Treasuring Poetry – An introduction to Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse edited and compiled by Colleen Chesebro and Jules Paige

Today, I am delighted to introduce you to Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse, The Moons of Autumn, a delightful collaboration of syllabic poems by a variety of poets, edited and compiled by Colleen Chesebro and Jules Paige.

By way of background, Colleen Chesebro has run a weekly syllabic poetry challenge on her blog, Word Craft: Poetry and Prose for years. She has been a guiding light to the poetry community, sharing her knowledge about the many different forms of syllabic poetry and encouraging poets to experiment and all learn together.

What inspired you to put together a poetry anthology, is it a once off or will there be others?

My inspiration for the syllabic poetry journal came about when I realized that many of the poets who joined in my weekly challenge did not have the ways or means to publish their own books of poetry. I envisioned a yearly journal filled with creative syllabic forms. I’m not aware of another journal that presents both Japanese and American versions of syllabic poetry. This is a different concept and I think it has paid off.

Also, to note, the poet’s retained ownership of the poems submitted to the journal. All rights reverted to the respective author/artist upon publication. All we asked, was if their work was republished, we appreciated a mention that the Word Weaving Poetry Journal was the first place of publication.

While I planned this journal, I realized I wanted to host a poetry contest on wordcraftpoetry.com with paid prizes. It was logical to use the royalties from the sale of the Word Weaving Journal to pay for the prizes. As for another journal… I’ll let you know after the poetry contest in 2022. I’m aiming for the month of June for the contest on wordcraftpoetry.com. I’ll reevaluate at that time.

Which poem in the anthology touched you the most? Please provide the test of the poem and the author

This is a hard question to answer. My co-editor, Jules Paige and I first selected our favorites. We deliberated for some time over the poems… they were all so good! In the end we selected Ken Gierke’s gogyohka poem:

warmth of a pale light

found as clouds part

rewarded

while seeking the moon

on a cool autumn night

© Ken Gierke

We both felt this gogyohka best illustrated the concept of the “Moons of Autumn.” At the end of the Journal, Jules and I shared our three favorite poems by D. L. Finn, Merril D. Smith, and Ken Gierke.

If I had to go in deeper, my next favorite would be D. Wallace Peach’s tanka prose Idyll. The imagery in this poem is one of my favorites.

“Moon-spun”

November’s moon spins upon the tip of a white fir. Her fairy light whispers across the glades where alders part their leafless fingers into spindly shadows. The night glow sends the trolls trudging into the deep forest, brittle twigs crunching beneath their knobby feet. With nothing to fear, the deer lie down in a silver meadow. Old owl watches the coyotes croon to autumn’s stark beauty as they whiff the delicate scent of the coming snow.

a moon’s enchantment

befalls the northern forest

her magical light

banishes luring prowlers

inviting the night to sing

© D. Wallace Peach

What attracts you to syllabic poetry as opposed to other forms like freestyle and rhyming verse?

Syllabic poetry, especially the Japanese forms with their brevity of words, fills a special place in my heart. Not only do I like writing these forms, but I also enjoy reading what others have written. There is a simple beauty in haiku that I don’t find in other forms. Written mindfully, haiku are small poems with large meaning. It’s those a-ha moments of connection, I find the most pleasing.

For example:

summer clouds—

kayakers floating

the river

© Colleen M. Chesebro

In this haiku, I worked on imagery. The idea was to connect emotions by associating two or more images together in strange and unusual ways. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I find it is always best to look for alike or contrasting images to feature in my poem.

I targeted the “summer (my kigo) clouds” and the “kayakers floating the river,” as a summer activity. Clouds float – kayakers float, which are alike images.

A haiku should present an event in an image. It should SHOW us what happened without telling us about it or what emotion to feel. In the haiku above, what emotions do you feel?

Haiku poems share a specific event or observation. Haiku are not generalities, and we never use a simile or metaphor. Most haiku are written in seventeen onji (Japanese sounds) which equates to around twelve syllables (3, 5, 3). Most rhyming poetry doesn’t give me the same emotional impact as the simple haiku does. Although, I do enjoy creating some of the syllabic forms that use rhyme and meter.

What advice can you give people setting out on the path of writing poetry?

Poetry is about expression and creativity. Poets should write poetry daily. If you don’t practice, how can you perfect your craft? I write my poetry on my author blog at colleenchesebro.com and in a handwritten journal.

It’s best to get involved in a poetry community with poetry challenges where you can stretch your wings and try new things like we do on wordcraftpoetry.com. If you can’t find a challenge you like, start your own! Learning how to comment, critique, and write about the work of another poet is crucial to your own poetic journey.

Write more poetry! Find what forms bring you the most joy to write. Write them! Then, learn everything you can about that type of poetry.

Submit your poetry to literary journals and contests. I’ve had more poetry rejected than accepted, but that hasn’t stopped me yet.

What are your plans for Word Craft: Prose & Poetry going forward?

