictures as part of the project. I decided to try it out and it helped me catch up. 

Maybe the structure of the project isn't for me or the idea I chose is not for me or it simply isn't a priority for me.

My word of the year is strength. There is strength in keeping going but there is also strength in realizing what bogs you down vs what lights you up. I'm glad I tried this. I'll be drawing a final piece and saying bye to this project. Thank you for following along on this short experimental journey.

Day 33. This is my last piece for #the100dayproject.
From my poem, Knock, in my book, Hugs & Kisses.

Do you ever change up or quit your project after you start?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Bring Positivity to the World

Hello Poetteers,

In the beginning of the month, there was an imperfect boss campaign. It was changed up a bit for us to share the good things we bring to the world. I wanted to share on here what I wrote.

A year ago I made the declaration that this is a positive space. I really feel it's true. I've heard people say that they feel the positivity when they come into my space. They feel the encouragement and inspiration when they read my work and speak to me. I want to continue to live through that declaration.

Inspire. It's the word I live by. I've been an indie author for almost four years and only in the past year do I really feel my writing is noticed. When people started to tell me that my work touched them, it surprised me. It feels good to know that when it's all you wanted to do.

We sometimes, myself included, get caught up in our work and forget about the journey. I looked back and again it surprised me. I built this dream.

Stay inspired,


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Announcing Hijab & Prompt Books

Hello Poetteers,

Challenges come in many ways. Small or big. I'll be stepping outside of my comfort zone and doing something different. All my collections have been self-published. Before self-publishing, let alone the decision to publish, that was outside of my comfort zone. Now that is my new comfort zone.

I've been working on a new poetry collection. It's about my journey with hijab and disability. See my journey with hijab. From being naive to seeing the complexities. See how I deal with my disability and anxiety. See how love helped with all of this.

My plan for it is to submit it to a few publishers/press. It's scary yet exciting!!

Add to Goodreads.

But that isn't the only thing I'm working on. As you know I've been creating monthly poetry bundles and now I'm working on a prompt book. It's divided into three parts. The first is of loving your body, mind and taking care of it. The second part is about appreciating culture. The last part is about being honest with yourself and the activism we do. Each prompt has a set of questions along with sentence starters and poetry formats.

Add to Goodreads.

Both books don't have titles yet as I have a list of several titles I'm going back and forth on.

Stay tuned for updates,


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Factors in Our Writing Changes

Hello Poetteers,

You may not notice this. I didn't either. Our writing/art changes with the seasons or weather. I do know that the environment has an effect on our writing. It may get darker. Maybe different from what you usually do. With a rainy day or in a dark environment I may not write as much or at all. When it’s sunny or I’m in a well-lit place I’ll be in a writing flow. Being in a room where I see others being productive like in a coffee shop or bookstore I am able to write more.

What you read and write or simply the mood you’re in will affect your writing. Sometimes your mind is in a different place, wanting you to write something or work on something else altogether. For example, you have to write a blog post but you keep thinking of the story you want to add to or maybe it’s the other way around. Take a break to switch it up. You can come back to it later that day.

If you are in a bad mood you write something dark or the opposite of it to pull yourself out of it. Maybe you write more instead of less when there is a feeling of darkness. I know both writing less or writing more has happened to me when darkness is around. If you write something or read something dark it puts a damper on your mood and you feel like you don’t want to do anything near that.

How does any of these things affect your writing?

Stay inspired,


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Publishers That Publish Poetry Books

Hello Poetteers,

As I was doing my own research for poetry publishers this question popped up on my feed: Does anyone know any publishers that publish poetry books?

Later on, while hosting #PoetteerChat I asked what everyone’s plan is for a year from now. Most of you said to be published. I promised a list of publishers, so here’s the top 7 I found. Along with the publisher, I will mention the poets they represent. I want to work with someone I can trust. Seeing familiar names makes them more trustable in my opinion.
  1. Andrew McMeel - has published Amanda Lovelace, Lang Leav, Rupi Kaur and more. 
  2. Dancing Girl Press - has published our very own Amanda N. Butler. 
  3. Bottlecap Press - has published Courtney LeBlanc 
  4. Button Poetry - has published Olivia Gatwood, Sierra DeMulder and more. 
  5. Two Sylvias Press - has published Jeannine Hall Gailey, Kelli Russell Agodon, Martha Silano and more. 
  6. Write Bloody - has published Sarah Kay, Andrea Gibson and more.
  7. Glass Poetry Press - has published Hannah Cohen.
Are there any other publishers I should know of?

Stay inspired,


I love having information easily accessible to me. Download the PDF version of this blog post

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Poet Life: Dream vs Reality

Hello Poetteers,

A dream day of a poet would be to spend the whole day reading and writing poetry and chatting with fellow poets. But the reality is that we have to balance poetry with life.

You might be able to squeeze in an hour of reading a poetry collection or writing poetry. We would love to have all our poetry in one place in a virtual folder or physical notebook. There is a chance to try that. But throughout the day with a job, family, cooking, etc we don’t have time to write, so you have scraps of paper everywhere with poetry ideas and verses jotted down. Sometimes you forget why that line came to mind and where you were going with it. I haven’t tried it yet, but you can use an audio recording device or feature on your phone to help you better understand your thoughts later when you finally get the time to sit down.

I consider my life with poetry to almost be my ideal lifestyle. How does poetry look like in your daily life?

Stay inspired,