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Psst! Poetry manuscript advice—pass it on [US]:
Jeffrey Levine of Tupelo Press sez:
When ordering poems in your manuscript, pay no attention to which poems have been published (and where), and which poems not. At the conclusion of contests, I often (call me perverse) go back and look at ack [acknowledgement —I.] pages. I find that most poets place an inordinate (and mistaken) reliance on their publishing history in ordering poems, assuming that because such-and-such a journal took a poem, it must be better than the poems not taken, or that a poem taken by Poetry or the Paris Review must be better than one taken by a lesser known print or online publication. I am almost always amazed—amazed—by which poems have been taken and which not (and by whom). Believe in all your poems, and order them according to your sense of where they belong. Period.
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