33 Poetry Publishers Who Can Publish Your Poetry Book

If you’re new to working with poetry publishers, and you’d like to publish a book of your own, you need to know your options.

Different poetry publishers are looking for different styles and flavors of poetry.

If you write rhyming couplets, you probably won’t get the best results from a press that has only published free verse.

And if you don’t like the poetry a press has published, chances are, they’re not the press for you.

So, where do you find the best poetry publishers for your book?

What Are Poetry Publishers Looking For?

Poetry is ethereal. Unfortunately, there’s no magical machine into which writers can plug in the proper elements on one side and out pops a perfect poem on the other. 

Furthermore, there’s no telling what will resonate with literary agents, editors, and publishers. It’s frustrating to acknowledge, but much of what gets published versus what doesn’t amounts to the luck of the draw. 

All that said, there are a few general guidelines that, when applied, contribute to the best possible outcome if you’re trying to secure a traditional contract instead of self-publishing. 

Unique Voices (With Followings)

Publishing houses are looking for the next great voice. Works that wow the literary crowd and earn money for the company are the holy grails of commercial literature. Since creating “buzz” is how to generate attention in our digital age, many publishers also want writers with “followings.”

Work That Resonates

What would you rather read: something pleasant but hollow or a missive so relatable it’s viscerally moving? Publishers and editors feel the same way, and they’re searching for work that resonates on a universally personal level. 

Fresh Language Usage

The magic of poetry lies in its construction. Poets use words like clay. (And to be fair, so do novelists and non-fiction writers.) But the charge of authors and journalists is to produce work the average person can recognize. 

Poets, however, toil in more abstract fields and stretch language to its limits, forever testing the boundaries in thought-provoking ways.

Well-Written, Polished Work

Style aside, publishers ultimately crave great, polished pieces. But burnished poems only shine after lots of revisions. And while editing is not a magic potion, putting in the work pays off.

How Much Does it Cost To Get a Book of Poetry Published?

You’re interested in publishing a compendium of poetry but wonder how much it would cost. 

First, you must determine what route you want to take: the old-fashioned way or self-publishing. 

Understand that landing a deal with a traditional publisher is challenging for poets. Most big book houses don’t accept many novelists and non-fiction writers — and even fewer poets. However, some smaller publishing companies focus on indie work, so it’s wise to focus on those. 

Self-publishing is the other option — and many may argue it’s the best path for poets.

How much does it cost? It depends on a few factors.

  • Do you plan to release an ebook, print book, or both? Ebooks are the least costly.
  • What are you envisioning for cover art? Do you want multiple covers for different demographics or just one? The less you do, the less expensive it will be.
  • Do you feel comfortable laying out the book? Or do you need a book designer? 
  • You may also need services for formatting and proofreading.
  • Books need marketing to sell. You can save a lot of money handling the promotions yourself. Conversely, a professional will likely have more reach, leading to larger profits. 

So how much will all of it set you back? If you only release an ebook and handle everything else yourself, you’ll pay around $100. If you opt for a complete self-publishing package, expect to pay between $2000 and $5,000, depending on the services you need to hire.

Poetry Publishers You Should Consider

For this post, we’ve curated a list of 33 legit poetry publishers who will give your book its best chance on the market.

Not all of them have a budget for advance payments, but they may do more to get your book noticed — which increases the likelihood of sales (i.e., royalty payments).

For each of the poetry publishing companies listed below, you’ll see some details that I hope will help you decide which ones to look at more closely.

In case you’re ready to publish now, this post focuses on the poetry book publishers accepting submissions.

Poetry Publishers that Pay

If you’ve spent hours creating a book of 30 or more poems you’re proud of, no one can blame you for focusing your time and energy on publishers that pay.

This post would fail in its purpose, though, if it didn’t point out that many of the poetry publishers that once accepted submissions throughout the year now only accept them for their annual poetry prizes.

Some of those who are still open to unsolicited submissions have made their submission window smaller and now charge a reading fee just to keep the business going.

And after sifting through the webpages for over a hundred different poetry publishers and their contests, I found plenty that had stopped taking submissions — some temporarily, others for the foreseeable future.

At least with a contest, they’re likely to earn more in entry fees than they end up spending for the winners’ awards.

Poetry Publishers Open to Submissions

1. Autumn House Press

  • As of January, 2020, authors of accepted manuscripts receive 35 author copies from the first print run and 15 from any additional print runs. Authors receive 8% royalties on print titles and 15% on digital — as well as a post-publication prize package.Line 2
  • See this page for more details on their marketing package.
  • 2020 Autumn House Poetry Contest — Submission dates: Jan 1 — Jun Prize: $1,000 advance, publication, and $1,500 travel/publicity grant to promote their book. Reading fee: $30.
  • 2020 Autumn House Chapbook Contest — Submission dates: Aug 1 — Aug 31. Prize: $1,000 advance and publication. Reading fee: $20. MS length: 15-30 pages.

