poetry manuscript consultations

Dear poet: Looking for close reading and thoughtful feedback from a published poet and experienced teacher? I’m offering a limited number of poetry manuscript reviews over the next few months, and I want to read your work. (Learn more about me; my book; my teaching experience.)

All manuscript reviews will include detailed comments and line-edits on each individual poem, plus a written response that considers the manuscript as a whole, with recommendations for revision, feedback on titles, reading suggestions, and strategies for ordering your manuscript.

Each manuscript review includes the following:

Packet of 10 pages of poems: $100

  • notes and line-edits on each individual poem
  • written letter (1-2 page, single-spaced) in response to the overall manuscript

Chapbook of 20-25 pages: $200-$250 ($10 per page of poems)

  • notes and line-edits on each individual poem
  • written letter (2-3 pages, single-spaced) in response to the entire manuscript

Book manuscript of 50-60 pages: $500-$600 ($10 per page of poems)

  • notes and line-edits on each individual poem
  • written letter (3-5 pages, single-spaced) in response to the overall manuscript

You can also add a Facetime, Google Hangout, or a regular old phone call, depending on your preference, to be scheduled at a mutually convenient time.

I’ll approach your manuscript not as a broken thing in need of fixing, but rather, as an exciting, evolving, in-progress thing worthy of attentive guidance. My suggestions for revision aim to honor your own approaches, experiments, and evident goals, and are not advice on how to transform your manuscript to better suit my personal preferences.

To get started

  1. Send me an e-mail to oliver dot bendorf at gmail dot com and attach your manuscript as a Word document.
  2. I will write you back and confirm a rate, then send you an invoice through Paypal, which you can pay online.

If you’ve also paid for a Skype session, please coordinate with me by email to schedule it.

(Go here to learn more about me; my book; my teaching experience.)

Creativity is not a luxury: help fund scholarships for How to Make It Winter 2017

I’m opening eight free spots in How To Make It Winter 2017, my online 8-week creativity workshop, to transgender, POC, Muslim, immigrant, and disabled writers and artists. It’s a tight-knit community devoted to keeping creative practice alive in hard times. This session will run January 8 – March 5, 2017.

Can you help? As a working trans artist myself, I’m asking for help from those with resources, to help me nurture and sustain vital creativity and imagination from the margins at this dark time. Even if you’re not an artist or writer yourself, we all will benefit from insisting that creativity is not a luxury, especially now. My goal is to raise $2560 which will cover the costs entirely for all eight participants. I will update here daily with fundraising progress. Click on the button below to name your own amount and contribute securely to our fund. Thank you, thank you.

Donate Button

We’ve raised: $375! (Updated Nov 30, 11:00AM EST)

“I can’t afford any expensive institutional education at the moment but the opportunity to be in a workshop with other people similar to me sounds like an unbelievable and, to me, unprecedented opportunity.”

“This workshop will be crucial to helping me build the skills I need for creative & artistic healing…”

Are you a trans/POC/Muslim/immigrant/disabled artist/writer interested in the workshop and in need of financial assistance? Please let me know through this quick form and I will be in touch by email when I have a spot available for you, in the order that responses are received. In the meantime- hang in there and know that you are not alone.

about the workshop | about me

Don’t you already offer pay-what-you-can and pay-as-you-go options for participants? I do, on an individual basis; it’s really difficult for me to absorb the cost. This scholarship fund is my way of making even more explicit this investment in the imaginations of folks on the margins right now, and is an open invitation for others to join me in making this possible.

