Heart, Soul, and Rough Edges — A Gypsy Journey of Words and Wonder

Mentoring and being Mentored

This week, I am mentoring a very talented 14-year old poet, and supporting one of our Poetic Museling mentors. Interesting to be of service up and down this ladder.

First of all, congratulations to MAGDALENA BALL for Black Cow, her recently released novel. Reviews praise its depth, craftily written prose, the core subject so many of us face — is success as we’ve defined it destroying us, our families, and lives? Sometimes, desperation is the greatest motivator to force us to take the unmapped turn-off to something else. But is that other road the answer, or the path to a worse problem?

I’m anxious to read this book for several reasons:  Maggie is one of our incredible mentors, who helped make Lifelines real. Not only did she teach the chapbook workshop that brought us together to continue writing, and edited our work, but she’s an accomplished and marvelous poet. And a voracious, eclectic reader — a woman after my own heart — who’s Compulsive Reader website is a treasure of possibilities.

And Maggie is one of the most sincerely caring, compassionate people I’ve met, if only online. I value her advice, talent, and willingness to share and nurture others, and her friendship. I hope someday to have the chance to get to Australia and give her a big hug.

Here are some links to follow for more info:

Magdalena Ball –  Book Musing
Magdalena Ball – Black Cow
AMAZON (discounted!)  |   BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY (free worldwide shipping!) |   BEWRITE BOOKS
Join the book tour (for fun, prizes, and a lot of info)!
Black Cow Discussion Questions and book club visits


The other end of the spectrum is equally exciting.  I almost  never am far away from my other poetry passion, as editor of the Apollo’s Lyre poetry column. I receive poems from all over the world; from those diving into the submission pool for the first time, as well as those with pages-long credentials. All ages, forms, subjects. Some are “perfect” as they are, some need tweaking; often the most widely-published poets are the most open to editing, but not always. I plan a series of posts about the process, and publishing, from my editor view.

Recently, a young lady with an intriguing voice, nicely constructed poems, and subjects that tap into the universal, sent me her work. Unfortunately, Apollo’s Lyre contains some adult-themed subjects or words, articles, flash fiction, and poetry, as well as sillier, lighter items. We are not an appropriate venue for her work.

However, I want to help “C.” find a good place to sub her poems — I think she’s very talented, and hope some day I can publish her, and also say that I read her early work and gave her the encouragement to keep writing, exploring, and putting herself out for the world to see.

With her permission, and that of her mother, I’m contacting fellow poets, poetry publishers, and my contacts in general to ask:  Where could a 14-year old poet send her work?

If any of you have ideas I can share with “C.”, please let me know. Be part of this mentoring process — there’s plenty of room here!

Thank you —



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5 thoughts on “Mentoring and being Mentored

  1. Lin Neiswender on said:

    Congrats to both poets mentioned in your post. Here is a possible venue for the young poet:

  2. I need a mentor!!!! Where exactly do you find one, Michele?

    For your teen poet I suggest Poetbay and Allpoetry, not for markets, just for feedback on her poems.


  3. Pingback: Six Questions for . . . the Poetic Muselings . . . Magdalena Ball, and more « Poetic Muselings

  4. Pingback: Meet the Artsy Sports Junkie:Michael Kwambo « Literary Chronicles

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