During the month of November, Black Lawrence Press author Michele Battiste is on board to critique poetry manuscripts; and she is accepting everything from individual poems to full-length manuscripts. The fees and parameters for each of these categories is as follows:
- Individual Poems, up to 2 pages in length, $20
- Folios, up to 7 pages in length, not to include more than 5 poems, $50
- Chapbooks, 16-40 pages in length, $195
- Full-length collections, 45-80 pages in length $325
All manuscripts should be formatted in 12-point font.
The deadline to submit work for this consultation program is November 30. Michele will complete her work and respond to all participants by December 31.
Space in this program is limited, so please be sure to submit your work soon!
Michele's Statement of Purpose
I am compelled by what poems say, but I’m intrigued and mystified by how they say it. I love poetry because of its alchemic properties, its ability to use common language to transform and to conjure, to make language transcend itself. And I am most transported by a poem that has abandoned its relationship with the writer to establish a relationship with its reader.
When working with other poets, my focus is less on what their poems say, more on the actions their poems take. My first responsibility when considering your work is understanding what it wants to achieve and honoring that. In other words, I’ll concentrate on the poem’s intentions (or what I perceive to be its intentions) and what it does to fulfill them. You and I may differ in what we think the poem’s purpose is, and the space between our differences is where we’ll work. That space is what makes the consultation interesting and worthwhile.
I’ll also explore what the poem accomplishes beyond its intentions or the potential directions the poem make be taking, possibly without your awareness. While I’ll do my best to put myself in your shoes as the writer of the poem, I am, first and foremost, the reader. And so I come to your work with – and make use of – dual experiences: analyzing what the poem is doing and my reaction to it.
In my own work, I like to play with documentation, narrative arc, the aural quality of language, and variations on a theme. I may push a sequence further than it should go, and I probably have more poems about “place” that one poet should. In other people’s poems, I enjoy language play, engagement with the external world, a clever volta, and an unapologetic voice that doesn’t claim universality. Poets I read and enjoy range from Gertrude Stein to Albert Goldbarth, and I spend most of my reading time with playful contemporary American poets, though I’m often most moved by poets working with gravid subject matter (Claudia Rankine, Julie Carr).