Poetry Breakfast

Beginning March 20th, 2016 Poetry Breakfast will once again serve a little poetic nourishment every morning. Start your day with our new expanded menu. Poems, of course, are our specialty. But we will also be serving a fuller menu that includes poetry related creative non-fiction such as letters to and from poets, essays on poetry, and anything else that might feed a poet and poetry lover’s soul.


News & Announcements

Poetry Breakfast’s Nominations for the 2017 Best of the Net

After carefully reviewing all the delicious poems we’ve served up this past year, our decisions are in.

We’re happy to present Poetry Breakfast’s nominations for the 2017 Best of the Net.

this is how you remember high school By Archita Mittra

“Yume Wo Katare” (Tell your dream) By Marjorie Thomsen

Clean Your Room (a conversation with Mental Illness) By Lisa Zaran

Fractured Peonies By Belinda Subraman

I Fumbled in the Darkness for My Wings  By Carolyn Adams

Seashell By Kristen Zory King

Congratulations and the best of luck with your nominations!


Asbury Underground Event – Poetry, Music, and Art

At Poetry Breakfast, things have gotten pretty exciting in our neck of the woods.  In addition to the dozens of poetry readings and open mics held each month here in the Asbury/Ocean/Monmouth County area – we also have one huge celebration of poetry, music and art happening on October 15th and 16, 2016.

In a joint effort between Asbury Underground and The Ministry of Artistic Intent (and a little office support from Poetry Breakfast), there will be one very exciting night of poetry in Asbury Park, NJ.  Thirteen featured poets will be reading followed by an open mic.

This is part of the Asbury Underground which also features performances from over 100 musicians and 50 visual artists.  All events are FREE and open to the public.

For details about the Underground Poetry visit their Facebook Event Page.

For details about the Underground Music and Art visit


A Special Thank You to our Guest Editors

In collaboration with the Ministry of Artistic Intent and the Water Witch Poetry & Reading Series, Poetry Breakfast held an editor’s roundtable reading at the Water Witch Coffee house this past Thursday.

Poetry Breakfast would like the thank the wonderful artists, musicians and poets that helped review poetry submissions and bring a few new flavors to our menu.


Guest Editors:

Sean Navat Balanon – Sean is an artist from Old Bridge, NJ.  He has a BA in Music Technology from Stevens Institute of Technology.  Sean illustrates and makes video art.

Jon Davies – Jon is a musician, writer, and vagrant who has traveled throughout the United States.

John Flood – John is a local photographer, poet and musician focused on documenting and exposing the vibrant Monmouth County arts scene.   His documentation of local musicians and artists, along with his own art, can be found at .

Charles Ignar –  Charles is a local emerging poet.  He is a mainstay at the Water Witch Poetry Workshop & Reading where he shares his work and enjoys hearing the diverse work of other poets.

Chelsea Palermo – Chelsea is the founder of the Ministry of Artistic Intent. She is the hostess and organizer of the Water Witch Poetry & Reading Series.  In 2013 she was nominated for Poet Laureate of Asbury Park.  She graduated with her MFA in Poetry from Drew University.

Patricia Rinaldi – Patricia is a poet and regular attendee of the Water Witch Poetry Workshop & Reading Series.  She consistently brings encouragement to all the poets at the Water Witch.

Our Mystery Guest Editor – Though he chose to remain anonymous – anonymous is certainly not the word to describe this vibrant poet, writer, and musician.  He has actively participated in and fiercely promoted the local poetry and music scene for many years and he continues to draw attention to new and emerging artists in Monmouth County.



Photo by Ann Kestner.


Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Start your morning with a nourishing poem.  Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, and  Tumblr,  and enjoy a new poem every morning straight to your feed.

Best of the Net Nominations – 2016

Poetry Breakfast would like to congratulate the following poets.  Though it was difficult for us to choose only six poems to nominate for the Best of the Net Award, we narrowed it down to these:

Birthday Present by Joan McNerney

By the Time I Got to Dublin by Carter Vance

Gray River by Patricia Biela

Jazz Kahuna by Max Reif

Knots by Nate Maye

The Problem with California by Maggie Rosen




Photo by Benjamin Balazs.

