During the month of January, Black Lawrence Press authors Amelia Martens, Brandi George, and David Rigsbee are on board to critique poetry manuscripts; and they are accepting everything from single poems to full-length manuscripts. The fees and parameters for each of these categories is as follows:
- Single poems, up to 2 pages in length, $10
- Folios of up to 5 poems, not to exceed 7 pages in length, $30
- Chapbooks, up to 40 pages in length, $150
- Full-length collections, up to 80 pages in length, $250
All manuscripts should be formatted in 12-point font.
The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is January 31. The consultants will complete their work and respond to all participants by February 28.
Space in this program is limited, so please be sure to submit your work soon!
Amelia's Statement of Purpose
In poetry (and life) I am interested in the relationships between form and function. I will read your work and ask how form and function blend, what each lends, or what the created frictions promote regarding the goals of the poem. Are your choices serving each other as well as they might? I’m also curious about the poem’s method of approach—on what does it depend—image, sound, syntax, line, voice—and whether this keystone is well formed. I want to know if the poem is doing what it emphasizes well. If the poem provides a decoder ring, does it work consistently with this code?
In my own work, and in much of what I read, sound-play continues to be significant. I will read your poems aloud to better understand the unit of rhythm (line, stanza, sentence, white space) utilized. Diction choices and attention to connotative meaning will also be examined—are you getting the most out of each word in terms of emotional impact, potential meaning, and precise image? Is the world of the poem well developed by whatever means you have put to the task? Is the voice authentic to itself and coherent (or if not, is that intentional)? Of importance too—is there a space for the reader in the poem? I often fear being too clear and find out frequently the opposite is taking place in my poems. I am interested in the reader’s access into psychological space, and into the partnership of meaning-making. Does the poem open to, or fight, the reader? For what purpose?
In my recent work what I’m calling the “little world” and the “big world” tend to both be present; I am concerned with how the personal can be universal and how the universal can be personally significant. Thinking about the interactions of poems when put together, I like to use the analogy of paint colors; hues change depending on surrounding color context. A poem’s reading also depends upon what comes before and after it in the sequence. I want the most out of each poem, so I will also focus on the relationships created, or potentially created, by the architecture of the manuscript. What information must the reader have first? What voices, worlds, keys, are offered in the opening poems? Is the reader taught how to read—taught the superstructures of the realm in the first few poems? Likewise, does the manuscript end or drain out? I will look for intent and how to facilitate what I perceive as your intentions for these poems. I read widely across genres (fiction, memoir, essay, news bites, children’s books, graphic novels, and poetry), but lately have focused more on voices less frequently included in popular anthologies—who else is out there and what are they doing? I want to know.