Ends on

During the month of June, Black Lawrence Press author Callista Buchen is on board to critique poetry manuscripts. Callista Buchen is the author of the full-length collection Look Look Look (Black Lawrence Press, 2019), and the chapbooks The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press, 2015) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press, 2016). Her work has appeared in Jet Fuel ReviewHarpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, and many other journals. She is the winner of DIAGRAM's essay contest, an Indy Arts Council Creative Renewal Fellowship, and the C.D Wright conference's Emerging Writer award, and is the founder of the Carlson-Stauffer Reading Series at Franklin College. A longtime editor and teacher, she lives in the Midwest with her family.

Callista is accepting everything from individual poems to full-length collections. The fees and parameters for each of these categories are as follows:

  •    Single poems, up to 2 pages in length, $25
  •    Folios of up to 5 poems, not to exceed 7 pages in length, $55
  •    Chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $225
  •    Full-length collections, up to 80 pages in length, $350

All manuscripts should be formatted in 12-point font. The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is June 30. Callista will complete her work and respond to all participants by July 31.  

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Callista's Statement of Purpose


I love poems for their verve, their passion, for their commitment to see the world as it is and turn us toward a better one. I’m most excited by a poem that knows exactly what it is and what it is doing, and knows, in each word, image, punctuation mark, its particular and necessary project, aiming toward its specific end. That is, I love a poem that becomes everything it promises, and in doing so, opens for its readers.

In Six Memos for a New Millennium, Italo Calvino writes of our objective as writers, describing ideal writing as that in which “language becomes what it really ought to be.” My goal is to help you discover this in your own writing, to find out what your work demands.

After all, poems, even when they are quiet, have so much to say. I feel about poems the way I imagine birders feel about birdwatching, of knowing the magic of being able to recognize a miracle that is somehow singing right in front of you. And, all parts of the process can be this compelling—even in early drafts, poems provide a map toward what they need and how to create it.

As your consultant, my job is to listen thoughtfully to your poems, to explore their layers and the map they may be presenting. We’ll consider what the poems already seem to be saying about what they “really ought to be,” and what options they seem to suggest for getting there. With deep respect for your work, I’ll respond in detail as a reader, sharing my reactions, ideas, and questions, all toward offering an analysis that facilitates whatever your goals might be. I’m delighted to have the chance to read and think about your work.

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