Haiku

The haiku is one of the best-known poetic forms and certainly the most famous Eastern poetic form. Taught at a primary level in school, the conventions of its modern incarnation are known even to those who do not write or read much poetry. It is one of the forms Jersey City Writers will accept in […]

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The Ghazal

The ghazal — one of the forms that will be considered in this spring’s Jersey City Writers poetry competition — dates back to seventh-century Arabia. As the form flourished in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Persia (Hafiz and Rumi are two well-known Persian writers of ghazals from this period), it can now be found in many languages, […]

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The Pantoum

The pantoum originated in Malaysia in the fifteenth-century as a short folk poem, typically made up of two rhyming couplets that were recited or sung. However, as the pantoum spread and Western writers altered and adapted the form, the importance of rhyming and brevity diminished. The modern pantoum is a poem of any length, composed […]

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The Sonnet

The word sonnet is derived from a word that means “little song” in Italian. Sonnets were originally inspired by Italian folk songs sung by peasants. The songs consisted of octaves (8 lined stanzas), and Giacomo da Lentino, who is credited with the sonnet’s invention, added 6 more lines to the octave to make the sonnet, […]

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The Limerick

A limerick is a humorous poem consisting of five lines. The first, second, and fifth lines must have seven to ten syllables while rhyming and having the same verbal rhythm. The third and fourth lines only have to have five to seven syllables, and have to rhyme with each other and have the same rhythm. […]

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Poets! Let’s Get in Formation!

This spring, Jersey City Writers is focusing on poetic forms for our genre night Formation which will be held on April 26th at Barrow Mansion in Jersey City, NJ. Writing in form sometimes intimidates poets, both beginners and advanced practitioners alike. Yet form can often wrench unexpected ingenuity from us. Here’s a quotation on writing […]

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Wingman

The following piece was presented at Jersey City Writers’ literary event – Superheroes & Supervillains: A Night of Dynamic Dare-do-well and Dastardly Deeds. Please enjoy. Brendan kept his wings politely folded behind him as he wheeled through the supermarket in his wheelchair. He swore that Carol, the produce lady, was always giving him a dirty look as […]

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Someone Got a Cape on Magnolia Ave?

The following piece was presented at Jersey City Writers’ literary event – Superheroes & Supervillains: A Night of Dynamic Dare-do-well and Dastardly Deeds. Please enjoy. Yasmin and I sit on the cracked steps of our building when Dexter comes out with his board and a piece of paper. “Hey, Dex,” I say. “Feeling better from that flu […]

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The Improv Lesson

The following piece was presented at Jersey City Writers’ literary event – Superheroes & Supervillains: A Night of Dynamic Dare-do-well and Dastardly Deeds. Please enjoy. “The secret to doing improvisational theater well is to always say ‘yes, and…’ to whatever is offered to you, to add to the scene. Here’s what I mean.  William, come here.”  The […]

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Stoic Woman Vanquishes Super Villain

The following piece was presented at Jersey City Writers’ literary event – Superheroes & Supervillains: A Night of Dynamic Dare-do-well and Dastardly Deeds. Please enjoy.   My fist was on its trajectory to connect with Super Villain’s left jaw when my iPhone buzzed.  My mind raced.  Was it a text about an emergency at Day Care, the […]

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