Melanie Figueroa

Melanie is the co-creator of and an editor at The Poetics Project. She's also a freelance editor and writer who helps content creators polish their words before they go out into the world. She has a M.S. in writing and book publishing from Portland State University. Her favorite books are always changing. Right now, her top three are Zazen, The Poisonwood Bible, and Prep. You can follow Melanie on Twitter or Instagram @wellmelsbells and learn more about her editorial services at

The Curious Relationship Between Writers and Cats

Writers have been said to be solitary beings, which may provide insight into why so many writers seem to choose cats as their companions, rather than man’s best friend. Cats aren’t pack animals, meaning they don’t feel the need to do what anyone else wants them to do. And they have large, peculiar personalities, which can also be said of writers.

When I began researching this curious relationship between writers and cats, I stumbled upon a poem written by William Carlos Williams:

As the Cat

As the cat
climbed over
the top of

the jamcloset
first the right

then the hind
stepped down

into the pit of
the empty


Louis CK On Clifford The Big Red Dog

In Louis CK: Live at the Beacon Theatre, the comedian discusses being a parent and reading books with his two little girls, specifically Clifford the Big Red Dog. Louis is critical of the children’s book, which was written by Norman Bridwell and published in 1963. Check out the video below to get a few laughs and find out why.


Pentametron Uncovering the Poetry of Twitter

With the help of a computer program, @pentametron is uncovering the poetry behind tweets on the popular social networking site twitter. Below are just a few of our favorite rhyming couplets:

That hesitation right before a kiss

I don’t remember ever learning this

Don’t matter what the circumstances are

Quit reaching for the stars and be the star

Eye contact is a privilege, not a right

Play secretary, I’m the boss tonight


Worried About Cliches?

At writers can paste any piece of text into a blank field, click Find Cliches, and be taken to another page that highlights any and all cliches found in red (check out the screenshot below).

The website uses cliches from The Associated Press Guide to News Writing by Rene J. Cappon, and the home page features a quote from Author George Orwell’s book Politics and the English Language:

[Political] prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house.

Even if you aren’t worried about cliches present in your own writing, try it out. It’s a fun tool.