The fast-talking publisher who approves of Moe's poetry is a caricature of the Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson from Spider-Man. He is voiced by J. K. Simmons, who played Jameson in the first three Spider-Man films - the second of which was co-written by Michael Chabon. At the end of the episode, he demands photos (then poems) about Spider-Man. The rhyme scheme he mentions is Petrarchan, an Italian sonnet style dating back to the 13th century. He then uses a quote from Spider-Man 3, "What are you waiting for, Chinese New Year?"
The song "Let's Get It Started" by The Black Eyed Peas is used in this episode.
During the Chabon-Franzen fight, Chabon says, "I think your nose needs some corrections!", which is a reference to Franzen's best-known work The Corrections. Later, Franzen hits Chabon over the head with a Snoopy portrait, to which an angry Chabon responds by saying, "Oh, you fight like Anne Rice!" before tackling him.
During the high-dive event a senior's underarm flab turns into wings, and he flies around the arena to the theme music from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.
The 'Wordloaf' Convention is a reference to the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, held every year at the Breadloaf campus of Middlebury College. Several Simpsons writers have attended Middlebury, and other references to the show exist, including one in which criminal Snake Jailbird is identified as a Middlebury alumnus.
In the scene where a drunken Homer (upon arrival at the poetry building after driving between sips of beer) encounters every state police force arriving, the policeman representing Rhode Island is a midget riding a tricycle patterned after police cars with sirens, referring to a common joke about Rhode Island that is in reference to their status as the smallest state in the United States.
This is the second episode where Homer impersonates Moe with a joyous mood. The first was Flaming Moe's.