I was put onto The Poet’s Billow by a poetry professor in my graduate program, and at first I was a little skeptical and also nervous about making contact; but I have to say that sending that email to Rob and Michelle was the single best step I have ever taken as a poet. I worked with Michelle, and she has a gift for giving feedback that is keenly observant, compassionate, targeted and that cracks open the work so that you see it again in a much more layered way. It has been a joy (as well as hard work!) to become a more rigorous and sensitive witness to my own poetry and process, and I would completely recommend Rob and Michelle as editors, mentors and artists. I have managed to place 4 out of the 5 poems worked on so far, and believe me that is a HUGE testament to The Poet’s Billow. Michelle and Rob are wonderful people and poets, and I cannot recommend their services highly enough!
I was inspired to enlist Michelle for help when it came to applying for PhD programs, too, and again I am so thrilled I did. I know for sure I made the strongest application I could possibly have done, and was able to because Michelle had me organized, read through and critiqued my writing sample, worked as cheerleader, friendly interrogator and improver of my personal statement … it really was a team feeling and effort, and to have someone who knows both sides of the application process, and understands both what programs are looking for and what you are looking for was not only VERY fairly priced, but actually priceless; I really could not have done this effectively without her.
It was an incredible, fantastic process.
Over the course of the past six months, I attended weekly Skype lectures with Michelle Bonczek. Well, just having a commitment to produce something to bring to the lectures was, of course, helpful. But Michelle’s approach to my writing went far beyond that. She was fabulous in her desire to make sure we were both doing our part to make me as successful a writer of poetry as possible. For every hour we spent in our weekly meetings, she must have devoted at least four hours preparing feedback. She gave me thoughtful reading recommendations, sought comments from other writers regarding my work and presented recommendations in a way that transcended the typical writing workshop. As she was able to devote all of her focus on me during the meetings, it was much more beneficial than any of the half-dozen or so clinics I have attended. Rob Evory also helped me develop a personalized spreadsheet of journals to submit to, and educated me on publication schedules (this can help put your submissions on a schedule that results in quicker responses, which I did not know). The time spent with the Poet’s Billow was by far one of the most helpful things I have had the opportunity to experience in my twenty-four years of writing. As a result of our work together, I received publication in Conclave: A Journal of Character, The Tule Review and Permafrost Magazine. But the best part is that I am much more confident and engaged in my writing. The Poet’s Billow is a wonderful and selfless contribution to the writing community!
— Steven Blythe, Valdez, Alaska
Michelle and Rob at the Poets Billow, were instrumental in refining my work. Michelle has a keen editorial eye; her suggestions strengthened my poetry and helped me become a better editor of my own work. Rob has an intuitive sense of lyricism and aesthetics. He helped illuminate new avenues for my writing. Several poems that these poets helped edit went on to be published in national journals. They both have many years experience in leading workshops and this experience shows in their editorial work. If you are looking for even-handed, fair, and insightful critiques and edits of your writing, then The Poets Billow is the place to send your work. I can’t recommend these two poets highly enough.
— Melanie Crow, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Ph. D.
The staff at the Poet’s Billow were professional, responsive, timely and courteous. Moreover, they went out of their way to address my scheduling constraints. Their rates were very competitive as well. I know this is true because I solicited proofreading estimates from other poets that provide poetry proofreading services.
Although I only engaged the Poet’s Billow for proofreading services, they went extra distance to provide additional value beyond simple proofreading. All in all, the Poet’s Billow provided a high quality service at very competitive rates. The Poet’s Billow is an excellent value. I highly recommend the Poet’s Billow as a poetry resource.
–Jeffrey A. White, Berkeley, California