How To Make It Winter 2017: 8-week online creativity workshop with Oliver Baez Bendorf

an online workshop with Oliver Baez Bendorf

How To Make It: Nurturing Your Creative Practice

January 8 – March 5, 2017 (8 weeks)

*spots remaining*

What are we without our creativity? I know from experience that when I don’t pay attention to my creative practice, I’m sad, bored, and generally in sorry shape. I’ve been honing an approach that I can’t wait to share with you. It’s about keeping our creative spirits alive in hard times. Get started down the right path with this eight week online workshop all about nurturing your creative practice. Wherever you are in that practice right now, this workshop is for you. Participants will learn, share, experiment, create, and reflect, while benefiting from a supportive cohort of fellow creative practitioners. Includes weekly multimedia lectures from Oliver Baez Bendorf, prompts to get you exercising your creativity and moving toward your goals, access to an online library of resources, and an interactive virtual space for you to share your progress and get feedback from your fellow practitioners and from Oliver. It’s a safe, inspiring, encouraging, playful way to dropkick your barriers and move forward into the creative life you’re meant to live, alongside a community of likeminded spirits. No specific experience is required, only a longing to feel more in touch with your creative self and a willingness (however skeptical) to do something about it. And an internet connection.

What we will cover:

  • Getting to know the ghosts that haunt our creativity
  • Tips and tricks for getting out of our own way
  • Experiments in the creativity of daily life
  • Approaches to a sustainable creative practice with creative constraints of time, attention
  • Working with a variety of everyday supplies and materials
  • Writing and drawing
  • Alternative models for circulation and distribution

Registration: $320. Workshop size is limited, so I recommend not waiting until the last minute.

Pay in full now: Buy Now Button

Hold your spot with a $100 deposit (I’ll invoice you for the balance): Buy Now Button

FAQs:

What are my options for payment? You can pay in full now, or hold your spot with a non-refundable $100 deposit and pay the rest anytime before the workshop starts. Your workplace professional development funds may cover cover registration; if you need a formal invoice for your records, let me know. If the full registration cost is not possible for you, drop me a line; I sometimes have pay-as-you-go or pay-what-you-can options available.

Do participants all need to be online together at the same time? No, you can log on whenever you want, at any time of day or night.

I’m a (poet/memoirist/aspiring cartoonist/zinester/etc.), is this for me? Absolutely; the workshop is cross-genre and all the richer for it. No matter your preferred medium/genre/utensil, you are welcome here.

How much time do I need to commit per week? The workshop runs on a weekly cycle and many participants have busy schedules. If all you can do is drop in weekly for 1-2 hours, you’ll be just fine. If you want to really dig deep, you could conceivably spend an hour a day working on your experiment and exploring the materials and resources. Either way is perfectly OK.

About the instructor: Oliver Baez Bendorf is a poet, cartoonist, librarian, and teaching artist, who has helped people of all ages and skill levels to move their creative writing, cartooning, and visual thinking forward. His book of poems, The Spectral Wilderness, won the Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize and was named a “Spectacular Book of 2015” by Split This Rock, and his poetry, comics, and poetry-comics have been published in The Adirondack Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Feminist Wire, Indiana Review, The Rumpus, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in Poetry and an MA in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he apprenticed with writer and cartoonist Lynda Barry and helped lead Drawing Jams at Barry’s Image Lab. He has recently taught workshops at Mount Holyoke College, 826DC, the Queens Center for Gay Seniors, Rare Book School, and the Allied Media Conference. He lives in Washington, D.C., where he cofounded the Mount Pleasant Poetry Project.

A creative practice makes life better- and yet so many of us struggle to keep it going on our own, when everything from chores to capitalism work against it. For the last several years, I have been recalibrating my own creative practice and developing workshops to help others do the same. I have come to believe that nurturing our creative practice is one of the hardest and most important tasks that we as humans can commit to, and one of the most powerful ways to feel okay in a world full of destruction. I’ve been honing a theory and practice that I can’t wait to share with you. It’s about the power of a creative practice in nurturing ourselves, engaging our communities, and sustaining our dreams for social change. I believe that everyone is creative and that by identifying the ways our creativity has been drilled out of us, we can embark on the life-altering process of recovering and nurturing our own creativity.

From the instructor: I’m invested in the imaginations of folks on the margins. This online workshop is a harassment-free space for all participants, regardless of race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, religion, or ‘creative ability’. Harassment of fellow participants will not be tolerated in any form. Anyone who violates this will be notified and may be removed from the workshop, and a refund will not be available. This workshop encourages and prioritizes marginalized people’s safety and participation.  (Adapted from Geek Feminism Wiki Code of Conduct)

Registration open now: Chiropractic Poetics, Jan. 8 – March 5, 2017, online

Registration open now: Chiropractic Poetics, an online workshop running 8 January – 5 March, 2017. (Coming to AWP? All good- we can work around it.)

