Lynn Keller, Recomposing Ecopoetics

Keller_Recomposing_EcopoeticsWriter: Lynn Keller, Martha Meier Renk-Bascom Professor of Poetry, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Book: Recomposing Ecopoetics: North American Poetry of the Self-Conscious Anthropocene. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018.

This scholarly book focuses on environmental poetry published since the year 2000 in the United States and Canada. Lynn Keller shows what poetry has to tell us about pressing issues—from plastics and toxicity to comprehending the scale of our environmental problems—through compelling analysis of poems that range from lyrical to linguistically experimental.

How we worked together: Lynn and I consulted as she drafted and revised this book manuscript and sent her book proposal out to presses. Then I served as a project manager as she prepared the final manuscript for publication by University of Virginia Press. My work included:

  • discussing each chapter with Lynn after she drafted it, focusing largely on argument and structure;
  • lightly editing the revised book manuscript on the sentence level to help reduce its length;
  • formatting the manuscript according to University of Virginia Press’s specifications;
  • converting the citations from MLA style to Chicago style;
  • seeking and obtaining permissions to reprint images;
  • filling out and updating the art log and permissions log;
  • submitting the final manuscript, image files, and permissions to University of Virginia Press electronically.

“The person who has most helped me bring this book into the world is my former doctoral student, Michelle Niemann, whom I hired initially so that I could have an informed and insightful reader responding to my chapters as I produced them during my fellowship year. Her comments prompted revisions that have significantly sharpened the arguments in this book. As she began to establish a business in academic editing, her responsibilities expanded: she commented on the revised chapters; helped me trim the manuscript; shifted the style to suit the press’s stipulations; and properly formatted the notes along with the rest of the manuscript. Always prompt, efficient, and careful, as well as marvelously intelligent and sensible, she relieved me of a huge amount of labor and stress. A thousand thanks to Michelle.”

— Lynn Keller