As an acquisitions editor, Mike Levine spent years evaluating and perfecting manuscripts for publication. He “knows the market,” which is useful, but more significantly, he is a rigorous but generous reader whose carefully edited books have not only won him the gratitude of his writers but have won prizes as well. I asked Mike whether he thought I ought to take out of my metaphoric desk drawer a novel I had put away, discouraged. His enthusiasm for what was there and his capacity to see what might be if I re-thought a few things – something no other editor had done – impelled me to return to it. It’s shown up on a couple of “best books of 2018” lists, and the shout-out I give him on my acknowledgements page is, I think, the least I owe him.
– Rosellen Brown, author of The Lake on Fire
Mike Levine is a meticulous and thoughtful editor, sensitive to the internal world of individual poems, the author’s own quirks of personality, and the economy of a book as a whole. His suggestions and feedback are invariably sound, and my collection Olives (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award) was the better for them. He is an editor who has the book’s and author’s best interests at heart, and can cast a cold eye on a manuscript without wavering in moral and practical support.
– A. E. Stallings, author of Olives
Mike Levine is a visionary. I spent eight years writing a book that never seemed finished. Mike’s faith in the book not only got it published but allowed me to finally stop writing it! Before I was even willing to consider removing a comma, Mike somehow knew what to cut and made me very comfortable trimming my incredibly overlong manuscript. I offer Mike this deal: Help me with my next book and I promise to keep it a little shorter.
– Robert S. Bader, author of Four of the Three Musketeers: The Marx Brothers on Stage (Jerry Seinfeld on Robert's book)
Mike Levine is an author’s dream editor. He clearly loves literature and is dedicated to bringing talented voices to light. He’s honest in his appraisal and advice, yet sensitive to an author’s concerns and vision. Through Mike’s keen editorial guidance and insights, my linked story collection became its “best self.”
– Paula Whyman, author of You May See a Stranger: Stories
Working with Mike Levine has been a gratifying experience. He is not only smart, warm and hard-working: Mike is also a detail-oriented editor who can find even the most elusive typo. Most writers are in need of the kind of constructive criticism he provides.
– Annette Insdorf, author of Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski and Intimations: The Cinema of Wojciech Has
Mike Levine is the real deal. He helped me tighten, clean up, and bring sharply into focus what could have been a sprawling, only intermittently coherent manuscript. He has taste and he has smarts. You can't really ask for much more. I highly recommend him.
– Thomas Rayfiel, author of In Pinelight
Mike’s notes were clear and always useful. He protected the stories from the weaknesses in the human being writing them, in my case a drift toward showing off. As he edits, you feel his literary bent. He wants to be delighted and surprised, and if you can get him laughing, it is the best feeling. He is really smart and has a great literary ear. Never mind if this sounds self-congratulatory. He is a huge asset to any manuscript he touches.
– Laurie Stone, author of My Life as an Animal: Stories
Mike was always gentle, alert, responsive, honest, wry, literate, and smart. There seem to be few editors left these days at all, and very few of Mike's caliber. Whether I was finishing up a book of poems or inching through my translations of Euripides, I found Mike unfailingly helpful both in looking closely at the work in progress and in steering me though the process of publication. He's a treasure.
– Rachel Hadas, author of The Golden Road
Any fiction writer could benefit from Mike’s astute eye.
– Arthur Phillips, author of Prague,The Egyptologist, and Angelica
Whenever I was fortunate enough to be entrusted with an ambitious and brilliant novel from a client but found that a second opinion was needed, the outside reader I often sought was Mike Levine. His early editorial insights into the critically acclaimed
novel Serena by Ron Rash, among others, were invaluable.
– Marly Rusoff, literary agent
He feeds me.