So you’re an aspiring poet who wants to reach an audience beyond the local coffee shop-well this article will help you get started. There are many places to self-publish your work, such as on your blog or websites that allow unrestricted posting. These publications are a great way to get started and get some of your work “out there.” But it’s also important to submit your work to academic publications to gain notoriety and to local literary reviews in order to get plugged into an active community of writers. Below are the top-five places to begin your search for reputable local and national poetry publishers.
1. The first place to look is the Poet’s Market series of books, published by Writer’s Digest Books. Poet’s Market is published annually, but if you’re strapped for cash you can always get an older edition-most of the markets will still be up-to-date, but some may have changed. Many libraries also carry the current edition as a non-circulating reference book, so if you are working with an old one, double check the contact info and pertinent submission guidelines at the library after you’ve found a publication that sounds decent. Poet’s Market is nice because it has great indexes and easy-to-use listings with great, detailed information.
2. The Directory of Poetry Publishers, printed by Dustbooks is another good source of annual publishing information. The listings in the Directory of Poetry Publishers are less user-friendly than those in Poet’s Market, but the Directory has the advantage of being primarily small-press, limited circulation publishers. Such publishers do not have as wide of an audience, but they are more likely to publish newer authors. It is a great way to get some publishing credits under your belt early on.
3. Duotrope’s Digest is an online resource that primarily has small and medium-sized press listings. The best feature of the Duotrope’s Digest database is its amazing search capacity. You can search for markets based on genre, length, medium, pay-rate, and acceptance rate. Detailed descriptions and submission statistics appear on almost every listing.
4. Another good online resource is The Small Press Exchange. This site has less listings and less search features, but it makes up for these shortcomings by a good community vibe. Users are able to review sites listed on The Small Press Exchange and communicate with each other via forums.
5. Lastly, Poets & Writers magazine offers some good, very timely listings at the end of each issue. These listings are great because they don’t just offer publisher information, they also detail monthly contest and residency information vital to an aspiring poet looking to broaden his or her horizons.