Mentoring & Editing

“We are making birds, not birdcages.”

—Dean Young, The Art of Recklessness

As a teacher, I lead small-group workshops for poets seeking community and critique.

As an editor, I work with individual writers, helping edit and shape manuscripts and individual poems. The goal is to help each poem become what it wants to be—which might mean anything from a close focus on individual lines to a wide-ranging conversation about contexts and influences.

What my students and clients say:

“Lisa has edited my poems for the past ten years. Without exception, I have found her to be a thorough and thoughtful editor of my work. Her critique can include anything from suggestions to push the poem in a new direction to questions about form, word choice, or grammar. Often she’ll suggest other poets to read or meditations on her own process as a poet. I have come to trust Lisa’s sensibility so much that I never send anything out without having her look it over first.”

—Greg Mahrer, author of A Provisional Map of the Lost Continent

“Lisa’s editorial eye goes to the core of a poem. She’s highly intuitive, sensitive to each poem’s potential for depth and power. She’s very generous with her extensive knowledge of poetry and poetry resources. Lisa has led me to understand my manuscript in new ways, and also helped me with individual poems—seeing where they might be stuck and suggesting ways to free them. I recommend her highly.”

—Athena Kashyap, author of Crossing Black Waters

“Working with Lisa is a total pleasure. She is insightful, thorough, respectful, and clear, with a finely tuned ear for the rhythm of a poem and a great facility with all things grammatical. I was impressed with the way she worked to make each poem better in a way that was entirely in line with my intentions for that piece. In short, Lisa heard what I needed, and delivered everything I’d hoped for and then some. It is wonderful to feel that my manuscript has been read so carefully and edited so well.”

—Marcia Pelletiere, author of Miracle with Roasted Hens

“Lisa was warm and supportive but also straightforward about weaknesses. To this day I look at some of the poems in my book and remember an edit Lisa suggested. Her edits were the opposite of clipping the poem’s wings. They were trimmings that really helped those birds to fly.”

—Phyllis Meshulam, author of Land of My Father’s War

“Lisa combines the love of a reader and the passion of an artist in her poetry editing. Her breadth of knowledge and eye for detail bring a wealth of editing skill and poetic art to her feedback—an invaluable combination.”

—Lisa Alden

“She holds my hand when it’s needed. She tells me why something works or doesn’t. She guides, she nudges, she listens, she informs, and she encourages me to press on. Working with Lisa gives me the sense that not only can I take off on my first solo flight, but I’ll be able to land the damned thing.”

—Carlin Jardine

Please contact me if you’d like to discuss working together.