Russell Thorburn


About Russell

Poetry Manuscript

Poetry Workshops

Approximate Desire

Father, Tell Me I Have Not Aged

Misfit Hearts

The Whole Tree As Told To The Backyard

Poetry Home



If the opening page of your collection is a tree set on fire, Thorburn will help create the proper wind that will carry the fire from page to page, from tree to tree, until the whole forest is set ablaze. I always trust my writing to Russell Thorburn first. He is my linguistic guardian angel.

-John Rybicki

I want to extend my thanks and gratitude for your assistance, insight, and emotionally close reading of my manuscript.

-Daniel Blasi

Thanks so much for offering your gifts to us who need them…I feel very positive about sending my manuscript out now.

-Pamela Porter

I feel fortunate indeed to have found someone with such a good heart to edit my work…I am amazed by your insights and find your choices energizing.

-Susan Kelly-Dewitt

It is especially valuable to see how someone who doesn't know me at all reads the body of my work as well as the individual pieces. In some ways you will come to know me better than anyone.

-Elizabeth Volpe



I read your manuscript closely, and something guides me in selecting the right poems for your sequence. Call it intuition, an immediate response to the emotion. I read a poem to the woods outside. I hear the voice as some husky-throated narrator, a lone wolf in the wilderness, a coyote howling at midnight. Your textual realities persuade me why that particular poem should remain in your book. A poem’s intensity or softness, one word of elucidation or meaning, the shape of the poem in couplets, irregular lines, or one long stanza. I plumb their bracing depths, searching for some essential truths. The sequence draws its own conclusions almost, as it unfolds section after section. From a loose pile of poems, your book becomes whole and ready for a publisher.