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Neopoet Bimonthly: September 2011


1) Election Update
2) Meet a Trustee
3) Workshops 
New Workshop
4) AEC Summary
5) Chat Log
6) Members Forum: Newsletter Ideas
7) Poetry Corner: Introduction to Metric Forms
Iconic Poet
8) Fun Corner:
1) Election Update
The open nomination period ran from September 10 to September 16
The election runs from September 27 to October 1
We are considering a proposal from Hooded Stranger and unanimously approved by the AEC to extend the term of the AEC from 3 months to 6 months. They have suggested that this would make it easier to complete major projects within a single term.
Voters in our election will be able to vote on a slate of candidates as well as vote for, against, or abstain for the referendum. If the referendum is passed, it will have an immediate effect for the new group of AEC members.
We have opened a forum so that the community may discuss this proposal:
2) Meet a Trustee - Rett
I backed Rett into a corner in Cyberspace and made him spill the beans on himself and on being a Trustee.  Here are the results.
1. Tell me a little something about yourself? 

I am retired, pushing 60, married for 36 years (got it right the second time) 3 kids, 4 grandkids.

2. Other than poetry what other hobbies do you have?

Building my own computers, gardening, light carpentry, photography and recently started writing novels and have one published, working on another (editing phase) and a third on started.

3. Who are your favourite poets?

Browning, Dickenson and many at Neopoet. I prefer rhyming poetry, but can appreciate free verse and enjoy Limericks.

4. When did you first realise you had a passion for poetry?

At age 13 when I left home. Writing and reading poetry got me through some rough times.

5. How did you become involved in Neopoet? 

I had gotten frustrated with trying to get my poetry published and seeing rejection after rejection while total trash was accepted and had quit writing for over 3 years. Finally, I couldn't stand it any more and went looking. I tried 6 or 7 places and none of them struck a cord. I happened on Neopoet accidentally and liked it. Of course, I had a run in with Weirdelf (Jess) and almost left, but was talked into staying. I have never regretted it.

6. What is your vision for Neopoet? 

I wish to see it grow and help others as it has helped me. I still haven't published any poetry, but my writing has improved and thanks to several members here, I even took a chance on writing a novel based on a poem from a chat challenge. It was published and I have Neopoet and Chrys to thanks for that alone with Morgana and many others here. I want to see others realize their potential.

7. What new features have you got planned for Neopoet? 

There are several in the works, but we are limited right now on time for the technical stuff and of course, the owners are still footing the bills out of their own pockets. I would like to see added features to chat like auto logging and more participation in workshops. I also want to see the return of being able to post verbal poetry as we had before the crash, more premium features, etc...

8. What are you favourite authors and books? 

I love reading David Eddings, Elizabeth Moon, Ann McCaffrey, Todd McCaffrey and many of the past masters like Asimov, Heinlein, Laumer etc. I love Science Fiction and Fantasy, but also read history, gardening, home repair, building, Automobile and motorcycle magazines, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics and computer magazines.

9. What are your favourite films? 

I love comedies and Science Fiction flicks. Loved the Iron Man movies, Batman, Green Lantern, Superman, Jonah Hex, Westerns. Cars and Cars 2 were great. I even liked Avatar even with it's ridiculous message. The Ice Age Movies were great.

10. What are you favourite bands? 

I am old as such tend to listen to 50's, 60's and 70's music along with country. I liked Bloodrock, Moody Blues, Steppenwolfe, The Bee Gees, etc... in country, I liked Alabama, Dwight Yokum, Randy Travis, George Jones Johnny Cash, etc...

11. Do you find you get less responses due to you being Trustee/Owner? 

It is partly the fact that I am a trustee and partly the fact that I don't have much time for commenting on others poetry. You can't expect to get many comments when you don't have the time to comment on other people's poetry like you used to. I have also been tied up writing my books so haven't posted much poetry lately. I do read poetry here whenever possible, but seldom can comment.

12. How many books have you written and which ones are published?

I have written two so far, one published and am in the editing phase of my second. I have started a third and have two more almost completely outlined.

13. Is there anything else you want to add? 

Just to tell people to take advantage of the workshops, comment on others poetry as much as possible and don't take some of the critique as attacks. Develop a thick skin. That is the way you improve. You can learn from both the nice comments and the not nice comments. Remember most are trying to help you, not attacking you personally. I love this site and want to see it prosper.

Interviewed by Lou 

3) Workshops

Workshop Summary

The workshops have been rather quiet during August due to the holiday season. Now we find ourselves leaving the holidays and moving into what is statistically our busiest time at Neopoet.

