Category Archives: Poetry

No Glass Allowed by Tammy Foster Brewer

No Glass Allowed

Poetry by Tammy Foster Brewer

(If you’re going to the Words Dance Poetry Fest you can pick up your preorder there!)

Tammy Foster Brewer is the type of poet who makes me wish I could write poetry instead of novels. From motherhood to love to work, Tammy’s poems highlight the extraordinary in the ordinary and leave the reader wondering how he did not notice what was underneath all along. I first heard Tammy read ‘The Problem is with Semantics’ months ago, and it’s stayed with me ever since. Now that I’ve read the entire collection, I only hope I can make room to keep every one of her poems in my heart and mind tomorrow and beyond.

NICOLE ROSS, author  

More reviews below!

Sample Poems:

Pumping Breast Milk At Work

Four Ballerinas Resting Between Scenes

Tammy on Joe Milford’s Show
(Talking about & reading poems from No Glass Allowed when the 1st edition was published.)

Tammy F. Brewer is married to the poet, Robert Lee Brewer, and is mom to 2 sons, 2 stepsons & a daughter. She received her BA in English from Georgia State University in 1997. She was born, raised, and still resides in Atlanta, GA where she works as a paralegal.

Brewer’s collection is filled with uncanny details that readers will wear like the accessories of womanhood. Fishing the Chattahoochee, sideways trees, pollen on a car, white dresses and breast milk, and so much more — all parts of a deeply intellectual pondering of what is often painful and human regarding the other halves of mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, lovers and lost lovers, children and parents.

NICHOLAS BELARDES, author of Songs of the Glue Machines  

After reading No Glass Allowed by Tammy Brewer, I know a few new things. I know I’ll never think of St. Patrick’s Day without also thinking of a green sweater that’s missing a button. I’ll never walk down a sidewalk and, looking down, not think of the grooves in an open palm. I’ll never consider a car engine without imagining bare branches against the sky. Tammy deftly juxtaposes distinct imagery with stories that seem to collide in her brilliant poetic mind, stories that go on all around us as we fish…or perform other mundane tasks. Stories of transmissions and trees and the words we utter, or don’t. Of floods and forgiveness, conversations and car lanes, bread and beginnings, awe and expectations, desire and leaps of faith that leave one breathless, and renewed.

The first poem I read of Tammy Brewer’s, “The Problem is with Semantics,” convinced me immediately of her immense talent. “When I say I am a poet / I mean my house has many windows” has to be one of the best descriptions of what it’s like to be a contemporary female poet who not only holds down a day job and raises a family, but whose mind and heart regularly file away fleeting images and ideas that might later be woven into something permanent, and perhaps even beautiful. This ability is not easily acquired. It takes effort, and time, and the type of determination only some writers, like Tammy, possess and are willing to actively exercise.

Maybe, as Tammy states in one of her poems, each of us is indeed born a poet. Thank goodness Tammy Brewer has opted to accept this calling, practice her craft, and share with the rest of us her undeniably permanent, and beautiful, poetry.

KAREN DEGROOT CARTER, author of One Sister’s Song  



Words Dance Poetry Festival 2013 : The Final Lineup!

(Want to share this on Facebook? Click here.)

Big-big thanks from us to you for all of your support!

Words Dance Poetry Festival

When : Oct 5th at 6pm
Where : Mahall’s 20 Lanes in Lakewood, Ohio

Will you be there? You can let us know on our Facebook event page here & invite your friends!

10 Featured Poets + Open Mic :

John Dorsey • Amanda Oaks • Tammy Foster Brewer • Robert Lee Brewer • Dianne Borsenik • Steve Brightman • Barton D. Smock • Sarah Marcus • Claire McMahon • RA Washington

The range of poets = incredible… don’t miss out!

Big Love & Deep Gratitude to Mac’s Backs for their support!

We hope to see you there!

Words Dance Poetry Festival 2013

(Want to share this on Facebook? Click here.)

Mark your calendars, loves! This is going to be one helluva show & you’re invited!

When : Oct 5th at 6pm
Where : Mahall’s 20 Lanes in Lakewood, Ohio

Will you be there? You can let us know on our Facebook event page here & invite your friends!

10 Featured Poets + Open Mic :

John Dorsey • Amanda Oaks • Tammy Foster Brewer • Robert Lee Brewer • Dianne Borsenik • Steve Brightman • Barton D. Smock • Sarah Marcus • Claire McMahon • RA Washington

The range of poets = incredible… don’t miss out!