2. Black Lawrence Press

3. Black Mountain Press

  • Happy to consider unsolicited submissions from authors previously published or not. Read their guidelines to ensure your work fits their needs
  • Submit a copy of your complete manuscript by regular post or via Submittable.
  • Response within six to ten months.

4. BlazeVOX Books

  • They pay 10% royalties on fiction and poetry books, based on net receipts. They do not pay advances, but they do provide postcards, catalogues, and other promo material at their expense. They also sell copies to authors at wholesale prices.
  • They do require audio and video podcasts of authors and expect the latter to assist in a wide variety of marketing practices.

5. City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

  • Open to unsolicited submission only as book proposals — with a cover letter, a resume, a sample of your work (20 pages maximum), and a SASE if you want a mailed response.
  • Review their recently released books to gauge whether your poetry is a good fit.

6. Coach House Books

  • Publishes primarily Canadian authors and welcomes the work of diverse communities, including Indigenous writers, writers of color, writers with disabilities, writers from the LGBTQ+ community, and writers who identify with other marginalized groups.
  • Send your complete manuscript, along with a cover letter describing your work and comparing it to at least two Coach House titles. Include a literary CV listing previous publications and relevant experience.

7. Codhill Press

8. Copper Canyon

  • 2020 Spring/Summer Reading Period: Jun 1 – 30. MS length: 45-200 pages. No more than two submissions per reading period. Fee: $35.

9. Counterpath

  • Open year-round for book proposals and submissions. Send a query with a very short sample of your book’s content to counterpath@counterpathpress.org, using the word “SUBMISSION” (in all caps) in the subject line.
  • Responds within three months.

10. Four Way Books

  • June 1-30, 2020 — The Four Way Books June Open Reading Period — Open to all poets and fiction writers. Book-length poetry collections, story collections, and novellas. $30.00 processing fee. Online or paper submissions accepted. Response by mid-November. Click here for complete guidelines.
  • November 15-December 15, 2020 — Not a contest. Open to book-length manuscripts written in English by a New York City resident (5 boroughs) emerging writer for a first or second collection of poems. At least 45 pages of text for poetry. Send your manuscript to editors@fourwaybooks.com. Simultaneous submissions are allowed. No fee to submit. Response by March 31, 2021.
  • Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry — Submission dates: Jan 1 –; Mar 31. Award: publication of a book-length collection, a Four Way Books sponsored reading in NYC, and $1,000. Reading fee: $30.

11. Louisiana State University (LSU) Press

  • Your book proposal should include a cover letter, a one-page summary of your work, a brief sample (i.e., a few poems), and a resume or CV.
  • The review process normally takes four to six months.

12. Platypus Press (UK)

  • Accepting poetry manuscripts of 35+ pages — 1/3 of which is unpublished.The review process normally takes four to six months.
  • Send manuscript in a single Word doc or PDF file to submissions@platypuspress.co.uk. Include a third person bio in the body of your email.

13. Trio House Press (THP)

  • Open Reading Period: Jul 1 – Jul 31. No prize money awarded for open period.
  • Along with your full manuscript, include detailed cover letter (approx. two pages in length) with your bio, publishing history, and marketing plan.
  • Read more about their selection process here.
  • Awards Reading Period: Nov 1 – Apr 30. Trio House Book Awards — Trio Award for First or Second Book and the Louise Bogan Award for Artistic Merit and Excellence. Prizes for both: $1,000, publication, and 20 copies. Reading fee: $20

14. Tupelo Press

  • July Open — Submission dates: Jul1 – Jul 31. Book-length submissions: 48-90 pages. Chapbook-length collections: 28-47 pages.
  • “”Selected manuscripts will receive publication by Tupelo Press, a book launch, and national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion.””

15. WordTech Communications

  • Chapbook reading: May and June.
  • Full-length manuscript reading: November and December.
  • See their Facebook page for the latest news. Email your submission attaching your manuscript as a Microsoft Word document. Read all guidelines before submitting.

More Related Articles:

12 Best Self-Publishing Companies For Starting Your Writing Business

How To Become A Publisher (The Ultimate Guide)

33 Poetry Publishers Who Can Publish Your Poetry Book

Christian Poetry Publishers

16. Wipf & Stock Publishers

  • Email a complete proposal to proposal@wipfandstock.com with the following: proposal form (download from their website and complete), your CV, and one sample chapter (or your complete manuscript as a single document).
  • To learn more, see their Author Guide and their FAQ section.

