Poetry Forge
Holly in studio with feathers.jpg


Online courses and in person workshops offered by Poetry Forge, taught by Holly Wren Spaulding.


a process

& good company

that honors the work & your place in it

A Body of Work: manuscript incubator for poets

A Body of Work: manuscript incubator for poets


Manuscript Incubator for Poets

a path

this immersive online course offers committed writers a structure & process to turn individual poems into a polished manuscript worthy of other readers


a shape

for your body of work

collaboration & community

your willingness, raw talent, & work in progress plus my 20+ years of reviewing, editing, consulting on manuscripts, & publishing poetry, & a companionable space in which to gather, learn, develop our projects together

at last

let's work together to create a chapbook-length collection that you can take pride in, share, and use to make other things happen in your poetry life


January-March 2020

*Exact dates TBD

*this intensive course runs once-per year & is limited to 8 participants.


Course includes lessons (assignment prompts, readings, short audio lessons & videos), live webinars, written & verbal feedback on your manuscript, access to office hours & private tutorials.


Because at some point you've written a lot of poems & you want to complete the gesture by making them into something that is greater than the sum of its parts.


You will get the most from this experience if you can make time every week to participate in the course discussions, revise your work in progress, & have a natural appetite for reading, learning & making. Ideally, you've been writing for years, have accumulated quite a few poems to choose from, love the process, & want to make your manuscript a priority, even if you have a busy life. You'll be happiest with the outcome that way! This is an advanced course but I do not require an application. Instead, I ask you to self-select if you are ready to create a body of work in ten weeks.

If you have any question about your readiness for the experience, please reach out so that we can discuss.


We meet in an online classroom hosted by Pathwright which allows you to participate whenever it is convenient to you. Live workshops happen via Zoom video conferencing. Private office hours happen via phone.


If you would prefer to send a check, just email poetryforge (at) gmail (dot) com to enroll and I will send you an invoice. I’m happy to receive payment this way.

Early Bird Price: $795 (until October 31)

Cost: $895 (after October 31)


I’ll ask powerful questions, offer resources, share examples & help you find a form for your body of work. We’ll identify your best poems, & those yet to be written, & consider how to assemble them into something beautiful. I’ll provide weekly lessons including essays, exercises & clear instructions for how to move through the process of assembling a chapbook-length (10-30 pages) manuscript. I’ll read your work for what unifies it aesthetically, thematically, conceptually, or otherwise. I’ll host virtual meetups, private consultations, & offer written feedback to support your work in progress.


You'll end the course with a beautiful body of work if you commit time to the exercises, readings, & deep revision; meet with me & with the group to discuss your work; swap manuscripts with another poet in the course; trust your own process.

Instructor: Holly Wren Spaulding

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"Your feedback is always wonderful: constructive, honest, and tender all at once. Much appreciated." A.A. ABOW, 2019

“ABOW was truly transformational. Holly is a rare teacher, an exceptional mid-wife for helping poets birth a manuscript. The course is hard work, but if one is willing to put in the work and follow the carefully thought out steps, the reward of seeing a polished manuscript, and the knowledge of how to put one together is invaluable. ABOW offers a great combination of smart, thoughtful, instinctual, and encouraging steps towards completing a manuscript and completing your own best personal work. Highly recommend!” H.K., ABOW 2018

“Holly’s help has been invaluable, insightful, incisive. Her comments challenged and guided me to do better—then best. Frost was right when he said a poem is never finished, only abandoned. Now I feel this work must finally be set free of our careful tending to see if it can fly on its own.” K.A., ABOW 2016