Do you have a poem you want to share? Step on up to the open mic… & connect with the Words Dance community, we’d love to meet you!

Friends, books + magazines for sale, drinks & fun… an all night show at Mahall’s 20 Lanes (you can check out their Facebook page here too!)

This FREE event will take place right after the release of Issue 14 (Hello Release Party!) where you will be one of the first to get your hands on print issues PLUS this marks the 10th year Words Dance has been publishing poetry!

We will also be recording some of the performances & rolling those videos out on the blog throughout the rest of the year…

If you live ‘cross the country & can’t make the show — & you’d like to help us out with the production of those by donating any spare change you may have, it will not only help us out with that BUT it will also help out with treating our poets to some travel & performance moolah for their lovingly awesome work & entertainment.

Deep gratitude to Mac’s Backs-Books on Coventry for their support, if you are local, you will be able to check out some of the readers’ books there in a couple weeks (check out their Facebook page here.)

Please feel free to share this event with anyone that may want to take part or with those that just want to come, watch & hang out!

We’ll see you there!


If you are coming from out of town & you are not planning to stay with friends or family. Below, you will find links to 3 hotels & a hostel that are super-close to the venue, but most importantly, the hotels have good reviews on several sites & the hostel comes recommended by locals.

The Cleveland Hostel – not pictured above – around 6 miles away.

Plus there are a few Bed & Breakfasts in the area that you can look into if you want!

Links to the Holiday Inn :: La Quinta :: Marriott

(Feel free to ‘Right click & Save As’ this image to spread it around!)

Advice To Those Like Me, With Hearts Like Kindling by Clementine von Radics

Poem by Clementine von Radics

1 of 2 of her poems featured in Words Dance 13.

Clementine von Radics has been published in various magazines and collections, including the first ever poetry feature in Tribu. Her first book, As Often As Miracles, was published by Where Are You Press this past spring. More of her work can be found at She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Not So Much Falling in Love As Leaping Into It by Meggie Royer

Poem by Meggie Royer

1 of 2 of her poems featured in Words Dance 13, Summer 2013

Meggie Royer I am 18 years old, from the Midwest, and I have been writing poetry for two of those eighteen years. My main goal is to write poems that pluck at the heartstrings without completely ripping them apart. As for my writing motto, G.K. Chesterton describes my love for words perfectly: “You say grace before meals. But I say grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”

50 Powerful Quotes about Poetry

1. Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes. ― Joseph Roux

2. Poetry can be dangerous, especially beautiful poetry, because it gives the illusion of having had the experience without actually going through it. ― Rumi

3. Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. ― Leonard Cohen

4. Poetry is what in a poem makes you laugh, cry, prickle, be silent, makes your toe nails twinkle, makes you want to do this or that or nothing, makes you know that you are alone in the unknown world, that your bliss and suffering is forever shared and forever all your own. ― Dylan Thomas

5. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. ― Emily Dickinson

6. I’ve had it with these cheap sons of bitches who claim they love poetry but never buy a book. ― Kenneth Rexroth

7. Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them. ― Dennis Gabor

8. Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. ― Carl Sandburg

9. Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful. – Rita Dove

10. Poetry is an act of peace. – Pablo Neruda

11. Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power. Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words. – Paul Engle

12. Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone. – Lawrence Ferlinghetti

13. Poets are soldiers that liberate words from the steadfast possession of definition – Eli Khamarov

14. There is something about poetry beyond prose logic, there is mystery in it, not to be explained but admired. — Edward Young

15. If you can’t be a poet, be the poem. – David Carradine

16. Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It’s that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that’s what the poet does. — Allen Ginsberg

17. The poet is the priest of the invisible. — Wallace Stevens

18. Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. – Percy Byshe Shelley

19. Poetry is a language in which man explores his own amazement. – Christopher Fry

20. The poet doesn’t invent. He listens. – Jean Cocteau

21. There is poetry as soon as we realize we possess nothing. – John Cage

22. Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance. – Carl Sandburg

23. Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting. – Robert Frost

24. Poetry is everywhere; it just needs editing. – James Tate

25. Poetry is frosted fire. – J. Patrick Lewis

26. Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. – T.S. Eliot

27. A poet’s work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep. – Salman Rushdie

28. To be a poet is a condition, not a profession. – Robert Frost

29. Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history. – Leonardo da Vinci

