This workshop will approach poems as complete, “finished” pieces ready to be sent out into the world. As this is an advanced class, we will look at poems you’ve already written and taken through several drafts (and possibly workshopped before) with these questions in mind: Are structural elements like the phrasing, the line breaks and the use of voice and persona the strongest they can be? Does the poem need more work or is it ready to go? How do you make a poem “publishable” while not changing your vision simply to suit a journal’s aesthetic? Which poems should you send to which journals? How many poems should you send? In what order? We will read poetry being published right now and from the past, to determine how style and voice can both seem timeless but also vary depending on a journal’s aesthetic. As a publisher and editor, I will supply you with practical resources, such as a detailed list of publishers and editors to send work to, and craft guides to help you edit your poems for publication and manuscript collections. I will also guide you on how to write queries and cover letters, and the best strategies for submitting your work. Our goal for the end of the workshop will be for every student to have at least one folio of five poems ready to send out for publication.
Joanna C. Valente is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (ELJ Editions, 2016) and Xenos (Agape Editions, 2017). She is also the editor of A Shadow Map: An Anthology by Survivors of Sexual Assault (CCM, 2017). Some of her work appears or is forthcoming in the Huffington Post, Columbia Journal, Similar Peaks, Paris-American, BORT Quarterly and Tinderbox, among other places. She earned her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College and in 2011 received the American Society of Poets Prize. She is the founder of Yes, Poetry and a managing editor for Luna Luna and CCM. She lives in Sunset Park.