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From the first line

Client 1
Client 7


I’ve been working with this client on a wide range of projects during my time as a professional Editorial Illustrator. From our first conversations to the initial sketches and all the way to the final poetry book in full, working with you is an honor. I look at the form of each poem independently with stanzas, line break, concrete shape, white space, rhythm, end line word choice, title, and so on. Then I look at the poems in groups or units and the narrative art or collection as a whole.


Each poem has it's own voice that could be the author in any point of time or place, real or imagined or any person, place or object in the history to the future real or imagined.  That voice must be clear and tell the reader who they are. Poems can be a long game of charades sometimes as long as the reader is the winner, mystery can be a good element. Voice involves the metaphors and similes the word choice, the energizing verbs by theme, the type of punctuation chosen for each poem and throughout, capitalization, pronouns, and the magic of surrealism, imagery, and energy.

Client 8


The last thing I look for in poetry is the most important. Does the poem open up, the reader's awareness, imagination or compassion? Does the poem use poetic tools to leave the world of prose behind and do more with less? This is where not only magical realism might enter in, fantasy, wordplay, but also alliteration, homonyms, texture, assonance, personification, association, allusion, hyperbole, or repetition. Is the poem, a poem? Does the book include art or photographs or some way to reach out with back matter, biography, special symbols words or content pages?

As a poetry editor, my job is to find the heart arc of your poetry collection, the themes, look at each poem individually, and as a group.

I tend to look for the central poem that shows the heart of your book, the knock-at-the-door-poem that shows what your book is about; its scope, and then I look for the emotional ebb and flow of the poems for a narrative arc, theme, or readers experience. 


Artists talk about drawing, about the emotion of the line, the gesture, rendering-- poetry has that too!

Every poem has its own voice, form, and a journey in texture, emotion, rhythm. It's the editor's job to draw that out and help the poet find apertures to widen, or placement to truly highlight the experience of poems when they come from a single author rather than in an anthology. To me, a poetry book is a great way to tell your story or share what's importnat to you.  People say a picture is worth 1000 words but I say a poem is worth 100 pictures. People say that a windmill will provide enough energy to light so many homes. I say poetry has enough energy to light a1000 homes. It's a catalyst for understanding, creative and health. Let's make more. 


An editor's job is to help you define your goals. Some of my students and private clients have been very ambitious about poetry “careers,” while others have simply wanted to capture their life experiences in language for their friends and family. It’s my goal as a mentor to help you find the path that's right for you.

How to get started?

Find out more about hiring me as your developmental poetry editor for a  single poem, a chapbook (10 to 20 poems), or a full collection (40 to 50 poems). 


How to get started.

Fill out the form below tell me about yourself. What are some of your goals? Your poetry editing experience will involve one introductory consultation by phone or online zoom meeting, your poem(s) returned with an editorial letter, your edited manuscript with editorial notes, an editorial meeting by phone or online, and a final session if needed. Whether you are a beginner or have written poetry for decades, I'll provide experienced editorial guidance to help provide the best reader experience as well as help you meet your goals for your work. Starting at $175

Writing by the Water
Poetry Inquiry

Thanks for submitting!


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"Thank you so much for your kind words and your vote of confidence in my work." T.A.

"Thank you, Polly! Wow! ...everything creative and the ability to help artist grow. You certainly did a great job getting things together" O.G.

"Thank you for taking the time to look at it. I appreciate the feedback, it's always constructive to hear how a piece reads to another eye." 

Austin G.

"I used to read other authors’ works,/ Now my work can be read by other authors

 Because your belief in me proved more than tangible." T.L.