Poetry & Publishing

Manuscript preparation; tools & tips for getting published; methods for organizing a book of poems; poetry contests, workshops, & residencies; & other resources for the publishing poet

Tools for Getting Published

  • Duotrope's Digest
    A database of over 1800 current markets for short fiction, poetry, and novels/collections. Use the free service to research markets for your writing as well as to keep track of your submissions. Also gives you a good window into when journals are reading submissions and sending out rejections and acceptances.
  • Winning Writers
    Finds and creates quality resources for poets and writers. An expert online poetry contest guide, Poetry Contest Insider, ranks and profiles over 750 poetry contests. Named one of "101 Best Web Sites for Writers" (Writer's Digest, 2005 & 2006).
  • Poets & Writers Speakeasy Message Forum
    Most poets have heard of Poets & Writers Magazine, but many overlook the forum. One of the best writers forums on the Web for publishing support, resources, and the business aspects of being a publishing poet.
  • New Pages Blog 
    Current writers conferences, calls for submissions, poetry prize winners announcements, literary magazines and publishing, new online literary journals and alternative media, author interviews, new poetry book reviews, and more by the publishers of NewPages.com, A Guide to Literary Journals.
  • Practicing Writing
    Erika Dreifus' blog with updates on writing, calls for submissions, publishing opportunities, and news on what's happenings in the literary world.
  • insert words here: just words on a white page
    Current, numerous, and meticulously updated calls for submission, ranging from anthologies, Latino, women, queer, religion, parenthood, literary, and more. Also includes residencies, contests, writing courses.

Writers Workshops & Residencies

  • Squaw Valley Community of Writers
    One of the best poetry workshops in the country and a true community of writers. Galway Kinnell directed the Poetry Workshops for 17 years, and is now directed by Robert Hass. Regular participants also include Sharon Olds, Lucille Clifton, Brenda Hillman; also have included Kevin Young, Yusef Komunyakaa, Cornelius Eady, Li-Young Lee. Also host Fiction, Nonfiction, Screenwriting, Playwriting, and Nature Writing (the Art of the Wild Program).
  • Cave Canem: A Home for Black Poetry
    Cave Canem grew out of Cornelius Eady and Toi Derricotte's summer workshop and bloomed into a national community of writers with a first-book prize, anthologies, and readings. Boasts a fine faculty that includes Lucille Clifton, Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa, Kevin Young, and more.


  • The NewPages.com Guide to Literary Journals
    Lists and reviews literary, alternative, and online journals and magazines. Also lists contests and submission calls for writers, new literary blogs, and MFA creative writing programs. A great source for discovering new and established poetry publishing venues.
  • Nimrod International Journal of Prose & Poetry
    Founded in 1956 at The University of Tulsa; devoted to the discovery and publication of new writers with an increasing impact on the development of the careers of new writers through the Nimrod/Hardman Awards.
  • Blue Mesa Review
    Founded by Rudolfo Anaya, author of the seminal Chicano novel, Bless Me Ultima, to bring national recognition to writers from the American Southwest.
  • The Journal of Mythic Arts
    A unique and excellent online journal dedicated to literary, visual, and performance arts inspired by myth, folklore, fairy tales, and oral tradition. Unfortunately, the last issue will appear in the summer of 2008, but their extensive archives of 10+ years will remain online as an on-going source of mythic arts information and resources. With poems by Margaret Atwood, Rigoberto González, Pat Mora, Gary Snyder, and others.
  • Art/Life: The Original Limited Edition Monthly
    Every page is an original work of art in a diverse array of media, including collages, original prints and photos, dimensional objects, poetry and prose. Collected by such major art institutions as New York's Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Getty Trust in Santa Monica, and the Guggenheim Museum bookstore in Soho, New York.
  • Words Without Borders
    The Online Magazine for International Literature's goal is to "introduce exciting international writing to the general public — travelers, teachers, students, publishers, and a new generation of eclectic readers — by presenting international literature not as a static, elite phenomenon, but a portal through which to explore the world... we hope to help foster a “globalization” of cultural engagement and exchange, one that allows many voices in many languages to prosper." Provides book reviews, resources for educators such as lesson plans and study guides, and discussion about cultures.
  • Convergence
    An excellent online journal whose title refers to the convergence between the literary and visual arts. Edited by Squaw Valley Community member, Lara Gularte.


  • Taha Muhammad Ali
    An inimitable poet who possesses a deep love for humanity. I predict that one day Taha Muhammad Ali will one day win the Nobel Prize for Poetry. Watch him read the public debut of "Revenge" at the Dodge Poetry Festival.
  • Poetry International Web
    A worldwide forum for poetry--with news, essays, interviews and discussion. A repository of hundreds of poems by renowned modern world poets, both in the original language and in English translation.
  • Ubuweb's Ethnopoetics
    A sampler of a wide range of poetries outside the Western Canon, including Yaqui, Tibetan, Vietnamese and much more. Curated by Jerome Rothenberg.
  • DWx
    Dan Wilcox, poet, photographer, and peace activist, shares poems & musings on the Albany (NY) poetry scene
  • Poetrypoetry.com
    An extensive site dedicated to pre-recorded readings by the original artists
  • Albany Poets
    A comprehensive resource for poets, poetry, and readings in the upstate New York Capital District area
  • Prose and Poetry by Joy Leftow
    Fiction writer, poet, and spoken word artist who performs widely in the New York City poetry scene and on local public radio