So with that in mind, The Splash Pool workshop on “Expanding Your Perspective” has kicked off and is running as we speak. This is Lou’s first workshop as Leader and has Stan as her wing-man. The Moderator is Raj .

The Olympic Pool started 4 September. Chrys is leading the workshop and her wing-(wo)man is Cat. This workshop theme is “Writing With Emotions”. Welcome back Chrys after losing her internet connection. 

Jess returns to the Shark Pool/Plunge Pool with a theme of “Meter for Everyone”. Although Jess leads the Shark Pool, this particular workshop is aimed at all skill levels, thus it falls into the Plunge Pool arena. This workshop is running for a mammoth 30 days and is currently enrolling.

Barbara (Barbara Writes) is all set up to run with the Wading Pool. As soon as Neopoet “officially” launches, the Wading Pool will be filled up, in readiness for the new members to start wading.

Thanks to all the participants who have become involved with the workshops. We are receiving plenty of positive feedback. The new ideas for themes are being recorded and we will look to run them over the coming months. Thanks also to the leaders, co-leaders and moderators for promoting the workshops, creating syllabuses and delivering the themes.


Dan (Hooded Stranger)
Director of Workshops

4) AEC Chat Session - Summary

On Sunday 21st August, the AEC ran its first ever open chat session. We ran the session for 4 continuous hours so we could try to be available for most members depending on their time zone differences. 

I was asked to write a brief summary of the session for the newsletter, but as I began to write it, I realised I had already done so when I posted a blog summarising the session, so to save me typing any more, here is a slightly edited version of the blog:

As promised, I list below the main items brought up during the AEC Chat Session. There were more ideas, but these seemed to be the most important ones:

1. Consider changing the current style/type options from: Freeverse, Structured: Western & Structured: Eastern to have more detailed options.
2. To include sub-divisions or tags to further describe the type of poem: dark, erotic, humour...etc
3. Make a limit of no more than 2 poems posted per week. Or post a poem only after making 3/5/7 or 10 comments first.
4. Increase the length of term of the AEC to 4, 5 or 6 months.
5. Bring back Short Stories.
6. Re-define the use of Blogs. This should not be an avenue to post more poetry. There is a Stream and Workshops for poetry. Leave Blogs solely for other posting purposes.
"It is important to the AEC to involve the members in discussing these ideas, rather than discussing behind closed doors and taking a vote. This is your community and you should have a please do."

Thanks to everyone who attended. A special thanks to Lou for wearing her AEC hat and Chat hat for the entire 4 hours!


Dan (Hooded Stranger)
AEC Chair

5) September 2011 Chatlog

Hello one and all! So I hope you have all been staying cool this
summer because over at chat we have been heating it up and working out
all the wrinkles and getting ready to blast off with the launch of the
site… super soon! You can now find a calendar of upcoming events,
including the chat schedule on the home page. Also be sure to look for
blog’s from Lou, Bonjita and Gee, 3 of our dedicated host’s who are doing open
chats until we restart themes. Thanks you guys, we couldn’t do it
with out you! We do need more hosts and moderators over at chat so if
your interested please let us know at [email protected] we look forward
to chatting with you soon! Julie 

Chair of the AEC 

As our community has just held it's the first AEC chat session and we are now approaching the election, I thought that I would take this opportunity to talk to the Chair of the AEC (Hooded Stranger).

1. Can you tell me a little about yourself?


Well, I am Dad to three amazing sons and am husband to my beautiful wife. I work full time as a projects manager for a pensions administration company. My passion is writing, mostly lyrics for my band and writing short stories and novels. I'm 38, and have been a diabetic for 20 years and in the last few months have been given an insulin pump. 

2. Who are your favourite poets?

I have one favourite poet, Sylvia Plath...I simply understand the depression in her writing. I have many favourite lyricists, but this about poetry so if you want to know about the lyricists, they are listed on my profile.

3. When did you first realise you had a passion for poetry?

When my Gran died, I simply wanted to say something at her funeral other than the usual, and penned a poem, it wasn't that great but it carried the message I wanted. I kept writing from that day. My original poems were posted on my myspace page and a musician (now my music partner) asked me to turn some of them into lyrics...I did, and somehow, I became lyricist and vocalist.

4. What are you writing at the moment?

I am co-writing a fantasy novel with a friend in US, I am working on a short story project with Elizabeth (greeneyes), I am writing a collection of depression based poems with Pixee, I am writing a military style novel, I am writing another album of lyrics for my band, I am working with Paul on a lyric based project, finishing off a collection of short stories for my son and working on a few poems by Neopoets who have asked for them to be converted into lyrics.

