How to Put Together a Poetry Manuscript

Lynn Pedersen

Putting together a poetry manuscript can be a challenge because there are so many options. Jeffrey Levine, Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Press, has written an extensive list of 27 tips for creating a manuscript, and these apply to both chapbooks and full-length collections. He asserts that there is an art to making a manuscript. I’ll link to his full article and post just a few of his tips here. I’m in the process of creating a full-length manuscript having published one other collection. What surprised me the most is his assertion that you should put what speaks to you in the book, and pay no attention to which poems have been published (and where), and which poems not.

3)    When ordering poems in your manuscript, pay no attention to which poems have been published (and where), and which poems not.

5)    Make sure the poems that begin your collection establish the…

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