Susan Kan is founding director of Perugia Press, a nonprofit, independent literary press located in western Massachusetts. In addition to being the editor and publisher, Susan is one the many judges for their national poetry contest, the Perugia Press Prize. Prior to starting the press, Susan earned her MFA in creative writing from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.
Annually, Susan looks at more than 500 manuscripts. She knows what affects how well a manuscript is received in a contest—from its physical presentation to the overall cohesiveness of the poetry.
Here is the exciting news: Susan is now offering a personal manuscript review service for individualized feedback on poetry manuscripts.
A manuscript review would be helpful if:
- you are ready to send your manuscript out for the first time and want unbiased feedback.
- you have been a semi-finalist or finalist in contests and wonder what is keeping your manuscript from winning.
- you are thinking about the overall unity, musicality, voice, and theme of your manuscript rather than looking for feedback on individual poems.
- you are considering your title, the order of poems, and how sections serve the whole.
- you wonder whether a prologue poem or an epigraph is trendy or right for your book.
- you are looking to transform a seemingly disparate group of poems into a meaningful book.
- you want to know what is involved in shaping a manuscript other than the poems themselves.
- you would like ideas for exercises to help you make these kinds of decisions.
Intrigued? Contact me for submission details, scheduling, and fees.
Feedback from Inspired Poets
“I wanted to share with you the amazing news that my manuscript, House of Sugar, House of Stone, got picked up this week by the University of Colorado Press. I feel incredibly grateful to you and the work you did in the fall to reorder my poems. I knew intellectually that a radical reordering needed to happen, and yet, every time I tried, my reordering was on a scale of inches, when I needed miles. Thank you thank you thank you for helping me push this material so that it achieved its potential.”
— Emily Perez, February 2015
“With your suggestions of a new title, a different shape, and additional poems, my manuscript has just been accepted for publication by Lynx House Press. I owe your insight and editorial abilities from July 2013 a huge debt of gratitude. My 80th birthday is next week, and what a glorious birthday present I received, thanks to you.”
— Mariève Rugo, August 2014
“About a year ago you reviewed my manuscript, and I wanted to let you know how grateful I am for your astute, generous, and sensitive response. I worked hard on revising per your advice, and in August of 2013, I won a first book award from ABZ press, judged by C.D. Wright. Needless to say I am thrilled. I’m sure I will utilize your expertise again and again. My book is due out May 1st.”
— Jean McDonough, February 2014
“Thank you for your excellent critique (and also for the generosity in the positive feedback). Yes, you put your finger on the pulse of the problem with this manuscript and if I were a publisher, these would be precisely my concerns. Anyway, thanks again for a penetrating and valuable analysis. It just felt absolutely on-target. I appreciate the time and thought you put into this and am taking your comments closely to heart.”
— Rebecca Foust, November 2012
“I wanted to thank you for your careful reading of my poetry. Your commentary is enormously helpful and rings true. Because it has been such a personal journey to write the poems, I have had little ability to discern the soft, sentimental spots, or the distance to see what the poems need to hold their own. I am very grateful for your insights and your ideas for revision. Thank you for the encouragement to keep going--I definitely feel inspired toward more daring and compelling work!”
— Tina Carlson, September 2012