Poetry Editor


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.


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?


From the first line

As a poetry editor, my job is to find the overall arc of your poetry collection, the themes, and yet also look at each poem individually. 

Every poem has its own voice, form, and a journey in texture, emotion, rhythm. I have worked with poets one on one and in groups. 

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

I’m an encouraging editor who builds you up and helps you find more inspiration.

I will also help you find gaps where the reader may have more questions.

When you contact me, please tell me about yourself. What kind of critique has helped you in the past, and what are some of your goals for the work that you are sending me. Your poetry editing experience will involve one introductory consultation by phone or online zoom meeting, 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 an experience editorial guidance to help provide the best reader experience as well as help you meet your goals for your work. For 50 medium to short length poems, I estimate about 16 hours of editing and your consultations will be included at no cost. 

To hire me for a full or half manuscript. simply click on the payment button below and email me your work to set up our first meeting. To get one poem edited at no cost--to see if our editor/ author styles are a match--email me one poem at pollyamccann@gmail.com with the subject "poetry editing consult." 



Stack of Magazines


"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.

$10 per month!

Studio Address by appointment

1313 Atlantic St
North Kansas City, MO  64116. USA

(816) 507-4193

©2021 by Polly Alice McCann

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