A Letter to the Global Poetry Community – A Necessary Response to Recent Events

This past week the poetry community was shaken by the discovery of a serial plagiarist. Poets and editors around the world worked in unison to remedy the situation. One editor, burdened with the task of removing plagiarized poems from publication and retracting a Pushcart Nomination, wrote that in the aftermath of these events she felt, “defeated.”

Words – strong words – appropriate words – were used to describe the offense and its effects: dismay, distress, identity theft, stolen…

Details of the extensive reach and widespread violations resulting from this episode of serial plagiarism are best left in private conversations – not in public debate. There is actually nothing to debate. Those who know, the witnesses of this disturbing incident, have no questions of right or wrong – only a dismaying confusion of why?

What remains is the puzzlement of what it means to be a poet.

Who and what are we writing for? Our egos? Our CV’s? Our collective humanity? A hobby? The question marks have become infinite.

And that word “defeated.”

We are not defeated. We are an army (even though we did not know we were). Each poet an individual, each publication independent – we were wrong to believe that. The events of this past week did not defeat us – they destroyed our delusions of individualism. The poetry community became more important than the poet.

More importantly, we learned that it had already been that way. Even without thought or discussion, even as we worked for our own successes and publication, somewhere beneath the surface of our own short personal bios, we were helping write the great biography of the global poetry community.

At no point in history has the poetry community been so vastly diverse, intimately connected and had such an instant global reach. The Digital Poetry Era is the richest ever seen. We all take part in growing and guarding this enormous treasure.

At Poetry Breakfast we will continue to publish and honor those who participate in and give their best to the poetry community. We offer thanks to all those who tirelessly worked to defend the integrity of our community this past week and to all those who continue to protect our poets and the art of poetry.

Ann Kestner, Editor
Poetry Breakfast

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Poetry Prompts 30 in 30 A Poem A Day

Poetry Potluck and Inspiration Buffet

April is National Poetry Month. We know many of you are trying to write a poem a day this month. So for our Inspiration Buffet we’re giving you a poetry prompt for every day.

You’re welcome to post your poems in the comments. Or, you can submit your poetry for consideration in our daily menu (we publish a new poem every morning). If you’d like to submit your work, visit our Submission Guidelines.

Poetry Prompts:

April 1:
Write a poem about the home you were born in. What would that house, building, room say?

April 2:
Write a poem about learning a new word for the first time. It could be a word you recently learned, one you learned long ago, or even one you taught to someone.

April 3:
Write a poem where you have a conversation with an inanimate object. Talk to it. And if you’d like, let it talk back to you.

April 4:
Write a poem about a dream you had recently. Dreams are a wonderful brewing ground for poetry.

April 5:
Write a poem about your neighbors.

April 6:
Write a poem from the perspective of yourself when you were a little kid.

April 7:
Write a poem sparked by your experience of waiting in line.

April 8:
Write a poem about the first thing you do in the morning.

April 9:
Write a poem about something you don’t understand, something that doesn’t make sense to you.

April 10:
Write a poem about not wanting to write a poem.

April 11:
Write a poem about the part of your physical appearance that you least like. And love it.

April 12:
Write a poem about fixing your bed.

April 13:
Write a poem about a power outage, about having no electricity.

April 14:
Write a poem about shopping for a gift for someone.

April 15:
Write a poem about having dinner out alone.

April 16:
Write a poem about getting lost while trying to get somewhere.

April 17:
Write a positive poem about someone you recently insulted or criticized. Find what is poetically beautiful about them and write about it.

April 18:
Write a poem about what you think is the worst part of your personality.

April 19:
Write a poem about visiting someone at the hospital.

April 20:
Write a poem an heirloom you have from someone who had died.

April 21:
Write a poem about something you recently wanted to say but didn’t say.

April 22:
Write a poem about your first car. If you never had a car, your first bike, bus ride, train ride…something that allowed you to travel on your own.

April 23:
Write a poem about something you stole.

April 24:
Write a poem about how people would see you if they didn’t see what you posted online and only knew you face to face.

April 25:
Write a poem about something you are not able to do but wish you could do.

April 26:
Write a poem about washing something.

April 27:
Write a poem about not knowing where someone you once knew is now and wondering where they are.

April 28:
Write a poem about laughter.

April 29:
Write a poem the home of someone you know who is no longer alive.

April 30:
Write a poem promising yourself something.


Photo by Alexandre Vanier.

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