ars poetica


All We Do Not Know

By Elena Unger

This morning I listened to an interview 
with poet Ada Limón. She spoke about 
epiphanies and didactic endings
and how sometimes a poet must surrender 
to the discomfort of unknowing.
How sometimes it is best to listen 
to the world’s echoing heartbeat 

Cigarette Constellations

By Avalon Lee

The ink darkens, leeching my energy as I trace an index over the text. A rejection letter from California Institute of the Arts, and best regards. No better than every other art academy who also shelved my portfolio.

The letter lands neatly in the bin. I stalk to my studio.

Still Life

By Haley Renee Born

I’m sitting in the middle of nowhere, on a hill looking toward the horizon. No tripod, just crossed legs and my elbows resting on my knees, holding an old camera filled with darkroom film.

carpet girl

By Yasi Farahmandnia

in this town
words hold hostages
not meaning.
if i cry i will
bleed, and i will
integrity and i will
rip apart the frontdrop that has
made my portraits pretty
for (maybe) minutes on end.


By Maddie Jones

like amorphous chunks of metal
they rest on a shelf in my brain
and beg to be molded

I long to hold them in the
fire of my skull
till they are soft and malleable

The Early Storm

By Rebecca Meyer

In solitude of the night, with help of
the early storm, you find peace and
utter relaxation. Tearing down the
limits of your imagination, making
room for the inspiration, the
imaginative power of your soul.

Just a Thought

By Kelly O’Neill

I don’t know why,
Maybe it was just a thought.

‘Less it was not to just sit here,
And have my mind rot.

Writing on paper,
With the scratch of pen.

Thinking of nothing,
‘Cept the thoughts of men.

Words Can Move Mountains

By Rachel Franklin

There is a thing that is stronger than yourself,
That is from you; its plan is one of stealth.
White-hot insults out of a mouth are poured,
Never underestimate the power of a word!

Poetry Is...

By Heather Martin

Poetry is nothing
But everything

Dances in dreams
That vanish when you wake
Coffee and cream
With a taste of cake

Simplicity found
In a hard drive
Books bound
To stay in an archive

Waiting to be Struck

By Matthew Morefield Tanzer

Sometimes I just sit there,
waiting to be struck,
with one poetic thought.
Other times I am struck,
with a line to my poem,
and I have nowhere,
to write it down.
Inspiration comes from,
nature and the world.
It comes from the people,


By Bailey Fi

The pencil soars across the black page
painting imagination, uniqueness
illuminating places concealed in the corner of your mind
bringing eccentric beasts into the fabric of reality
blustering winds rush over once serene, quiet glades
rainbows tango in the sky

Subject: Passion

By Jessie Hovis

Breathing in. The lungs expand, chest tight. The air catches in my throat. Breathing out. The air slithers out, my eyes going, facing the paper. It is blank, void of anything but a red line and blue lines. My mind is already at work. What is it going to be?


By Sasha Baldwin

right now, I am a rough draft.
I am left here to be
looked back on and revised


By Kayla Wiltfong

It is a wall.
It is stiff, blank. Unmoving. 
It guards the paradise 
That she knows belongs there.

It is a stone
Waiting for her, the sculptor, 
To make it mean something.

Signs of Life

By Julia Wakefield

The form of letters slop and curve on a page
like a human body. 
White paper, bare skin,
The line of a belt below a belly button:
the line of a notebook just below a sentence. 

A Writer's Rhythm

By Gabrielle Brazzell

Sometimes all it takes is
A lyric of a song 
A fragment of a conversation 
A moment captured in a photograph 
Then suddenly there you are 
Using whatever you can 
Napkins, paper, your own skin 
They become the thing 

Outside and Inside

By Gabby Gillespie

Being a creator isn’t easy. Your inside thoughts and feelings are always on display to everything on the outside.

room 502

By Amanda Pendley

If time could be measured in words
I would handwrite novels until my knuckles bled
Analyze every single piece written by Steven King twice
Type poems so complex so that the meaning gets lost
Construct every screenplay to give you the ending you deserve

Writer’s Comatose

By Abbey Roschak

it’s been a while
        since I found encouragement
        to rid myself of this
        writer malnourishment
        I guess I lost myself
        trying to explore the world
        yet I still found my mind in the gutters

4 a.m.

By Magda Werkmeister

a house can feel like a whole world
when you’re lying in your bed at 4 a.m.,
too early to rise in a coup against the lingering stars,
too late for the soft black of the backs of eyelids to last long enough,

how to write a poem

By Miah Clark

snap the barrel of a boy fully loaded with good intentions 
and shoot yourself.

break your own heart,
into jigsaw puzzle pieces 
so you can practice the art of putting yourself back together.


By Abigail Cottingham

The way they teach poetry in schools

Is not the only way it can be written

               Structured stanzas


  parallel pantoums

Put a limit on how poets can      speak what they FEEL

    Creativity cannot be defined