Does your poetic practice feel creaky and out of alignment? Are you bored with what you’re writing? Bring your bones, a.k.a. poems, to this workshop to adjust them into a looser way of being. Consider it bodywork for your poems- the ones that feel stiff and pinched in a same old kind of way. We’ll work through a series of adjustments, one a week, to open them up and make the tension work for you. You’ll be surprised by what you find. You’ll gain a more intimate understanding of ways to move around inside your drafts and how to open them up on your own. We will read poems, too, and you will get feedback from me on everything you share.

Registration: $275. Save your spot now with an $80 deposit (non-refundable; applied toward your registration) or register in full if you’re ready. Registration is rolling, but my workshops tend to fill up quickly and I recommend not waiting until the last minute. I’ll update again here once the workshop is at capacity.

Want to help others access this workshop? Donate to a scholarship fund here.

To inquire about scholarship availability, get in touch with me here.

Are you a chiropractor? No, I’m a poet and an experienced writing teacher who got interested in the ways that my poetic practice has sometimes felt stuck in the way that my body has, and began to hone a series of techniques that- similar to how chiropractors treat the body through hands-on adjustments- focus on opening up the structure of a poem, and moving the pieces past their normal range of movement, to stimulate nerve endings and electrify our belief in poetry again. It’s about writing a poem that surprises you, that moves you because of the ways you’ve allowed the poem to move.

What do I need? An internet connection, some poems, scissors, tape or a glue stick, and optionally a cell phone camera so you can upload pictures to our space.

Will we write new poems or just revise them? Some of both. If you have a stack of poems you want to revise, you’ll find the adjustments quite helpful- but you can also use each week as an opportunity to draft a new poem and adjust it right away.

Do participants all need to be online together at the same time? No, you can log on whenever you want, at any time of day or night. While the same group of participants will work through the same prompts and materials together over the eight weeks, and discuss together, you can do so asynchronously.

Please note: I’m invested in the imaginations of folks on the margins. As such, this online workshop is committed to a harassment-free space for all participants, regardless of race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, or religion. Harassment of fellow participants will not be tolerated in any form. Anyone who violates this will be notified and may be removed from the workshop, and a refund will not be available. This workshop encourages and prioritizes marginalized people’s safety and participation.  (Adapted from Geek Feminism Wiki Code of Conduct)

About the instructor: Oliver Baez Bendorf is a queer and trans poet, cartoonist, librarian, and teaching artist, who has taught creative writing, cartooning, visual thinking, and poetry-comics to groups of all ages and all skill levels. His book of poems, The Spectral Wilderness, was selected by Mark Doty for the Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize and was named a “Spectacular Book of 2015” by Split This Rock, and his poetry, comics, and poetry-comics have been published in The Adirondack Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets, The Feminist Wire, Indiana Review, jubilat, The Rumpus, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in Poetry and an MA in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also apprenticed with writer and cartoonist Lynda Barry and helped lead Drawing Jams at Barry’s Image Lab. He has recently taught workshops at Mount Holyoke College, 826DC, the Queens Center for Gay Seniors, and the Allied Media Conference in Detroit. He lives in Washington, D.C., where he cofounded the Mount Pleasant Poetry Project. He loves working with diverse creative people and particularly encourages registration from women, queer and trans folks, people of color, and people with disabilities.

