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The Colrain Zoom Manuscript Classic is a highly focused, four-day Intensive designed for poets with manuscripts in progress. The Classic features in-depth pre-conference work and candid, realistic evaluation and feedback from nationally-known poets, editors and publishers. In preparation, participants work at home on pre-conference assignments and then, in the workshop, review, arrange, and winnow their work based on the pre-conference work. (Note: the pre-conference work will be sent to participants approximately two weeks ahead of the conference.) In addition to the manuscript preparation workshop and editor sessions, there will be an editorial Q&A, and an after-conference strategy session.

To Apply: Send four sample poems from your manuscript along with a brief bio to:

After acceptance, cost is $1,000.


Friday:  you will receive your Zoom link via email for the Overview and Introductions on Friday, January 12 at 5pm EST (bring your own wine!).  We’ll talk about backgrounds in poetry, goals and expectations. Faculty will present an overview of the weekend.

Saturday: workshops begin at 10 am EST, break for lunch at 1pm and continue through the afternoon until around 5.

Sunday:  editorial sessions begin at 10 am EST, break for lunch, and continue through the afternoon until around 5.

Monday:  wrap-up discussion and publication strategies going forward from 10am until around 11:30.


You will work with poet-editors Joan Houlihan, Nathan McClain and Carey Salerno.

Joan Houlihan is the author of six books of poetry, most recently It Isn’t a Ghost if it Lives in Your Chest (Four Way Books, 2021), winner of the Julia Ward Howe Award and a Notable Indie Award; and Shadow-feast (Four Way Books, 2018), a Massachusetts Center for the Book Must-Read. Her other books are: The Us, named a Must-Read of 2009 by Massachusetts Center for the Book, and Ay, both from Tupelo Press; The Mending Worm, winner of the Green Rose Award from New Issues Press; and Hand-Held Executions: Poems & Essays. Her work has been anthologized in The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries (University of Iowa Press) and The Book of Irish-American Poetry–Eighteenth Century to Present (University of Notre Dame Press). She serves on the faculty of Lesley University’s Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program in Cambridge, Massachusetts and she is also Professor of Practice in Poetry at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Houlihan founded and directs the Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference.

Nathan McClain is the author of two poetry collections — Previously Owned (2022) and Scale (2017) — both from Four Way Books, a recipient of fellowships from The Frost Place, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and a graduate of the M.F.A. Program for Writers at Warren Wilson. A Cave Canem fellow, his poems and prose have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Guesthouse, Poetry Northwest, The Critical Flame, Zocalo Public Square, and the Plume Anthology of Poetry 10. He currently teaches at Hampshire College and serves as poetry editor for the Massachusetts Review.

Carey Salerno is the executive director and executive editor of Alice James Books. She is the author of Shelter (2009) and Tributary (2021), and her poems, essays, and articles about her work as a publisher can be found in places like American Poetry Review, NPR, The New York Times, among others. She has poems forthcoming in North American Review and Alaska Quarterly Review, and since 2010 she’s served as a lecturer in poetry and publishing arts for the University of Maine at Farmington. In a starred review of TributaryPublishers Weekly deemed Salerno’s work “bold, memorable, and capacious.” Salerno is co-editor of Lit from Inside: 40 Years of Poetry from Alice James Books. She is a frequent guest at residencies, and MFA and nontraditional writing programs. In 2021, she received the Golden Colophon Award for Independent Paradigm Publishing from CLMP, the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses, for the leadership and contributions of Alice James Books. Her current editorial project is Light Me Down: The Collected Poems of Jean Valentine, forthcoming from Alice James Books in April 2024. Visit for more.