Mentoring Details

I believe my job as a mentor is to help you meet your own goals. I don’t have a set curriculum. Nor do I have a rubric for what makes good poetry*. I will suggest books/readings/prompts based on your interests, and I will provide links and/or photocopies of relevant theory I think you’ll find relevant.

*My personal biases are toward narrative and Imagist poetry. Some of my favorite poets are Elizabeth Bishop, Helge Torvund, and Patricia Fargnoli. I have a growing interest in eco-poetics and poetry-of-place. I am also working consciously to expand my personal cannon to include voices that have been/are marginalized. My Ph.D. work focused on (Eastern) formal poetry and found texts.

While I do like to discuss craft elements like line-breaks and diction, I promise never to rewrite your work!

In my experience with work-in-progress workshops and seminars, nothing upset me more than “group work” re-writes, or being edited to suit someone else’s voice. I believe poems are personal by definition.

I may suggest changing a word or a phrase for a specific reason – but I won’t change it for you, and will try to avoid providing specific alternatives. 

I also believe a big part of mentoring is making sure you see your own strengths! 


My suggestion for a basic structure for mentoring is similar to a graduate program term:

Time Frame: max. 4 months unless otherwise agreed-upon

Structure: After an initial letter of introduction and purpose or a zoom meeting, we would exchange 4 packets of work – Each packet consisting of a single page of questions you would like me to help you research – and up to 10 pages of poetry. I would ask for a maximum of 2 weeks for me to respond to each packet. It’s also possible to arrange a Zoom meeting following each pocket: to clarify my feedback and to allow for more discussion.

Compensation: My suggestion for the “fee” for the 4-packet commitment (including zoom meetings) would be 4 poetry books  – 3 coming from my Amazon wish-list (please do consider sending them via Powell’s or independent booksellers if you can afford to do so), and 1 book that you choose for me.

And 150 USD sent via paypal. (Your total cost shouldn’t exceed 250 USD.)

I understand that may seem like an odd way to request payment – but it has to do with the currency exchange which would make mentoring unreasonably expensive. This arrangement also reminds me why I am doing this.

Let me know if you have any questions. 
I’m looking forward to hearing from you! 

Warmly, Ren