“Poet’s Friend was respectful of my voice as a poet; lots of thought given to the feedback, but no punches pulled! The e-mail conversations that are a feature of this mentoring model provide a sounding board throughout the editing and refining process. Very useful.” – Annie Fisher, Fire River Poets
How Poet’s Friend works. 1. You answer a few questions (below) and provide 3 or 4 of your poems for personal, one-to-one comment (privately, by e-mail or post). 2. Tony offers detailed comments/critique/questions, then there will usually be some e-mail dialogue between you. 3. That will lead to your second set of poems (or refining earlier work) and more critique. 4 A final dialogue will close the contractual commitment.
Information you give is in confidence. Poems remain your copyright.
If you have any questions before proceeding, regarding the Poet’s Friend service – or payment method (by cheque, for instance, instead of PayPal) – please do send a note via our Enquiries page. Fee: £60. You may make that payment here, using any major card, via PayPal. (You do NOT need a PayPal account.) Your payment will be acknowledged by PayPal.
Thank you. I’ll be in touch shortly, acknowledging your payment and with my personal e-mail (& postal) address. Meanwhile you could go ahead and draft your answers to the questions and choose poems to send. I look forward to working with you. – Tony French
Please react to the points below in whichever way prompts your own thoughts (some of your answers may be shorter than my questions!) and also helps me understand where you’re coming from and what you hope to achieve.
1. Please name two or three poets and/or specific poems you like – popular or obscure!
2. Please send a poem of your own that particularly pleases you.
3. Please send up to 3 more poems for detailed comment and or discussion. After I have given you feedback (and we’ve corresponded), I’ll invite you to submit up to 3 more. This is a dialogue over time, not a one-off set of instant comments.
4. Have you shared (or published) poems already – with, for example, small groups of poets or writers, readings to other groups or meetings, poetry magazines, non-poetry magazines/newspapers… or posted them online?
5. Who would you most like to read or hear your work (over the next few years)? Children, young people, adults, the general public, other poets? – OK, OK, anyone who cares to listen – but you get the drift – do you have particular audience(s) in mind?
6. Are there any particular subjects you’d like to explore in your writing? Or do you feel you want to explore and understand your own feelings, or to share feelings, or teach (young or adults), or share the fun of language… what is it that appeals to you about poetry and how do want others to react? OK, that could generate an essay, but it’s quite legitimate to say, quite simply, ‘Yes, all that and more!’ if that is the answer.
7. Do you find some aspects of writing especially difficult? If so, is this or another aspect something on which you’d like particular guidance?
8. Methods/the mechanics… Do you write frequently? Do you make notes? Do you let ideas for a poem ‘grow’ over time. Do you research subjects? Do you revise recent and/or old work? Do you use paper and/or PC/laptop/tablet? Again, that could generate an essay, but brief answers will help us both focus.
9. Any other comments or questions.
– Tony French