Mentoring and Manuscript Reviews or 860-490-1991 (cell)

Jeffrey Levine, Artistic Director and Publisher of Tupelo Press, and a poet, educator and mentor of international renown, offers manuscript reviews and mentoring tailored to poets who are devoted to elevating their manuscript to a level that will appeal to publishers, and/or are looking for intensive feedback and editorial comments of the sort intended to make a dramatic difference in the poet’s work and writing life.

Plan A.

In response to your submitted full-length manuscript (maximum 62 pages) you will receive:

  • 3-5 pages of written response to the manuscript as a whole in the form of a detailed letter, with analysis and recommendations for revision;
  • Detailed comments and line-by-line editing of every poem;
  • Further comments on – and editing of ten pages of revisions;
  • Suggestions about ordering your manuscript, and about where to submit it;
  • A one-hour conversation–by phone, Zoom, or in person–about your poems, the creative process, the publishing world, and suggestions about when, where, and how to submit the revised manuscript.
  • The fee is $1,200.

Plan B.

For poets who desire an even more intensive manuscript review experience, 

in response to your submitted full-length manuscript (maximum 62 pages) you will receive all outlined above, plus:

  • Further comments on – and editing – a full set of revisions;
  • Two one-hour conversations–by phone, Zoom, or in person–about your poems, the creative process, the publishing world, and suggestions about when, where, and how to submit the revised manuscript.
  • The fee is $1,500.

Plan C.

For a low-residence-type MFA Packet Exchange Program, here’s how it works:

We enter into a relationship similar to the method used in MFA programs, where an apprentice (or experienced) poet sends a series of packets of poems to a mentor for both specific and general comments designed to guide the apprentice toward the fullest expression of his or her poetic gifts.


  1. You send (by email attachment) an initial packet of 6 poems.
  2. You receive back (usually within one week of receipt) a detailed response to each of those poems with in-depth comments, critique, editorial suggestions, etc., along with suggestions for reading—other “shadow” poets and essential essays on craft.
  3. Then, when you’re ready you send packets #2 – 6, each one consisting of revisions of poems in the previous packet, plus 5 or 6 additional poems. Some poets like to take a couple of weeks between exchanges to work on revisions and new poems, others prefer to take several weeks, or more. You set the tempo for exchanges, though it’s useful to establish a schedule before hand and to attempt to stick to that schedule.
  4. By the final packet, then, you will have received comments on about a full manuscript worth of work, counting both “originals” and revisions.
  5. During this process, you are entitled to two Zoom or telephone conversations.
  6. If you find it useful working this way, then if and when you’re ready, you can sign up for another 6 packets (and so on).
  7. The cost is $2,000 for each such series of packet exchanges.

Whichever plan is selected, we will agree to use our best efforts at all times to communicate how each may best facilitate this Agreement, in the spirit of cooperation and joint artistic endeavor.

Jeffrey Levine is the author of three books of poetry: At The Kinnegad Home for the Bewildered, 2018, Salmon Press, Rumor of Cortez, nominated for a 2006 Los Angeles Times Literary Award in Poetry, and Mortal, Everlasting, which won the 2002 Transcontinental Poetry Prize. His many poetry prizes include the Larry Levis Prize from the Missouri Review, the James Hearst Poetry Prize from North American Review, the Mississippi Review Poetry Prize, the Ekphrasis Poetry Prize, and the American Literary Review poetry prize. A graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, Levine is founder, Artistic Director and Publisher of Tupelo Press, and award-winning independent literary press located in the historic NORAD Mill in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts. In addition, he served for years on the core faculty of the Colrain Manuscript Conferences, and since then, he founded and continues to direct Tupelo Press Seminars, which offers offers 10-12 poetry conferences per year.

Praise for Jeffrey Levine’s mentoring & manuscript reviews:

It was a pleasure to listen to your forensic dissection and reconstruction of the poems–sheer wizardry. Such insight, such generosity, and such a deep understanding of the aura of fine verse and how to bring it about, how to make it radiate. Stunning. (Edison Jennings)

Jeffrey Levine’s mentoring was fine-tuned to accentuate my writing strengths and to challenge me to improve my writing weaknesses.  The focused attention to my work, the encouragement to demand more of me and of my craft, and the sensitivity he brought to my poems enabled me to bring out the best in my work.  His advice also contained insights and strategies that will continue strengthening my writing in the future.  His comments always paired a strongly clinical eye with a humane voice.  I felt challenged, encouraged, and inspired by his feedback.  He responded to my poems with a hope for and belief in the possibility of poetry.  Due to his mentoring, I was able to strengthen and reorganize my manuscript, which was recently accepted for publication.  (Irena Praitis)

Jeffrey is one of the best readers I’ve ever met. Just watching him move through the manuscript—jumping to the middle, skipping a few poems, looking at the table of contents again, then going back to the beginning—was educational. In addition, though, he really cut through the shortcomings of some of my poems in ways that were incisive, honest, and truly brilliant. It taught me that just because a poem is published in a journal doesn’t necessarily mean that it should take the same shape in the book. (Joanne Diaz)

For a little over a year Jeffrey Levine mentored me through the revision of two collections. The experience was as profitable and rewarding as participating in an esteemed masters program, if not more so. The attention Jeffrey paid to detail, and to helping me extract the very best, most animated work from me, gave me a power I did not know I possessed. Because of Jeffrey’s one-on-one coaching, I am writing stronger work than ever. I am deeply grateful for his insights, his patience for, and support of me.  (Susan Sonde)

A phrase like life-altering you would doubtless dismiss with an eye-roll or scratch with a red pen, but it felt that way anyway. I came home like a soldier back from war, shell-shocked, bloodied, to no one who could really hear it. so much for re-entry.  After sleeping 12 hours straight I’ve been writing all day…all new. Feel like I could go on this way through the night. Anyhow: This is a brilliant service. Worth its weight in words. (Kim Triedman)

Helpful is not the word. Revolutionary, perhaps? Jeffrey Levine was brutally honest, sharing his intense intellect, his pursuit of perfection, his high standards, and his keen skill. I loved every moment of the session, especially when he “edited” my poems on the spot, sharing his views and feelings very openly. What a treat! (Gunilla Kester)

Finally, and perhaps most important of all, I felt a tremendous sense of permission from his response to my poems.(Sawnie Morris)

But what’s extraordinary is that mind of his, he reads so closely, understanding, plummeting through a poem in seconds and, at the same time, he’s intuiting still more. (He’s like a diver turning over a rock, pausing a moment, next thing you know, he’s intuited the shape of the seascape, its beauties and faults.) He was enormously helpful to me, though it took days, weeks, to sort it all out. The process is humbling, exhilarating, terrifying. I am grateful for every note I took, for as I re-read his exact words I found there was more there then I was able to take in at once. The encouraging things, and one line in particular, I will carry with me all my days. The challenges, well, they have kept me at the ms. revising, rereading, re-seeing with his voice in my ear. (Catherine Staples)

I learned valuable, actionable techniques to enhance my poems. Your ability to not just understand but articulate and more- demonstrate! right before our eyes where we can strengthen our work is like a Vegas magic act, only without the smaltz. I consider you one my great teachers.  (Michael Mark)

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