On Making the Poetry Manuscript: The Booklet

Posted on December 4, 2017


I admit that this new post is a bit of a teaser, but to the finest purpose.

As many of you know, my blog posts on making the poetry manuscript have been rather popular. Going by the statistics that WordPress gives me, they’ve been visited about 6,000 times. What matters, matters. So, I’ve been busy revising and updating those posts into a booklet, and also, adding in new sections that emphasize and unpack the mysteries of sequencing.  I’m speaking here of ideas and methods that I and Kristina Marie Darling (Associate Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Press) have been putting into  practice when we offer Manuscript Review Conferences (as done recently in NYC, and coming to Portand, OR).


On offer in the new book are useful methods for creating a narrative arc, for creating tension, for allowing formal shifts to achieve the status of content, and for mining the manuscript thoughtfully and thoroughly for more of “what’s found there.”  In addition, the booklet On Making The Poetry Manuscript (yes, printed and artfully presented on paper), will feature a piece on finding, understanding, and developing more fully and mindfully the “shadow stories” that follow (shadow) you, from poem-to-poem.


On Making The Poetry Manuscript: The Booklet will be available eventually to anyone who wants one, but the first to be published will go to poets or friends of poets who donate to the cause of our so very important, upcoming anthology of Native Writing, which offers extraordinary poems and essays on craft by approximately 30 contemporary Indigenous poets. This will be the first anthology of Native American writing in 30 years, and frankly, I can’t think of anything we’ve done at Tupelo Press that’s more important. Read more about the project here.

So, we’re running a Kickstarter, and we’re within striking distance of our goal. Join our generous backers and help us to get this necessary and stunning anthology done, and out into the world.  And for a $60 donation, claim your copy of On Making The Poetry Manuscript. 

Kristina Marie Darling blogged for a week at the Best American site about this Native Writing project. Here are links to some extraordinary discussions with anthology contributors and editors.  You can find those posts here:

Educators Roundtable:  Dean Rader & CMarie Fuhrman
Poet Spotlight:  Karenne Wood
Poet Spotlight:  Ishmael Hope
Poet Spotlight:  Michael Wasson
Poet Spotlight:  Ernestine Hayes
Poet Spotlight:  Deborah Miranda
Poet Spotlight: Sammie Bordeaux-Seeger




Posted in: Poetry