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How to Publish a Poem

Four Methods:Traditional PublishingSelf PublishingInternet PublishingSample Poems

You've poured your soul into your poetry, and you think you have something that you want to share with the world, but you don't know how to proceed. Who publishes poetry, and how can you make sure they see yours? We'll show you a few ways to proceed.

Method 1
Traditional Publishing

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    Submit your work to literary magazines. By reaching out to magazines and literary journals, you are also reaching out to editors, agents, and other poets. You may be rejected at first—it's almost a rite of passage for creative types—but if you continue to send out good poetry, they will get to know you, and you will start to see your work published.
    • Finding the right match for you will help you get published. Remember, most editors are swamped with submissions, so if you give them what they're looking for, you'll have the advantage over everyone else.
    • Refer to Sources and Citations, below, for a link to Rutgers University and a list of poetry publishers.
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    Collect your works. Build a manuscript as you are sending out your poetry, and when you've written a substantial number of poems, and have been published in various periodicals, approach small presses and university publishers.
  3. Image titled Publish a Poem Step 3
    Submit your work to the Academy of American Poets. Each year, they recognize poets who are publishing their first book.
    • Look to newspapers, magazines, civic organizations and other national contest organizations, as well. They often list poetry writing contests with various awards for best submissions.
    • Placing your work with these sources will gain you a valuable recognition.

Method 2
Self Publishing

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    Find a reputable self-publishing company. One way to avoid or get off the submission-and-rejection merry-go-round is to publish your poetry yourself. Print on demand (POD) printing companies such as Lulu and Blurb are good for small quantities of books, and for samples or one-off books. The price is normally somewhat high and is not ideal for large runs. Many are based online. Some offer ISBN numbers for an extra price, and some can also be linked to sites like Amazon. Often times, POD printers create side operations that run as subsidy or vanity publishers.

Method 3
Internet Publishing

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    Search Google. Enter "Poetry publishing" in the search field, and be prepared to sift through nearly 70 million results! Some are websites that publish poetry, some are poetry organizations, and some are just trying to make a buck. Always research a company before you submit your work to them, to be safe.
    • Google will generally sort results that are in your region first.
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    Visit respected websites. Sites such as feature lists of poetry-friendly bookstores, local literary journals and small presses, and tools to find publishers.

Sample Poems

Sample Limerick

Sample Tanka

Sample Cinquain


  • Keep a record of potential markets in Excel or some other database management program on your computer.
  • Track expenses, such as postage and printing costs. If you get published and earn money for your work, those expenses may be tax deductible.
  • You may also choose to post poems yourself on poetry blogs. Blogs allow you to instantaneously post your material, have readers comment on your work and have your work searchable by search engines.


  • Some publishers may offer constructive criticism of your work, even if they don't buy or print your poem. Carefully consider their advice and respond with courtesy.
  • Consider whether or not you are willing to pay "reading fees" from publishers who may or may not publish your work. This is more often than not a scam.
  • Be aware of and avoid scam publishers (like, who claim that they are well-respected and will use your work to make money for themselves, usually from you.
  • Be careful with self publishing and posting on blogs as many official publishers will only accept first rights, that is, the right to be the first source from which your works appear anywhere. If they search for your poem on the internet and find it, even if only on your own blog, they may reject it.

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Publishing