2023 Summer Poetry Lab

Our Summer Lab is now closed! Thank you so much to everyone participating!


Frontier Poetry is excited to invite you to our Summer Poetry Lab, an opportunity designed to help you grow as a writer through personalized editorial feedback, an extensive selection of materials curated for independent learning, and the chance to be connected to and collaborate with other poets.

This lab is an all-online space where you can get your work read and edited by our consultants, writers who either work in publishing and evaluate poems for a living or work as faculty at MFA programs around the country. Our consultants have likely published some of your favorite contemporary poets or worked alongside them! They will apply their expertise to your poems, providing in-depth developmental feedback that will help your best work find its way to the page. Our lab consultants receive a significant portion of the lab fee.

Below are some highlights of the Poetry Lab program—we’re doing our utmost to pack this opportunity with great material for you!

  • Working on a chapbook? We're including the digital versions of our chapbook prize winners from the past few years: How Often I Have Chosen Love by Xiao Yue Shan, Shadow Black by Naima Tokunow (selected by Jericho Brown), In the Year of Our Making & Unmaking by Frederick Speers (selected by Carl Phillips), Opportunity Cost by Abby Johnson (selected by Kazim Ali), and In my dreams/I love like an idea by Tyler Raso (selected by Tom Sleigh), paired with guided learning materials about crafting your chapbook. Frontier is so proud of these chapbooks, and we consider them some of our best projects to date.

  • Want to know how editors evaluate your poems? After interviewing dozens of editors from your favorite magazines, we've got the answers! Every lab participant will have access to over forty pages of advice from editors of publications we all admire: POETRY, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, AGNI, The Adroit Journal, and more. The Frontier team is also continuously working on developing the best practical advice for submitting poets, based on the tens of thousands of submissions we've processed over the past several years. We want to share our current knowledge with you!

  • Want some advice on where else to submit? Let us help—we will send you a list of journals that could be a good fit for your particular voice. Every participant will get individualized recommendations from our experienced team.

Sign up, share up to ten pages of poetry (this sample will give the editor a larger picture of your work, including strengths and weaknesses), and get ready to take your writing seriously.

If you need an extension on the deadline, please email megan@frontierpoetry.com.


Meet the Summer 2023 Poetry Lab Consultants

Natasha Rao is the author of Latitude, which was selected by Ada Limón as the winner of the 2021 APR/Honickman First Book Prize. The recipient of a 2021 Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, she has also received fellowships from Bread Loaf, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Community of Writers. Her work appears in The Nation, American Poetry Review, The New York Times Magazine, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. She holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA from NYU, where she was a Goldwater Fellow. She is currently an Editor of American Chordata.

Diamond Fordes debut collection, Mother Body, is the winner of the 2019 Saturnalia Poetry Prize. Forde has received numerous awards and prizes, including a Pink Poetry Prize, a Furious Flower Poetry Prize, and was a finalist for the 2022 Kate Tufts Discovery Award from Claremont Graduate University. A Callaloo, Tin House, and Ruth Lilly Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg fellow, Forde’s work has appeared in POETRY, Obsidian, Massachusetts Review, and more. In her spare time, Forde also serves as the interviews editor of Honey Literary and the fiction editor of Nat. Brut.

J. P. Dancing Bear is editor of Verse Daily. He is the author of sixteen collections of poetry, most recently, Of Oracles and Monsters (Glass Lyre Press, 2020), and Fish Singing Foxes (Salmon Poetry, 2019). His work has appeared in American Literary Review, swamp pink, DIAGRAM, and thousands of magazines and anthologies worldwide. He is the founding editor of Dream Horse Press, American Poetry Journal, and the DMQ Review.



  • Please submit up to ten pages of poetry. In formatting your packet of poems, please use a standard font size and do not include more than one poem per page.
  • All styles and forms of poems are welcome.
  • Four full scholarships will be reserved for BIPOC authors. If this is you and our fee is a barrier to participation, please email our editor megan@frontierpoetry.com with a brief statement to apply. [Please note: our scholarships have been filled for this session!]
  • All Summer Lab participants will receive a one-time free entry to a Frontier Poetry contest of choice. Please email megan@frontierpoetry.com when you see the contest you'd like to enter.



How much interaction will I have with the editors?
  • Each participant will be assigned one editor who reviews their work. For accessibility and convenience, we've designed this program with the aim to be completely asynchronous and digital—you will submit your poems, and then your editor will write their feedback and send it back. After that, any continued conversation is at the editor's personal discretion.
How much interaction will I have with the other participants?
  • Entirely up to you! The lab is designed to be open to complete independence or group participation. After getting your learning materials, you'll be asked if you'd like to join a group to work through them together. The Frontier team will help create the groups according to level of experience and other factors, after which it is in the participants’ hands to figure out a working schedule and style that makes sense to the group.
Will this help me with my book?
  • Perhaps! But this lab is not a manuscript editing service. The aim is to provide holistic advice on writing poems through direct personalized feedback and a self-guided and rigorous study of the craft.
Will I have to Zoom or get on the phone?
  • Nope! This lab will be handled entirely through Submittable. We will send you your packet of lab materials soon after you submit. The timing of the feedback depends on the editor’s availability, but it should not be longer than eight to ten weeks.
Can I purchase a spot for a friend?
  • Yes, please feel welcome. Just make sure to make the purpose of your purchase clear in your cover letter, and please put us in contact with that poet.


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