5. Other than poetry what other hobbies do you have?

Website building, reading, building Warhammer models and painting them for my son and sleeping.

6. What are you favourite authors and books?

I have a fascination with conspiracy, so David Icke is one of my favourite authors, I enjoy fantasy novels, so Raymond Feist springs to mind and Stephen King is also a favourite, especially the Dark Tower series. Currently reading Pandora's Star by Peter F Hamilton. I can't leave this question without mentioning Tolkien, he has to be the one who inspires my novel and short story writing.

7. What are your favourite films and bands?

Films - The Number 23, Lord of the Rings and The Ninth Gate.

Bands - not nearly enough time or space for those, but here's a short list:

Absurd Minds, Assemblage 23, Diary of Dreams, System Syn, Project Pitchfork, Combichrist, Faderhead, VNV Nation, Nitzer Ebb, Third Realm & Front Line Assembly.

Here's some you may have actually heard of: Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, Leonard Cohen, Motorhead, Iron Maiden & Garbage.

8. How did you become involved in Neopoet?

A friend of a friend told me about it and I took a look, and never left.

9. As the Chair of the AEC, how do you see the future of Neopoet?

The future of Neopoet is to deliver Paul's vision of a poetry site that is head and shoulders above the rest by having a perfect mix of Stream, Workshops and Chat. For Neopoet to stay strong, it can't stand still, it must evolve, evolving means change and not everybody likes change, but we need to embrace it to make it work. A strong leadership team is imperative and a good line of communication between the Trustees, the AEC and most importantly the members. My buzz word is "transparency"...already the AEC has become more transparent and has made for a better understanding of how the site works and why certain decisions are made. 

Neopoet is getting ready for its launch, I hope to be a part of making that launch a success...that can only be achieved if we all pull together and work towards the same goal, and that takes understanding and compromise.

11. How do you see the workshops developing?

I was fortunate to be asked to lead the Workshops and am pleased and proud to say that after a lot of hard planning we launched the first workshops which were a success. We have since rolled out the second wave of workshops and by the time that this interview is published, we should have wave three up and running. 

Development: I am introducing a Plunge Pool workshop for themes/subjects not specific to participants skill levels and a Wading Pool is under development to cater for the new joiners to Neopoet following the launch. 

I have a strong set of Leaders and Moderators who put a lot of time and effort into making the whole programme work like a well-oiled machine. I must also say that without the participation and commitment of the participants it would never have got off to such a wonderful start.

12. How do you find see your role as Co-Director of the newsletter?

You'll have to ask the Director that one...she rules with an iron-fist. 

I enjoy writing articles for the newsletter and am enjoying working with Lou to make the newsletter useful, informative and fun to read. We both have lots of new ideas to keep it fresh and exciting. 

I really enjoyed interviewing Paul - before the interview I really didn’t know him, all I knew was he was a Trustee, I feel the interview helped show he was not just a Trustee but one of us.

13. Is there anything else you want to add?

I would like to thank all the members who voted for me and offered support to the decisions I and the AEC have made so far and I want to thank the AEC for their hard work in making my term as Chair an enjoyable one.

Interviewed by Lou

6) Members Forum

Yenti (Ian.T) answered my plea for Ideas for the newsletter, he suggested asking members to think of interesting and fun terms that desccribe a group of poets. Here are some, if you can think of any more or you have or you have poetry related ideas, or tidbits you would like to include, please pm Lou and they will be considered for inclusion.

A stanza of poets?


A babble or confusion of poets.


Bard of poets


Ego of writers


7) Poetry Corner

An Introduction to Metric Forms

Meter is very easy to understand in theory. It consists of types, called feet and the number of feet per line. There are only four feet commonly used in English. Iambic, Trochaic, Anapestic and Dactylic. The number of feet per line seldom exceeds seven. So this is fairly manageable and not that complex, Iambic Pentameter is five iambs per line (pent is from the Greek for five, like pentangle, pentagon)

Each foot consists of stressed and unstressed syllables. This is the way the syllables are normally stressed, or emphasised in spoken language. When we say-
The language is the same, only the emphasis is different
the stresses naturally occur as
The LANguage IS the SAME, ONly the EMphasis is DIFFerent
if we pronounce it as
The lanGUAGE is THE same, onLY the emPHASis is diffERent
it sounds utterly bizarre.

