Welcome to Tekpoet

Tekpoet is an online manuscript services company for new and emerging poets. On the surface, it’s about getting a professional poet to read your work and provide feedback and the tools to get published.

But really, it’s about relationships. Tekpoet is designed for poets who struggle to get their work read and need help with the complex publication process. It’s about opening doors, creating connections, and taking action.

It is my hope that every poet who wants the opportunity to connect with a published poet and receive feedback on their work, will have the chance to workshop with their mentors and peers in a unique online experience.

Go to the Talent Index tab to find the service-specific experts who have provided me with skillful guidance and encouragement along my journey as a poet.

We can do this together!

With handwriting on the wall,

Joanne Leva
Editor-In-Chief, tekpoet

Grace Paley

Grace Paley, MCPL Celebrity Judge (2005)

I remember waiting at the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, PA, to meet Grace Paley in April 2005. I stood at the front of the greeters’ line by the escalator preparing for our first face-to-face meeting; holding her travel itinerary in my left hand while vigorously shaking my right to avoid the undesireable, obnoxious-sweaty-palm-handshake. I wondered to myself if I would even recognize Grace when she emerged from the platform below. After all, I had only seen her (in physical form) from afar at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival the year before and there she stood at a podium hundreds of yards away. It was night. We were under a large tent. There was magic in that chilly autumn air. Or so I remembered.

Not long after that, the vast waiting room faced with marble and coffered ceiling painted gold, red and cream became the backdrop for alchemy. There she was – all four and a half feet of her.

We made our way to my car, which was parked at a meter out front, and before you know it, we were off to the guest house at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA, where she would stay the night. After I helped her in with her things, I departed. When I returned just before the awards ceremony was scheduled to begin, I found a very busy, very determined Grace Paley searching through luggage for a boarding pass.  The contents of her purse strewn across a disheveled bed.

I assured her it would surface, eventually, and we quickly shuffled out of the room headed for Grey Towers Castle.

As Grace leaned into the passenger seat of my car, her legs turned out and she planted both feet squarely on the ground. She pulled out a small tube of lipstick: Russian Red, and applied bold color to full carnation lips with steadfast precision and without a mirror.

To my surprise, she then took both of her hands and rubbed the ruby red from her lips all across her forehead, chin and cheeks and said, “This is how I get good color on my face.”

Galway Kinnell

Galway Kinnell, MCPL Celebrity Judge (2006)

We did errands together, like sending letters at the Ambler Post Office.

Add a trip to Kilian Hardware, a real old-fashioned hardware store located in Philadelphia, PA, that specializes in functional and decorative hardware for wood doors and windows. Galway loved walking down the crowded, narrow aisles. He stopped to inspect surface bolts and adjustable catches. He used his Index fingers to illustrate the hooks he needed for a home renovation project. We discussed olive knuckle hinges. We got lost for what seemed hours on that April afternoon before the MCPL Awards Event.

As we made our way to the cashier to pay, Galway noticed his credit card was not in his wallet. Suddenly, the pleasant afternoon shifted to a game of hare and hounds with a sense of urgency.

We quickly returned to the Ambler post office. No luck. The distribution associate remembered us, but no card. He tore off a clean piece of an old envelope he had found in his suit jacket and wrote,

“Please allow Joanne Leva to accept my credit card, so she can send it to me at my home in Vermont.”

 He signed it, Galway Kinnell.

After the pomp and circumstance of the MCPL Awards Event, and upon his return home, Galway sent me an email to say that he had left his credit card at a local bakery, and that they were holding it for him, so I didn’t have to worry. So everything worked out. And now I have this noble artifact, which I will treasure forever.

The following October I saw Galway at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival and I said to him, “I didn’t know you were going to be here!” And he said to me, “If I would have known you were going to be here, I would have baked you a cake!”

Rest in peace, Galway.