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Michal ‘MJ’ Jones is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet & parent in Oakland, CA. Their poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Anomaly, Kissing Dynamite, Muzzle Magazine, and TriQuarterly Review.They have a debut full-length poetry collection HOOD VACATIONS from Black Lawrence Press, nominated for the 2024 Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Poetry, and a chapbook, SOFT ARMOR, from Nomadic Press. Often addressing the troubling and haunting aspects of life, violence, and identity, MJ’s work blends the lyrical, documentary, and confessional modes. MJ serves as the Editor-In-Chief of Foglifter Press, a premier journal publishing trans and queer literature. They have received fellowships from Lambda Literary, Hurston/Wright Foundation, VONA/Voices, & Kearny Street Workshop. They received their MFA in Poetry from Mills College, where they received the distinguished Community Engagement Fellowship.

MJ will provide detailed comments on your manuscript as well as a cover letter. After receiving these files, participants who submit chapbooks and full-length manuscripts may also book phone/video conferences with them at no additional charge.

MJ is accepting single poems, folios, chapbooks, and full-length collections for critique. The fees and parameters for each of these categories are as follows:
 

  • Individual Poems, up to 2 pages in length, $25
  • Folios, up to 7 pages in length, not to include more than 5 poems, $55
  • Chapbooks, 16-40 pages in length, $275
  • Full-length collections, 45-80 pages in length $425


All manuscripts should be formatted in 12-point font. The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is April 30. MJ will complete their work and respond to all participants by May 31.


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Michal ‘MJ’ Jones' Statement of Purpose

Poetry represents an opportunity to constantly reinvent; to find new words, arrangements, landscapes, and forms with which to express the age-old. I am drawn in by poems that take and then refill my body’s breath. With softness or boldness, a poem must say something beyond beauty and lyric. It must enact. It must make a declaration. It must lead to revolution. It must shock the reader with its aliveness of witness.

When is a poem done, then? We’re rarely blessed with the final poem in our first draft. Our early versions are often akin to channeling, to birthing; revision, then, is the tender care we take to shape and raise the best of our language to fullness. As an editor and consultant, it is my task to understand why you must write, to understand how important your work is to you, to identify your unique poetic cadence. I will treat it with care and grace.

To share these tender beings we call poems with others is an act of bravery, and I am grateful to read them. I can’t wait to enter the world through your words.

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