To learn more about my teaching philosophy, read this recent interview in Poets & Writers:http://www.pw.org/content/an_interview_with_oliver_baez_bendorf

and my blog post “Teaching Art to All Ages”: https://oliverbendorf.org/2016/06/26/teaching-art-to-all-ages/

Agile Writing for Archivists and Librarians – Now scheduling for Spring 2017

bring Oliver to your library for

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Agile Writing for Archivists and Librarians

interactive workshop and training geared toward librarians/archivists

It’s a way of approaching writing as a continuous and iterative process, one that embraces small sprints, great frequency, and reflection, and it’s equally suitable for folks wanting to make headway on scholarly and/or creative writing. According to a recent (highly unscientific) poll I ran on Twitter, only 6% of the 83 librarians and archivist respondents said they are writing (creative and/or scholarly) as much as they’d like to be. Another 29% said “kind of” and a full ⅔ (65%) said “not at all”. Agile Writing for Archivists and Librarians is in response to that clear need, and helps participants develop a sustainable writing practice at a pace they can maintain. Everyone benefits when librarians and archivists (regardless of institution type or faculty status) are supported in contributing to scholarly and creative conversations through writing; they’re better positioned for active professional engagement, effective public services, and substantial collaboration. Participants will identify their own personal “backlog” of writing, set clear goals for time-blocked sprints of writing toward the backlog, learn tips and tricks for making time and space to write in the agile approach, and write new writing. Each participant will receive a packet of resources/handouts to take home

“If I could have Oliver back every single semester, I would do it in a heartbeat.” -Neekta Khorsand, 826DC

Agile Writing for Archivists and Librarians:

  • ½ day (3 hours); flexible – includes time for writing, reflection, and discussion
  • Contact me to inquire about scheduling and rates
  • Curious? Questions? Let’s chat

Folks who are familiar with Agile methods of project management will no doubt recognize similarities in approach, but no Agile experience whatsoever is required- only a desire to be writing more. How much can we accomplish in ½ day? A lot.

“Oliver’s session was a model for what a visitor can do in a short period of time… I’d enthusiastically recommend Oliver’s workshops for writers of any experience, and hope he will come back soon!” -Andrea Lawlor, Mount Holyoke College

Bio: Oliver Baez Bendorf is a queer and trans poet, cartoonist, librarian, and experienced facilitator, who holds an MFA in Poetry and an MLIS, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He regularly teaches workshops and trainings for all skill levels that combine writing and drawing, visual thinking, and creativity, including for the Council on Library and Information Resources, Rare Book School, Madison Public Library, Mount Holyoke College, Indiana University, and elsewhere. His pedagogical approach fuses creativity and social justice, with influences from his mentor Lynda Barry as well as feminist/critical pedagogy (as in bell hooks’ Teaching to Transgress). For three years he was the Humanities Collections Assistant at University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Library; he cut his teeth as a teaching artist at the IMLS National Medal Winning Madison Public Library, and worked to foster community for digital library practitioners at the Digital Library Federation in Washington, D.C. His book of poems, The Spectral Wilderness (Kent State University Press 2015) was selected by Mark Doty for the Wick Poetry Prize and named a “Spectacular Book of 2015” by Split This Rock. He currently lives in Washington, D.C., where he co-founded the Mount Pleasant Poetry Project. oliverbendorf.org

“Oliver supplied me with a shiny new toolbox to bring into my writing—my old brain with its new set of rules, its freshly translated vernacular and idioms.” -Kaveh Akbar, Florida State University

How To Make It: 8-week online creativity workshop with Oliver Baez Bendorf

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an online workshop with Oliver Baez Bendorf

How to Make It: Nurturing Your Creative Practice

October 3 – November 28 (8 weeks)

*full*

How to Make It is an eight week online workshop all about nurturing your creative practice. Wherever you are in that practice right now, this workshop is for you. Participants will learn, share, experiment, create, and reflect, while benefiting from a supportive cohort of fellow creative practitioners. Includes weekly multimedia lectures from Oliver Baez Bendorf, prompts to get you exercising your creativity and moving toward your goals, access to an online library of resources, and an interactive virtual space for you to share your progress and get feedback from your fellow practitioners and from Oliver. It’s a safe, inspiring, encouraging, playful way to dropkick your barriers and move forward into the creative life you’re meant to live, alongside a community of likeminded spirits. No specific experience is required, only a longing to feel more in touch with your creative self and a willingness (however skeptical) to do something about it. And an internet connection.

