Poetry Parlor

Take your poetry to the next level

Poetry Parlor is a monthly membership club for you to
improve your poetry skills and connect with other poets.

Do you wish you could write better poems?

Do you want to know more about poetry?

Would you love to connect with like-minded poets?

Do you want help with ideas?

Poetry Parlor might be just what you’re looking for!

As a member of Poetry Parlor, you will:

Discover high-quality poems by contemporary poets to expand what you can write

Learn about a wide range of approaches to poetry

Get a clear, inspiring monthly poetry prompt—and a deadline to help you write it

Receive support and advice from other poets like you

Improve your poetry with feedback from an experienced, inspiring teacher

Who Am I, And Why Am I Doing This?

Hi! I'm Brian... and I hope you’ll join me in Poetry Parlor.

I’ve been writing poetry for 30 years, but for about the first half of that time, I struggled.

I wrote alone, I didn’t share my work much, and I didn’t have good sources of support.

As a result, my poetry was going nowhere fast, and writing it was often painful.

This all changed when I found some wonderful teaching, help, and feedback. I did a BA, and later an MFA, and finally I had knowledgeable teachers who could tell me what I needed, and fellow‑poets I could share the path with.

Those times helped me win the Hampshire Poet laureate award in 2012, and the Maureen Egen award from Poets & Writers in 2017, as well as getting poems published in magazines, competitions, and art events.
 

But I’ve never forgotten my long time in the poetic wilderness. It taught me three vital things:

  1. Everyone can write poetry—and everyone can improve their poetry.
  2. Poetry is much, much easier if you have support and feedback.
  3. Not everyone has the time or money to take courses—but everyone should be able to get that kind of learning.

Since 2005, I’ve put those lessons into practice. I’ve helped hundreds of people to start writing poetry, keep writing poetry, and get better at poetry. It’s something I love as much as writing my own work.

And that’s why I’ve made Poetry Parlor. I want poets like you to have a place to meet, learn, create, and get help—and I hope you will join me. 

What's included in Poetry Parlor

STANDARD MEMBERSHIP INCLUDES:

Discussion Poem

A poem by a contemporary or recent poet, chosen for its high quality and interest, but also because it showcases something you can learn from—be it form, subject matter, voice, or more.

Live Discussion Webinar and recording​

A monthly online meeting with me and other Poetry Parlor members. We’ll talk about the Discussion Poem and other poetic matters arising. Have your say, and get to know us better!
If you can’t make it, there will be a recording you can watch at your leisure.

My Comment Video on the Discussion Poem

This detailed explanation of how I see the Discussion Poem working will help you deepen your understanding of the poem and what you can learn from it.

Poem Prompt

An inspiring exercise to get you writing.
The Poem Prompt will help you incorporate what you’ve learned from the Discussion Poem  into your own writing—and give you a deadline to make sure you do it!

Video Feedback from Me On Your Monthly Poem

5-8 minutes of video feedback from me so you can take your poem further each month. I’ll tell you what I think you’ve done well and what you can develop next.

Private Facebook Group for Sharing​

The Facebook group is an opportunity get to know other Parlor poets, receive their feedback on your monthly poem draft, and give and get support with poetry in general.
Enjoy connecting with other people who love poetry the way you do.

MENTORING MEMBERSHIP adds:

30 Minutes of One-On-One Meeting Time with me

In this level, instead of the pre-recorded Video Feedback, I will meet with you live online using the Zoom app. During the meeting, I’ll give you:
  • Feedback on your monthly poem and possibly other poems too, depending on time;
  • Prompts or exercises to do that are specific to you and your needs;
  • Suggestions for reading to help you develop as a poet.
A bit like meeting with your college professor! I’ll make it my mission to give you personalized advice for your fastest boost up the poetry skills ladder

Join the conversation now!

Basic membership

$5/month

  • Discussion Poem
  • Brian's Comment Video
  • Poem Prompt
  • Access to private Facebook group

Standard membership

$30/month

  • Discussion Poem
  • Brian's Comment Video
  • Poem Prompt
  • Access to private Facebook group
  • Live Discussion Webinar and recording
  • Video Feedback from Brian (5-8 minutes)

Mentoring membership

$75/month

  • Discussion Poem
  • Brian's Comment Video
  • Poem Prompt
  • Access to private Facebook group
  • Live Discussion Webinar and recording
  • 30 minutes live one-on-one mentoring with Brian including:
  • Feedback on your poem(s)
  • Prompts/exercises
  • Reading suggestions

Who Poetry Parlor is For

Poetry Parlor can work for you if:

  • You have written poetry before, maybe for years, and you would like to broaden your knowledge and skills
  • You are looking for regular inspiration to help you create new poems
  • You want to get feedback on your poems to help you improve them
  • You want to know more about poems and poets being published now
  • You’re just starting poetry and would like some structure and guidance to help you (please see the FAQ as well)
  • You’d like to get to know other poets in similar positions to yourself, for support, friendship, and encouragement.

