Submit a small group of poems, and I will give thorough feedback from larger stylistic concerns to the music of the line to the finer work of edits. I will also including writing activities and recommended reading.
I offer affordable, indepth poetry critique. I am available to meet in person (if you are local in Southern California), or by distance with follow up phone or Skype discussion.
Chapbook: 20-25 page project
We'll work with a progression of poems that could stand on its own or as the section of a larger manuscript. Feedback will focus on theme, order, editing, and areas to grow from and beyond this work.
Full Manuscript: 48-64 pages
Have you been working with a poetry manuscript and you're not sure how it's cohering? I will help guide your strengths and work with you to shape and hone your manuscript in progress. I will help you see ways the larger collection may be losing momentum and falling into repetitive patterns, or may not be progressing in the most effective way. I will also address the manuscript at the micro-level of line editing. Many poets who have worked with me on full manuscript reviews have received publication offers and/or become finalists in contests, and have felt their manuscripts on the whole were more polished, more dynamic, and more ready for publication.
For more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Jennifer Sweeney has a rare gift for illuminating where a poem, a manuscript, is trying to go and helping it get there with empathy and insight. She responded thoroughly and honestly to my questions, and I found myself saying 'of course, of course!' to her feedback. I appreciate her mentorship as much as I admire her writing."
"Jennifer Sweeney has been looking at my poems for more than ten years and really is one of the best critiquers I've ever known--exceedingly insightful, diligent, gentle while yet leading you toward the truth."
"Jennifer Sweeney is a great poet, one of her generation’s best. I tell my students all the time that in order to be a great poet, one must be a great reader. Sweeney is simply the best reader I’ve ever met. Upon reading my first book manuscript in 2009, Sweeney saw a subdued structure for the collection that I’d never considered. It made such sense! It was a brilliant discovery but a simple one, one born out of intuition, extreme intelligence, and a selfless desire to help me see the best direction for the work already completed. It’s this ability to see the best structure for one’s best work that makes Sweeney a genius. The very next press that read that manuscript, Dream Horse Press, selected it as the winner of their 2009 Orphic Prize. Without Sweeney’s keen eyes, heart, and mind, I’m not sure the book would have ever found its best form. I’ve recently shown Sweeney my new manuscript, and her rich questions, her unparalleled attention to each and every poem, and her deep, close reading has helped me see the holes—and the wholes—of poems I thought I knew better than anyone else possibly could. I’m proud to call Sweeney one of my first readers, and I can’t imagine anyone else having the impact on my work that she has."