Poetry Consultations with Isaac Pickell

During the month of January, Black Lawrence Press author Isaac Pickell is on board to critique poetry manuscripts. Isaac is a biracial poet & PhD candidate in Detroit, where he teaches the writing of poetry and the reading of literature. Isaac received his MFA in Poetry from Miami University, where he served as the Poetry Editor of Oxford Magazine, and he is the founding Editor-in-Chief of The Woodward Review. Isaac is the author of everything saved will be last (Black Lawrence Press, 2021) and the forthcoming collection It’s not over once you figure it out (Black Ocean, 2023). You can find his current poetry and nonfiction in Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Passages North, Poetry Daily, and various corners of the internet.

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, $225
  • Full-length manuscripts, up to 80 pages in length, $350

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

Consultations

Poetry Consultations with Isaac Pickell

Click Here to Submit Deadline: January 31 How to submit ›

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 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 you, keeps asking or wondering for days or months after you’ve written it.

When I work with other poets, I try to seek out those whiskers, the smallest details that somehow contend with the whole scope of the world. I often find these moments in the poet’s weirdest little obsessions: the veneer of a childhood table, the family dynamics of orcas, the bite of a nasturtium flower; all those things we can’t put down. 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. I’m also a bit of a grammarian, so despite my love of spatial experiments, I’m still concerned with remembering that even poets are in the business of writing sentences; I love employing 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.

Isaac Pickell

Isaac Pickell is a biracial poet & PhD candidate in Detroit, where he teaches the writing of poetry and the reading of literature. Isaac received his MFA in Poetry from Miami University, where he served as the Poetry Editor of Oxford Magazine, and he is the founding Editor-in-Chief of The Woodward Review. Isaac is the author of everything saved will be last (Black Lawrence Press, 2021) and the forthcoming collection It’s not over once you figure it out (Black Ocean, 2023). You can find his current poetry and nonfiction in Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Passages North, Poetry Daily, and various corners of the internet. Isaac has taken a seat in all fifty states and has so much to look forward to.

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How to Submit

Black Lawrence Press accepts submissions and payment of the entry fee exclusively through our online submission manager, Submittable. We are not able to accept submissions via email or postal mail.

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