Poetry Parlor may not be for you if:

  • You already have an advanced degree in poetry (such as an MFA or MA)
  • You are 100% happy with the poetry you write and you don’t want to try new things.

Some thoughts from Parlor poets:

Poetry Parlor took me on a positive journey from using an existing poem as an idea to developing the first draft of my poem. The chosen poem and the discussions were inspirational in my own poetry writing.

Then, there were excellent tips on editing that helped to produce a published poem.

Sue B..

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire format, from reading the poem, to discussing it, then writing our own. I truly appreciated the feedback from other poets involved and from Brian.

Poetry Parlor informed my sense of my strengths and limitations as a poet. I have a strong draft that I now look forward to developing with a real sense of direction.

Mary-Lou B.

Poetry Parlor has given me a new sense of confidence and the nudge I needed to start reading and writing poetry again.

I always enjoy Brian’s teaching. He helps me see things I perhaps wouldn’t have seen, and has a gentle, encouraging way of giving useful feedback. The prompt was pitched just right—accessible to all and inspiring.

Natalie B..

Poetry Parlor engenders awareness of high quality poetry and techniques to enhance creative output within a stimulating community that encourages each step of the journey.

I felt skillfully prompted, guided, and held within this community of poets, with Brian as tutor at the helm.

Sonja M.

Poetry Parlor exposed me to a great variety of personal experience and ways of expressing it. The feedback let me know where I was failing to come across to readers—where something needed to be honed or reinforced—whether it be in an image, or a tone, or the order of stanzas. These are things one cannot do alone.

I love the video feedback! Seriously, there’s so much that one reads every day—having a voice joined with the pointer makes everything more attention-focusing and simpler to understand. Brian’s commentary is always excellent—comprehensive, even-keeled, and to the point!

Jane O.

I enjoyed reading the work of others, to see different takes on the same prompt. I liked hearing how my work was interpreted by others. We don’t always have distance from our
work, so this was very helpful. Brian is very knowledgeable!

Overall, very good.

Nancy W..

FAQ

I’m interested, but I’m not sure if I’d like it. How can I test out Poetry Parlor?

The best way to test out Poetry Parlor is to join in!
A month of the Standard membership is only $5, and you’ll get a chance to experience everything except the Webinar and Feedback/Mentoring. And if it’s not for you, you can cancel for the next month any time!

How much time will I need to take part?

At the least, you just need the time to create one poem draft in a month. I reckon that’s about 1-2 hours—but it doesn’t have to be all at one go. You could do it in 15-20 minutes a week.
And of course, if you’ve got more, you can give more—you can do more writing, more thinking, and more interaction in the Facebook group.

I’ve never written poetry before. Can Poetry Parlor work for me?

I think so, provided you’re willing to take a few chances and try things out. While the Poem Prompt won’t be aimed explicitly at beginners, the Parlor will give you a structured way to create a poem every month—and you can always ask for extra help on the Facebook group.
In particular, in the Feedback and Mentoring levels I can give you tips that are specially focused on learning poetry. Just let me know when you send me your poem!

Can I change my membership level?

Yes, you can change your membership level at any time. The change will take effect for your next month’s membership.

What happens if I join late in the month? Will I still get to take part?

Yes! As soon as you join, you’ll get access to the Discussion Poem, Comment Video, and Poem Prompt for the month you joined. But if it’s kind of late in the month and you don’t really have time to join in, you’ll also get all these things for the next month too, along with the chance to join the Live Webinar and get Feedback or Mentoring, if you’ve signed up for those. So you’ll never miss out!

Join the conversation now!

Basic membership

$5/month

  • Discussion Poem
  • Brian's Comment Video
  • Poem Prompt
  • Access to private Facebook group

Standard membership

$30/month

  • Discussion Poem
  • Brian's Comment Video
  • Poem Prompt
  • Access to private Facebook group
  • Live Discussion Webinar and recording
  • Video Feedback from Brian (5-8 minutes)

Mentoring membership

$75/month

  • Discussion Poem
  • Brian's Comment Video
  • Poem Prompt
  • Access to private Facebook group
  • Live Discussion Webinar and recording
  • 30 minutes live one-on-one mentoring with Brian including:
  • Feedback on your poem(s)
  • Prompts/exercises
  • Reading suggestions

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