Wordcraftpoetry.com will continue to be a safe place to write syllabic poetry. We’re in our fifth year of the #TankaTuesday Poetry Challenge. Each week, I strive to make the challenges interesting. In 2022, we will have a few new prompts to freshen up our creativity. I will continue to feature a poet and their poem almost every week. Depending on the challenge week, the poet will choose the prompt for the next month’s challenge. It’s important to me to involve the poets in the challenges. That is what community is all about. Stay tuned. Who knows what I’ll think of next!

Thanks so much, Robbie for featuring me and the Word Weaving Journal on Treasuring Poetry.

Colleen M. Chesebro
Colleen M. Chesebro

Author biography

Colleen M. Chesebro is a Michigan Poet who loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. She sponsors a weekly poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of syllabic poetry.

Along with JulesPaige, Colleen is also a co-editor of “Word Weaving, a Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse,” at wordweavingpoetryjournal.com. The debut issue of the journal published October 2021, with a kindle and print version of the journal.

Colleen’s syllabic poetry has appeared in various other online publications. Recently, she created the Double Ennead, a 99-syllable poetry form for the Carrot Ranch literary community at carrotranch.com. She hosts a challenge as a guest of the Saloon, every third Monday of the month.

Colleen’s poetry has poetry in various anthologies and journals including “Hedgerow-a journal of small poems,” and “Poetry Treasures,” a collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on “Writing to be Read” in 2020.

Colleen published “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry,” which illustrates how to write various syllabic poetry forms used in her Tanka Tuesday challenges; and a collection of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories called, “Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration,” dedicated to the Summer Solstice. She contributed a short story called “The Changeling,” in the “Ghostly Rites Anthology 2020,” published by Plaisted Publishing House.

Find Colleen Chesebro

Find Colleen at Word Craft: Prose & Poetry at wordcraftpoetry.com.

Find Colleen’s author blog at colleenchesebro.com.

Find Colleen’s pagan blog at awitchsbrew.wordpress.com

My review of Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse

This book, edited and collated by talented poets Colleen Chesebro and Jules Paige, is a delightful collection of meaningful poems by a variety of different contributors. The theme of the book is Harvest Moon and each poem gives insight into the meaning of this expression to the particular poet. Some poems are practical and some are ethereal, yet others are colourful and then there are the silvery ones, but they all share the common feature of being beautiful.

The poems in the book demonstrate as wide a variety of styles as there are contributors, with a common thread of all being syllabic. I came across a number of forms that were new to me, including senryu, haiga, and gogyohka among otehrs. There are also the more familiar syllabic forms such as haiku, tanka, haibun, tanka prose, etheree, nonet, shadorma, and cinquain.

My favourite poem in this collection is written by Kerfe Roig. I like it because it is filled with mystery and delight:
“who is this Other
come to greet me
glittering shadowed
behind and before
a changeling of light”

All the poems are gorgeous and this collection is a most worthwhile read for poetry lovers.

What Amazon says

Word Weaving is a yearly poetry journal, and for our first issue, we bring you poetry crafted from a broad mix of new and established voices across the spectrum of Japanese and American syllabic poetry forms. Enjoy this collection of poems that celebrate the Moons of Autumn.Contributing Poets:

Annette Rochelle Aben, Mona Bedi, Nancy Brady, Colleen M. Chesebro, Goutam Dutta, Bill Engleson, Elizabeth F., Andreea Finichiu, D.L. Finn, Jeff Flesch, Ken Gierke, Franci Hoffman, Thom Kerr, Sujata Khanna, Ruth Klein, Jules Paige, D. Wallace Peach, Gwen M. Plano, M. J. Mallon, R.V. Mitchell, Elaine Patricia Morris, Lisa Smith Nelson, Pat Raffington, Susmita Ramani, Kerfe Roig, Aishwarya Saby, Akhila Siva, Merril D. Smith, Willow Willers, and Cheryl Wood.

About Robbie Cheadle

IMG_9902

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with 9 children’s books and 2 poetry books.

The 7 Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie has also published 2 books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has 2 adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories in the horror and paranormal genre and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie writes a monthly series for https://writingtoberead.com called Growing Bookworms. This series discusses different topics relating to the benefits of reading to children.

Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Find Robbie Cheadle

Blog: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Twitter: BakeandWrite

Instagram: Robbie Cheadle – Instagram

Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books

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77 Comments on “Treasuring Poetry – An introduction to Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse edited and compiled by Colleen Chesebro and Jules Paige”

  1. Reblogged this on Robbie's inspiration and commented:

    Today I am hosting Colleen Chesebro​ for my last Treasuring Poetry post of 2021 with a discussion about her wonderful poetry anthology, Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Poetry and my review. Thank you for hosting Kaye Lynne Booth​

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Robbie, for introducing us to this wonderful poetry anthology. And thank you Colleen. So pleased to have you as a guest here. Word Weaving #1 sounds lovely. I recently finished Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, and you’ll be seeing my Review in Practice soon. It is taking me a while to write it, because I learned so much. Now I have another book to add to my read list.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A beautiful reason to honor Colleen!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Dan Antion says:

