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“Tess came prepared as hell, and extremely knowledgeable.” (Randolph College evaluation) See All

Tess Taylor $125/hr

Services Offered

  • Read Complete Manuscript - hourly with a four-hour minimum
  • Read first 15 pages of manuscript and provide feedback - with a two-hour minimum

Available For

  • Book Proposals
  • Essay
  • Guidance in Submissions to agents
  • Guidance in submissions to magazines or publishers
  • Marketing/Promotion
  • Poetry Full Length Manuscripts

“Tess came prepared as hell, and extremely knowledgeable.” (Randolph College evaluation)

“Tess was wonderful, very prepared and clear.” (Randolph College evaluation)

“I cannot help but think about how much my writing ability has grown since taking this class.” (Whittier College evaluation)

“The best course I took this quarter! It was very interesting and informative, my writing has
improved a lot!” (UC Davis evaluation)

Tess Taylor is the author of five acclaimed collections of poetry. The San Francisco Chronicle hailed Taylor’s first book, The Forage House, as “stunning.” Critic Stephanie Burt called Work & Days, her second book “our moment’s Georgic” and it was named one of the 10 best books of poetry of 2016 by The New York Times. In spring 2020 she published two books of poems: Last West, part of Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, at the MoMA. Rift Zone, from Red Hen Press, was named one of the best books of 2020 by The Boston Globe. Taylor’s poetry and nonfiction appear widely. She has served as the Distinguished Fulbright US Scholar at the Seamus Heaney Centre in Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the Anne Spencer Poet-in-Residence at Randolph College. Taylor has also been the on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered for over a decade. Taylor is currently on the faculty of Ashland University’s Low-Res MFA Creative Writing Program. She grew up and lives in El Cerrito, California.

Working Style

As well as writing poetry, I love to help shape books and book projects. Helping champion new work is part of my mission and career, from years spent interning at literary magazines including the Paris Review and The Atlantic to years helping shape manuscripts for a literary agent, to my current work as an arts critic. I care deeply about shepherding excellent new work into the world and helping writers clarify, sharpen and articulate their projects while honing subterranean connections and form. To work most productively with me, have a well-developed project that you can describe to in a short cover letter, and enclose three to four poems or pages of prose. I’m very eager to help my clients cross the finish line!


Feedback by Zoom, able to meet as needed.


Essay, essay fragment, non-fiction, and poetry.
Place, ecology, history lyric memoir.