I love working one-on-one with poets—on individual poems or larger projects—at any stage in their writing lives, just starting out or needing a fresh pair of eyes for a second or third manuscript-in-progress.

I’m a sensitive and supportive reader, and I prefer a light touch, trusting that you know what you’re doing and don’t need someone to completely rewrite your poems. But I will also push you to go beyond your perceived limitations—to explore new subjects, new emotional and intellectual terrain, new formal possibilities, new ways of looking at both your work and your world. I can offer guidance in structuring, editing, and revising chapbook or full-length manuscripts, as well as close readings of individual poems. I may also suggest poets for us to read together.

I use a combination of phone, mail, and email. Please email me at john.brehm1@gmail.com to discuss working together and my rates for such work.

“I had a poetry manuscript which could not quite make the jump to publication. I contacted John and after some exploratory conversations he helped clarify what I thought I needed and where I wanted to go. John then quickly designed a new and much more cohesive structure for the book, suggested an appropriate new title and helped with poem selection and sequencing. His direction was always sensitive, collaborative and a lot of fun. His instinct, spot-on. And now my first book of poems, The Happiest Day Of My Life, has just been published by FutureCycle press.”
–Kevin Burris

“I’m tremendously grateful to John Brehm who has, over the last decade, become a cherished mentor to me in the craft of poetry. Whether providing line-by-line feedback on a single poem or reviewing a larger body of work such as a book-length manuscript, John offers insights as grounded in experience as in intellect. His rare intuition and depth of heart guide the process of uncovering and cultivating a poem’s most fundamental qualities. John knows how to hone a poet’s vision, how to use techniques of craft in service of a unique voice. There’s no one that I trust more to give perceptive, constructive feedback on my writing.”
–Radha Marcum


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