    Thanks for a nice introduction to Colleen and this book, Robbie. I read a few entries to TankaTuesday Poetry Challenge, and I always enjoy them. It’s nice to know more about the sponsor.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I just adore the way Colleen makes writing syllabic poetry accessible to everyone with her prompts, clear instructions, and kind comments. It’s been a joy to learn, practice, and participate. Thanks so much to Colleen and Jules for the journal, and I’m delighted that you enjoyed “Moon-spun,” Colleen. I look forward to your challenges in 2022. Thanks for sharing, Robbie, and for hosting, Kaye Lynne.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Jim Borden says:

    a wonderful interview and review…

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Gwen M. Plano says:

    Lovely, lovely, Robbie. Colleen has taught us all so much about poetry through her TankaTuesday Poetry Challenge. And, like you, I thoroughly enjoyed The Moons of Autumn. Thank you for sharing her with your readership. 💗

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Jan Sikes says:

    I love this interview with Colleen! I recently finished absorbing The Moons of Autumn and loved it! It isn’t a book that needs to simply be read, but literally absorbed. Thank you for sharing this interview, Robbie!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’m greatly looking forward to what Colleen has in store for 2022! Thank you for featuring her here. I enjoyed the interview.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Reblogged this on Word Craft: Prose & Poetry and commented:
    Robbie Cheadle and Kaye Lynn Booth are the best hosts! Thanks for having me over and thank you for the wonderful review of Word Weaving #1. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  10. merrildsmith says:

    I enjoyed this interview with Colleen very much. She always has a kind word to say to other poets, and it’s wonderful to see it reciprocated.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. kittysverses says:

    This is a lovely interview. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  12. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    What a great interview 🙂 I loved not only being a part of the book but enjoyed reading all the talent I was surrounded by!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Jules says:

    A delight ~ Thank you for supporting ‘Poetry’.
    Colleen is great to work with too ~JulesPaige

    Liked by 3 people

    • And Jules is a gem! She always has the best ideas! Thanks so much for all you do, Jules. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Jules, lovely to see you. A wonderful anthology and I will endeavor to participate if you decide to publish another one. I had no poetry inspiration while my dad and son were sick, but I’m writing again now.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jules says:

        I know some folks like journaling… I’ve tried that a few times. Even just a gratitude journal where they write three good things that happened during the day. My poems are my journal. 🙂

        However you are inspired, enjoy what you write. Fiction, fact, or poetry 💜

        While Blogging is fun and gives us both and outlet and purpose at times; real life and what transpires in it always has the first row seat in what we can manage.

        Hoping all stay healthy for this new year and we are all able to enjoy many aspects of family, friends and alternate activities 😀

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hi Jules, fortunately, I was able to continue with my WIP during this time, even though it was slower than usual. It was only the poetry muse that seemed to need a vacation. I am with you in hoping for a much better 2022.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Hi Jules. Glad to meet you and have you visit here. Welcome.

          I like the idea of your poetry being your journal.. I know a poet who writes a poem a day, or more, for her blog. I wonder if that isn’t how she looks at it, too? For me, sometimes poetry comes very easily, but other times I struggle to get the words arranged in the poetic form I want, so I don’t know if I could make it work, but I think that is a wonderful idea. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

        • Jules says:

          I started writing over fifty years ago. The teen angst mellowed (marriage, motherhood… grandmotherhood…the joys of retirement!) It wasn’t until a few years ago that I got into Flash Fiction. I’ve only been blogging for about 10 years. And have been very lucky to meet some very wonderful folks all over the world.

          There are some forms I am more comfortable with and others I stay away from. If no form comes to mind free verse works 😉

          I know many who rework pieces until there is perfection. I generally only rework or rewrite the piece once until it is done. I don’t look for perfection. I generally don’t go back days, weeks or years to edit something.

          What ever works for you and brings you joy – those are the forms you should stay with. Continued success in all you do – Best wishes for the New Year ~ Jules

          Liked by 2 people

  14. dgkaye says:

    So great to see Colleen here in the spotlight. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Thanks Robbie and Colleen.. as always a sparkling and interesting interview from you both.♥

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Frank Prem says:

    Wonderful. Congratulations Colleen and Robbie. Great Interview.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. It’s so wonderful to see Colleen being featured here. I love reading this interview, Robbie and Colleen. I learned a lot when I was participating the Tanka Tuesday. Colleen makes the instructions so clear and easy to follow. All the poems quoted in this post are beautiful. The year 2022 is around the corner. I’m sure Colleen will make the new year interesting! Thank you for hosting, Kaye!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. […] You may even be interested to read an interview of the editor, Colleen. M. Chesebro about Moons of Autumn HERE. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  19. olganm says:

    I am not a poem writer, but having followed Colleen’s blog I am familiar with her advice and her efforts to get poetry and poets to everybody. She does a great job and it was good to see her featured here and to read your review of her latest joint anthology. Thanks for sharing it and best of luck to all the authors!

    Liked by 2 people


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