Part One (October): G H O S T S
Part Two (November): H A R V E S T

What we will cover:

  • Getting to know the ghosts that haunt our creativity
  • Tips and tricks for getting out of our own way
  • Experiments in the creativity of daily life
  • Approaches to a sustainable creative practice with creative constraints of time, attention
  • Working with a variety of everyday supplies and materials
  • Writing and drawing 
  • Alternative models for circulation and distribution

Registration: $275. Save your spot now with an $80 deposit (non-refundable; applied toward your registration) or register in full if you’re ready. Registration is rolling, but my workshops tend to fill up quickly and I recommend not waiting until the last minute.

Want to help others access this workshop? Donate to a scholarship fund here: paypal.me/howtomakeit

To inquire about scholarship availability, get in touch with me here.

FAQs:

Do participants all need to be online together at the same time? Nope, you can log on whenever you want, at any time of day or night. While the same group of participants will work through the same prompts and materials together over the eight weeks, and discuss together, you can do so asynchronously.

I’m a (poet/memoirist/aspiring cartoonist/zinester/etc.), is this for me? Absolutely; the workshop is cross-genre and all the richer for it. No matter your preferred medium/genre/utensil, you are welcome here.

How much time do I need to commit per week? Part of my goal and interest is working with people to implement a meaningful creative practice with all sorts of limitations- including time. This workshop in particular will be aware of participants’ many life obligations and how those compete for time/energy/attention, while providing opportunities to engage at whatever level you are able to. You can put into it what you have the capacity to put in, and that’s OK whether that means- for you- engaging on a daily basis or dropping in weekly.

From the instructor: What are we without our creativity? From my own experience, I know that without a creative practice I am sad, bored/boring, restless, anxious, and generally in sorry shape. A creative practice makes life better- and yet so many of us struggle to keep it going on our own, when everything from chores to capitalism work against it. For the last several years, I have been recalibrating my own creative practice and developing workshops to help others do the same. I have come to believe that nurturing our creative practice is one of the hardest and most important tasks that we as humans can commit to, and one of the most powerful ways to feel okay in a world full of destruction. Through teaching, researching, and practicing creativity, visual thinking, poetry, drawing, zines, and comics, and with a particular interest in working with folks from the margins- LGBTQ, youth, POC, women, seniors, etc.- I’ve been honing a theory and practice that I can’t wait to share with you. It’s about the power of a creative practice in nurturing ourselves, engaging our communities, and sustaining our dreams for social change. I believe that everyone is creative and that by identifying the ways our creativity has been drilled out of us, we can embark on the life-altering process of recovering and nurturing our own creativity.

Please note: I’m invested in the imaginations of folks on the margins. As such, this online workshop is committed to a harassment-free space for all participants, regardless of race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, or religion. Harassment of fellow participants will not be tolerated in any form. Anyone who violates this will be notified and may be removed from the workshop, and a refund will not be available. This workshop encourages and prioritizes marginalized people’s safety and participation.  (Adapted from Geek Feminism Wiki Code of Conduct)

About the instructor: Oliver Baez Bendorf is a queer and trans poet, cartoonist, librarian, and teaching artist, who has taught creative writing, cartooning, visual thinking, and poetry-comics to groups of all ages and all skill levels. His book of poems, The Spectral Wilderness, won the Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize and was named a “Spectacular Book of 2015” by Split This Rock, and his poetry, comics, and poetry-comics have been published in The Adirondack Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Feminist Wire, Indiana Review, The Rumpus, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in Poetry and an MA in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also apprenticed with writer and cartoonist Lynda Barry and helped lead Drawing Jams at Barry’s Image Lab. He has recently taught workshops at Mount Holyoke College, 826DC, the Queens Center for Gay Seniors, and the Allied Media Conference in Detroit. He lives in Washington, D.C., where he cofounded the Mount Pleasant Poetry Project. He loves working with diverse creative people and particularly encourages registration from women, queer and trans folks, people of color, and people with disabilities.

To learn more about my teaching philosophy, read this recent interview in Poets & Writers: http://www.pw.org/content/an_interview_with_oliver_baez_bendorf

and my blog post “Teaching Art to All Ages”: https://oliverbendorf.org/2016/06/26/teaching-art-to-all-ages/

and these testimonials: https://oliverbendorf.org/testimonial/