17. Yorkshire Publishing

Publishing by Poetry Contest

18. Alice James Books

  • Alice James Award — Submission dates: Mar 1 — Nov 4. Prize: $2,000, book publication, distribution through Consortium.

19. Anhinga Press:

20. Cave Canem: A Home for Black Poetry

  • 2020 Cave Canem Poetry Prize — Deadline: Mar 9. Prize: $1,000, publication by the University of Pittsburgh in fall 2021, 15 copies of your book, and a feature reading. Entry fee: $20.

21. Elixir Press

  • The Antivenom Poetry Award — Submission dates: Jan 1 – Mar 31, 2020. Guidelines. Prize: $1,000 and publication by Elixir Press. Fee: $30.
  • 21st Annual Poetry Awards — Submission dates: Aug 1 – Dec 31, 2020. Guidelines. Prize: $2,000 and publication by Elixir Press. Fee: $40.

22. Graywolf Press

  • Walt Whitman Award — Submission dates: Sep 1 – Nov 1. Prize: $5,000 first book publication prize, publication and promotion by Graywolf Press, an all-expenses-paid six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy, and a trip to NYC to attend the American Poets Ceremony.
  • Cave Canem Poetry Prize — Graywolf is one of the publishers for the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, dedicated to honoring exceptional manuscripts by African American poets. Graywolf publishes every third winner.
  • Emily Dickinson First Book Award — This is an occasional award granted by the Poetry Foundation to an American poet over the age of forty who has yet to publish a first book. Along with publication and promotion by Graywolf press, the winner receives a prize of $10,000.

23. Kore Press

  • Kore Press Institute Poetry Prize — Deadline: Sep 15. Prize: $1,500, with publication and promotion by Kore Press. Reading fee: $28.
  • Open to women and transgender poets or writers of marginalized gender and gender histories — writing in English. This can be a first, second, or mid-career book.

24. Milkweed Editions

  • Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry — Submission dates: Jan 3 – Feb 14, 2020. Prize: $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions to a poet living in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakokta, Wisconsin, or Michigan.
  • Max Ritvo Poetry Prize — Submission dates: Apr 1 – May 30, 2020. Prize: $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions to the author of a debut collection of poems. The winner receives a standard royalty contact, simultaneous publication in cloth and audiobook editions, national distribution, and a comprehensive marketing package.

25. Noemi Press

  • 2020 Noemi Press Book Award for Poetry — Deadline: May 1, 2020. Prize: $1,000 and publication by Noemi Press.
  • 2020 Noemi Press Book Award for Poetry — Deadline: May 1, 2020. Prize: $1,000 and publication by Noemi Press.
  • Visit their website for contest updates, to see past winners, or to get a sense of the poetry they publish.

26. Ohio University Press

27. Orison Books

28. Persea Books

  • The Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize (for women who’ve yet to publish a full-length book of poems). Submission dates: Sep 1 –; Oct 31. Prize: publication with Persea Books and an advance of $1,000.
  • The Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award (for any poet who has previously published at least one full-length book of poems). Submission dates: Jan 1 –; Mar 7. Prize: publication with Persea Books, an advance of $2,000, and a stipend of $1,000 for expenses related to promotion of your collection.

29. Sarabande Books

  • Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry — Submission dates: Jan 1 — Feb 15. Prize: $2,000, publication of a full-length collection of poetry, and a standard royalty contract.

30. Saturnalia Books

31. Slope Editions

  • 19th Annual Book Prize — Deadline: Apr 15, 2020. Prize: $1,000, publication by Slope Editions in 2021, and free copies of the book in lieu of royalties. Guidelines. Entry fee: $25

32. Steel Toe Books

  • 2020 Prize in Poetry Deadline: Sep 1. Prize: $500 and publication for a full-length poetry collection. No maximum page count. Winner also receives a $1,000 promotional campaign across social media and ad networks.

33. Two Sylvias

Have you found your poetry publishers?

Now that you’ve looked over these poetry publishers, I hope they’ve given you some hope of finding the right publisher for your poetry.

You’ve put a lot of your creative energy and time into your work. It only makes sense to be as choosy about your publisher as they are with the poetry they publish.

If you don’t find a publisher for your poetry, though, I hope you’ll consider self-publishing. It’s becoming a more viable option for many poets.

And don’t overlook the possibility that, once your work is out there – published under your own name or publishing company – you may attract the attention of publishers looking for poets who have experience marketing their own art.

Whatever path you choose for now, I’ll do all I can to help you get the best results from your poetry book.

Looking for the best poetry publishers for your dozen poems? Our extensive list gives you all of the details you need to know about publishers that accept submissions and might be right for you.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.