30. Poetry lies its way to the truth. – John Ciardi

31. For what is a poem but a hazardous attempt at self-understanding: it is the deepest part of autobiography. – Robert Penn Warren

32. We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry. – William Butler Yeats

33. Poetry is like a bird, it ignores all frontiers. – Yevgeny Yevtushenko

34. I think that were beginning to remember that the first poets didn’t come out of a classroom, that poetry began when somebody walked off of a savanna or out of a cave and looked up at the sky with wonder and said, “Ahhh.” That was the first poem. – Lucille Clifton

35. Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose-petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo. – Don Marquis

36. Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. – Carl Sandburg

37. Writers don’t write from experience, although many are hesitant to admit that they don’t. If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy. — Nikki Giovanni

38. But all art is sensual and poetry particularly so. It is directly, that is, of the senses, and since the senses do not exist without an object for their employment all art is necessarily objective. It doesn’t declaim or explain, it presents. – William Carlos Williams

39. All poets, all writers are political. They either maintain the status quo, or they say, ’Something’s wrong, let’s change it for the better.’ – Sonia Sanchez

40. My role in society, or any artist or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all. – John Lennon

41. If you want to annoy a poet, explain his poetry. ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb

42. Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman. ― Virginia Woolf

43. Writing poetry is a state of free float. ― Margaret Atwood

44. There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it. ― Gustave Flaubert

45. Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry. ― Jack Kerouac

46. A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language. ― W.H. Auden

47. Writing a book of poetry is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo. – Don Marquis

48. Poetry is the robe, the royal apparel, in which truth asserts its divine origin. — Beecher

49. The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads into madness. ― Christopher Morley

50. The true poem rests between the words. ― Vanna Bonta

Do you have a favorite? Leave it in the comments!

Meet the Poet : Desireé Dallagiacomo

Desireé Dallagiacomo’s work is featured in
Words Dance 13.

Interview : Verbalizations with Musico Roots : Quick interviews with spoken word poets.

Desireé Dallagiacomo is a creative writing major at the University of New Orleans where she is a recipient of the Ryan Chigazola Poetry Scholarship. She teaches poetry and performance with Wordplay Teen Writing Project, The Centre for the Arts, and the New Orleans Recovery School District. She enjoys watermelon, estuaries, and disturbing poetry.

We’re taking submissions for the Meet the Poet series, short interviews via video, audio or the written word are welcome, peep our guidelines!

Hope on the Peripheral by Ward Kelley

Hope on the Peripheral

Hope scrawls its name on the margins,
where it finds its room on the peripheral
skin of lovers in bed, where space is most

“Your neck smells like eternity,” the lover
will whisper. The one with the neck knows
she is incapable of such hope, but will
never say this.

Hope dashes into the street, an escaping
animal, setting an example for everyone
watching from the condos.

“Sometimes I felt like I was flying,”
says the old married woman, describing
falling in love fifty years ago, “I believed
I would forever possess those wings.”

There is much reason to hope when the body
is young, perhaps even more when the body
is ending, and there are many more clues,
many more wrinkles, that the uninformed
believe attest to experience. Instead within
these folds can be found – in several places –
where hope left its name long ago, on margins.

                – Ward Kelley
                   from Words Dance 5, Summer 2004

i thank

i thank

the women’s magazine that
says it stopped running articles on dieting

the loopy lilac print from the editors squealed
“we don’t want to perpetuate female insecurities”

i flip through the scented pages
admiring the glossy waifs
who live on air and compliments
arms akimbo on a 20 inch waist
perky plastic boobs that would please any man
and a frozen-frosted lip that says “i am beautiful”

articles about your body
how to become anyone but yourself
sculpt a stomach like hers
a face like hers
a life like hers

we’ve created an army of dolls
put together wrong

and they flash lethal images
at average women who now assume
they must have gracious breasts and wide hips
with nothing between the two

so–please–starve me
of affection until a man
can run his fingertips through the desert valleys
between my ribs

but do not lie to me
or pretend to do me favors
by avoiding the articles that help you
fly off the shelves

and do not feign concern for my confidence
that you were once able to deplete
you have already done enough

                – Michelledion Matthews
                   from Words Dance 3, Winter 2003