Cynthia Manick

Poet and Storyteller

Cynthia Manick - Poet and Storyteller

Author of Blue Hallelujahs, Curator of Soul Sister Revue, and East Coast Editor of Jamii Publishing

Recently through Black Lawrence Press I offered consultations on poetry collections (chapbook and full manuscripts) and folios of up to five poems. Through my editing and workshop experience, I was pleased to share my knowledge of craft and poetry with other writers and received wonderful responses from clients. I've decided to continue the service for those who desire feedback on recent work.

Statement of Purpose

                              When reading individual poems I look for the creative spark first. I’m most drawn to poems that inform the reader; the word or line that pulls me into the poem or represents a change in thinking. For me that’s the moment when the poem takes flight. I believe poems should introduce questions, issues, characters, and images; and poets should use all the tools in their toolbox. In the same vein, good poems can reflect conflict and celebrate joy; each represents parts of the human experience. I always think of the poet CD Wright saying “you have deer here, but give me venison” meaning don’t shy away from details that enrich the work. Every poet has a unique voice and I enjoy discovering that voice in the work.

              When evaluating chapbooks and full length projects, I believe that strength not length makes a good book. Most projects have themes and obsessions. As a consultant I try to find the strengths and weaknesses of those themes and see where it succeeds. I also think it's great when poets go off theme and the reader learns something new. When reading connected work, I ask where do the various threads lead? Any new discoveries?  More importantly, do the poems speak to each other? I try to identify the poet's intention and work within those parameters. I believe most full-length projects represent a journey, so at the end of a book, the reader should be in a different head space.

Contact me if interested.

Cynthia Manick has given me wonderful feedback on my poetry over the years. I’m so thankful to Cynthia for her kind, insightful comments that continue to inspire me to be me, to tell my stories, and to embrace my inner-weird!
— Safia Jama, Poet, Teacher & Editor
Cynthia Manick is an outstanding writer and critical editor with keen organizational skills and years of professional experience. She successfully completes multiple tasks despite deadline pressures. Her diligence and work ethic for seeking out the hard truth within the written word is inspiring. As a Poets House Emerging Fellow with Cynthia, I looked forward to her critical and well thought-out feed back. She was enthusiastic, resourceful, and clear which impacted my writing within the program and up to this day.
— Rico Frederick, Candidate for MFA in Writing at Pratt institute, Author of Broken Calypsonian
Cynthia Manick knows where to find the heartbeat of a poem. She is a generous reader and an insightful editor, with a unique skill for drawing out the themes and language that make a collection feel complete and cohesive. Cynthia will make the poems in your collection sing in harmony.
— Leigh Stein, Author of Land of Enchantment