This is the secret of writing in metric forms, finding the combinations of words that naturally fit your chosen meter. It is also the single biggest difference between poetry and lyrics. Lyrics frequently use the beat of the music to over-ride the natural stress of the language.

That's the relatively easy part. The harder part is developing an “ear” for meter. If you are writing in a metric form and are not sure if you are getting it right here's a little trick. Remove all the line breaks so that it resembles prose and get someone else to read it back to you. Where they "stumble" in the reading is probably a misplaced foot. With practice you will be able to read it aloud to yourself and eventually your preferred forms will become almost intuitive.

Let's get back to those strangely named feet, Iambic, Trochaic, Anapestic and Dactylic.

Iambic verse is composed of iambs, an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one. da DUM. It is the most commonly used meter in English since the time of Chaucer. It most closely resembles the natural stresses of the English language. Five iambs per line, Iambic Pentameter is the most commonly used metric form. Because the stress is on the last syllable of the line Iambic also strengthens the effect (and faults) of rhyming if you use it.

The mighty king foreswore his dreaded crown

This is a line of Iambic Pentameter. Try saying it different ways, to emphasise different syllables. Sounds weird, eh? Here is another example you might recognise, can you “hear” the stress patterns?-
If music be the food of love, play on
Yes, it's Shakespeare, many of his Sonnets were in Iambic Pentameter.

Very similar is Trochaic, composed of trochees, a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed one. DUM da. Because the first syllable is stressed it provides a stronger rhythmic feeling than Iambic while the unstressed last syllable allows for greater latitude in rhyming and half rhymes. In practice Iambic and Trochaic are so similar that they often occur within the same poem, even within the same line. See how easily the above example is converted from Iambic to Trochaic.

Mighty Zeus foreswore his dreaded crowning

The Anapestic or anapest is three syllables with the stress on the last. da da DUM. The Dactylic or dactyl is three syllables with the stress on the first. DUM da da. As you can see they carry a less emphasised inherent rhythm than Iambic or Trochaic but share the difference where a rhyming scheme is involved. There are usually less feet per line too, as the lines quickly become overly long.

In the next issue, I'll talk more about the subtleties and variations that can be used with these forms and the variations on line length. 

I will be posting a blog called “An Introduction to Metric Forms” as soon as this newsletter is released where I will conduct a mini-workshop on one metric form. I would also appreciate your feedback there on how useful you found this article and any advice or suggestions.

By Jess (Wierd Elf)

Iconic Poet

The Poe Factor

A tragic life, and early death, are two of the significant influences that Edgar Allan Poe has had on poets and other
writers throughout the years. Considered part of the American Romantic Movement, his sombre, and often macabre style of
writing, have inspired hordes of hopefuls to place pen to paper. His works have made their impact felt not only in the field of
literature, but in music, film, and television media as well. Many an alienated young person, has been drawn to Poe's dark
philosophy in an attempt at embracing a kindred spirit.
It is Poe, who, more than any other single personage, that has brought about the ongoing infatuation with all things Gothic in nature. With poems such as 'The Raven', and 'The Conqueror Worm', Poe has enthralled and captivated countless devotees of dark verse, and tales such as 'Morella', and 'The Tomb Of Liguria', have
no doubt had similar effect. It is Poe, who, more than any other single personage, that has brought about the ongoing infatuation with all things Gothic in nature. With poems such as 'The Raven', and 'The Conqueror Worm', Poe has enthralled and captivated countless devotees of dark verse, and tales such as 'Morella', and 'The Tomb Of Liguria', have
no doubt had similar effect. 

Orphaned at a young age, watching his wife succumb to an early death, and the influences of alcohol and drugs, all played a
significant part in the formation of Poe's outlook on life and his bent for the Outré'.

Poe is often cited as being a major influence to many of the poets here on Neopoet, as well as other poetry sites. It is certain
that this tradition will continue, and that the haunting words of Edgar Allan Poe will be with us, to paraphrase 'The Raven', Evermore.

Lon R. Bruso A.K.A. Lonnie

8) Fun Corner
July's Contest
Thank you to Raj for supporting our Newsletter by being the only entrant in the contest.

Dissect life's Cocoon
find within its labyrinths
lost pearls of pleasure

September's Contest
Write a short Story
This month we thought that we would change the format of the contest, the challenge this time is t write a poetry related short story, of no more than 800 words. For example it could be about a poet, writing a poem, or you could translate one of your poems into a short story.
The deadline is the 28th of September.
Do not post your short story on the stream or your entry will not be considered.

Email your poem to [email protected]

(c) No copyright is claimed by Neopoet to original member content.