Previous Writer to Writer Mentees
Lisa L. Moore
Spring 2015 Session
Lisa L. Moore is a professor of English and women’s and gender studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her writing has been awarded the Lambda Literary Foundation Award, the Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award, and the Art/Lines Juried Poetry Prize, and has been recognized as a Split This Rock Poem of the Week. She is the author or editor of four scholarly books, and her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies including Ostrich Review, Lavender Review, Sinister Wisdom, and Codex Journal. She is a member of the Community of Writers Squaw Valley.
Monika worked with poet Laurel Blossom.
What were your goals for this program, and how did you communicate them to your mentor?
My goals were to work on revising individual poems and a chapbook manuscript for publication. I told my mentor this when we spoke on the phone for the first time.
How would you describe the matching process and how well matched you were with your mentor?
I don't know much about the process, but I was very well matched with my mentor. We were quite different from each other in many ways but really appreciated each other's aesthetic and clicked on a personal level. She gave me great feedback on my poems, which I really appreciated.
Was there a specific time you felt that you and your mentor "clicked"?
The first time we talked when she told me she loved my poems! Especially, we both like working in received forms sometimes and we bonded over that.
What advice do you have for people entering the program next?
The more concrete help you ask for, the more you will get.
What is something you learned from your mentor or this process?
I picked up quite a few craft tips: Use contractions when possible; use an image instead of "it" or "something." Also, she helped me prepare my manuscript in a professional way to send out—what the table of contents should look like, how to group poems.
What is something that happened during the session that you did not expect?
I did not expect such detailed feedback on each poem. What a treat. Also, I offered to give her feedback on some of her poems and she was happy about that, so we ended up having more of an exchange, which was great.
In what ways did this experience differ from, say, taking a creative writing class or workshop?
One-on-one attention from an experienced poet interested in my artistic growth.
How has this experience helped your writing or work process?
It has given me confidence in the quality of my work. It has also given me a role model for how to continue to live a life in poetry; my mentor is about twenty years older than me, and it was great to talk to her about how her career has changed and evolved.