Ten years ago, Mentor & Muse began as a project that we hoped would offer poets useful resources that would teach, guide, and inspire. Published in 2010 by Southern Illinois University PressMentor and Muse: Essays from Poets to Poets is a collection of twenty-nine unique essays. Each piece examines a particular poetic element–such as imagery, traditional poetic forms, repetition, metaphor, and prosody. The essays include the full text of the poems discussed, along with writing exercises that encourage readers to directly implement the strategies they have learned. The volume features essays by Patricia Clark, Stanley Plumly, Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan, A. Van Jordan, Michael Waters, Victoria Chang, Kevin Prufer, Shara McCallum, David Keplinger, Nancy Eimers, Metta Sama, and others. For an essay from the print volume, please see Phillis Levin’s interview, “Recording Mortal Sight: The Drama of Prosody,” posted on Poetry Daily.

We are now launching Mentor and Muse online, with the hope of inviting more poets to join our ongoing conversation.

To submit to Mentor & Muse, please review our Submissions page.


Blas Falconer is the author of Forgive the Body This Failure, The Foundling Wheel, A Question of Gravity and Light, and The Perfect Hour. He is also a co-editor for The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity. Falconer’s awards include a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers, and a Tennessee Individual Artist Grant. He has taught at University of New Mexico, Austin Peay State University, Murray State University, and University of Southern California; he currently teaches in the MFA program at San Diego State University.

Beth Martinelli is the author of To Darkness. Her poems appear in numerous literary magazines, including The Threepenny Review, Bellingham Review, and Pleiades. She holds an MA from New York University, an MFA from University of Maryland—College Park, and a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature from Western Michigan University. A Philip Roth Poet in Residence at Bucknell University and a Sewanee Writers’ Conference scholar, she taught most recently at Saint Vincent College, Roosevelt University, and William Paterson University. She lives in the D.C. area.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Helena Mesa is the author of Where Land Is Indistinguishable from Sea (forthcoming from Terrapin Books) and Horse Dance Underwater. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in literary journals such as Beloit Poetry Journal, Indiana Review, Pleiades, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, Puerto del Sol, and Sou’wester. She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences, and she has attended the Community of Writers’ Workshop and Napa Valley Writers’ Workshop. She teaches creative writing at Albion College and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Interview Editor

Shannon K. Winston’s book, The Girl Who Talked to Paintings, was published in 2021 by Glass Lyre Press. Her individual poems have appeared in RHINO PoetryCrab Creek ReviewThe Citron Review, the Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. She’s received multiple Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations. She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and a PhD from the University of Michigan. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana.