Ends on

Isaac Pickell is a poet, PhD candidate, editor, and adjunct instructor in Detroit. A Cave Canem Poetry Fellow, Isaac is a graduate of Miami University's Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing. He is the author of two collections of poetry,everything saved will be last (Black Lawrence Press, 2021) andIt’s not over once you figure it out (Black Ocean, 2023), and his most recent work can be found in Brevity, Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, diode poetry journal, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. Isaac’s taken a seat in all fifty states and has so much to look forward to.

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

  • Single poems up to 2 pages in length, $25
  • Folios of up to 5 pomes, up to 7 pages in length $55
  • Chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $275
  • Full-length manuscripts, up to 80 pages in length, $425

All manuscripts should be formatted in 12-point font.The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is July 31. Isaac will complete his work and respond to all participants by August 28. 


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Isaac Pickell's Statement of Purpose

A poem is built from remembering but is less static than memory, designed to keep feeling for itself long after the poet has stopped tinkering with it. I am drawn to poetry both for what it says and for what it does and keeps doing, in and out of our hands. For me, poetry is not just a way to comment on things we already know, but a way to feel things out, a kind of sensory organ like whiskers or fingertips in the dark. And while a poem is never finished, a good poem, the kind that sticks with a reader, keeps feeling for days or months after you’ve written it.

When I work with poets in manuscript consultation, I seek out and showcase those whiskers, like the smallest details that somehow contend with the whole scope of the world. My aim as an editor is to invest in those moments and pick at them, magnify them, or ask them to take up more space on the page. 

That being said, when providing feedback I begin and end with the poet's own intentions, what they are trying to accomplish in the piece, so that I can find and feature the heart of the work. Once I'm there, my suggestions will focus on style (language, sound, tone) and form (line breaks, stanzas, shape). I’m also a bit of a grammarian, so despite my love of spatial experiments, I’m committed to the fact that even poets are in the business of writing sentences—I love helping you employ syntax with intention.

But really, I do all of this because I love editing poetry. I love editing poetry because I love writing poetry and editing poetry is the next best thing, uncovering where a poem might go next, right alongside the poet. Thank you for sharing your work.

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