Remixing the World’s Problems Challenge

Solving the World's Problems, by Robert Lee Brewer (Press 53)

Solving the World’s Problems, by Robert Lee Brewer (Press 53)

Here’s an entry-free challenge with a $500 top prize. Anyone with access to Robert Lee Brewer’s Solving the World’s Problems can participate. It can be your copy, a friend’s copy, a copy from the library, etc.

How the challenge works:

  • Take the words in Solving the World’s Problems and remix them into a new poem. The remix may be a mash-up of two poems, a drastic revision, combining several poems, a response poem, or whatever else strikes your fancy. A few examples: one poet turned in a poem composed of the final word in each poem; another wrote a series of 60 tankas inspired by the poems in the collection.
  • Any words that are not Robert’s must be yours. In other words, no mixing with Anne Sexton or the local newspaper. The remix is a collaboration between you and Robert.
  • You must indicate which poems you used as a starting point. Explanation of process is important as well, though I’ll be picking a winner off which remix I enjoy the most–plain and simple.
  • Include your name, the title of the poem (or poems) you’re remixing, and the title of the new piece–along with your contact information.
  • Send an e-mail to with the subject line: Remixing the World’s Problems. If you don’t use the correct subject line, I may not open your message. So it’s important that you follow this guideline.
  • I’d prefer no attachments, but I understand if certain remixes require them. Just make sure you follow all the other rules, so that I know you’re not sending me a virus.
  • Deadline: May 15, 2014. I want to give everyone plenty of time to read the poems and work on remixes.
  • The best remixes will be shared on my blog and may even end up in an anthology if there are enough cool submissions.
  • As mentioned above, the author of my favorite remix will receive a $500 gift from me.
  • Enter as often as you wish, but I’m guessing the best remixes will be as thoughtfully crafted as the originals.
  • Challenge is free. No purchase necessary.

The most important part of this challenge is to have fun and interact with another poet’s poems. This is a unique opportunity to take another person’s words and re-work them into an order that you think is better or interesting or whatever. Get at it!


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