  • Caridad Pineiro
    "Chica Lit" author of many juicy novels, including Sex and the South Beach Chicas, Friday Night Chicas, The Calling vampire series, and more.
  • Voices from the Gaps:
    Focuses on the lives and works of North American women artists and writers. Many poets and writers represented, including Toni Cade Bambara, Rita Dove, Nikki Giovanni, Marjorie Agosin, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Marilyn Chin, Ai, Louise Erdrich, Luci Tapahonso, Linda Hogan; with biographical, critical, and bibliographical information. An excellent resource for developing courses on women writers of color, African American, Chicana, and Native American literature. Offers a syllabi that includes resources from their website. Hosted by the English Department at the University of Minnesota.

How to Organize a Book of Poems

  • Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Poetry Manuscript:Some Ideas on Creation and Order
    Jeffrey Levine, Editor of Tupelo Press, gives both general and practical advice on how to organize a poetry collection. He addresses the subject of cohesion and offers approaches to the process of creating a book that transcends the individual poems. From the January 2007 issue of Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Job List.
  • Falling Into Place
    Poet Paola Corso gives helpful tips on how to arrange a poetry collection with the purpose of shaping it into a "cohesive, lyrical manuscript
  • Sarabande Press: Advice on Submitting to Our Contests 
    Based on their experience reviewing hundreds of manuscript submissions for the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry and the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, the editors of the prestigious press offer suggestions that not only apply to entering manuscript contests, but also to organizing successful poetry collections in general. In three parts: Putting a Book Together; In the Marketplace; and What Distinguishes Good Writing and Makes the Best Submission.
  • Dynamic Design: The Structure of Books of Poems
    Natasha Sajé analyzes the way poets shape their collections and the effects of those shapes. She examines how organization can provide a richer experience for the reader and asserts that "the poet must use convention, but not be used by it, in order to create a free flow of energy through the book...yet not dictating the path so much that the reader cannot reenter with a sense of discovery." (For The Iowa Review, Fall, 2005.)
  • What Makes a Good Manuscript
    Poet Allegra Mira explains a succinct criteria, such as "Good manuscripts have a strong personality; explore a single concept; are only as long as they have to be; and are accessible."
  • Putting Your Poetry in Order: The Mix-Tape Strategy
    Katrina Vandenberg treats writers to her unique method for ordering a book of poems, asserting that "ordering poems becomes a familiar act if you consider the lyric poem in its original form—the song." She likens a good poetry manuscript to great albums as wholes, such as the Beatle's "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," Aretha Franklin's "Chain Of Fools," and Tom Wait's "9th and Hennepin." Her advice is: "Don't get wrapped up in a book's concept at the expense of its poems. We've all seen books so focused on a theme that their individual poems are as bloodless and forgettable as the songs on an Emerson, Lake & Palmer album."

Manuscript Preparation & Publishing Tips

  • Advice to Young Poets: How to Make It out of the Slush Pile of Submissions
    Poet Eleanor Hamilton, founder of the poetry journal Open Places (1966-87) and former editor for The Kenyon Review offers tips to emerging poets and details the important manuscript preparation standards poets should adhere to in order to give their manuscripts the best possible chance for publication. She details the process in five sections: research, read, prepare, present, and patience.
  • Editors of Natural Bridge Journal Discuss the Submission Selection Process
    Angela Hamilton writes, "I'd noticed that pieces began to lose their authors' names. It was no longer Wakoski's poem, but the poem about the wild rose, or the essay about teeth by Virgil Suarez, maybe? That image I'd had of the large lake of submissions with the big names buoyed at the top and the small names, my name, sludge at the bottom, faded... At night, while I tried to go to sleep, I could hear the echo of another's voice, "Angela, can you just read this one more time? Tell me again what it is about this piece." In other words, assure me or . . . dissuade me. To be a reader for a literary magazine is to fall in and out of love again and again, to be surprised, to become ashamed with what you love when no one else does. And how is it that you may defend your love for something every day? How many jobs require this?"

The Best Poetry Newsletters

  • Poetry Daily Newsletter
    Poetry Daily brings you a contemporary poem from new books, magazines, and journals, and also keeps you posted on the current poetry news, calls for submissions, and contests.
  • CRWROPPS-B (Creative Writing Opportunities)
    This group posts the latest calls for submissions and contest information for writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Many opportunities for writers of all skill levels.
  • The Practicing Writer
    Each issue includes announcements for upcoming contests and calls for submissions, and well as conferences and poetry events.
  • Marcela Landres' Latinidad Newsletter
    Features interviews with editors seeking Latino writers, calls for submissions from agents seeking Latino writers, and announcements about writing contests, jobs, and conferences. Each issue focuses on specific topics such at Children's books, self-publishing, and finding agents. Sometimes the moderator tries to sell her editing and workshop services, but nonetheless, this is a good resource.
  • Poets.org Update
    Monthly news on the latest Poets.org features; Poetry NYC alerts subscribers to events in the New York area; Poem-A-Day celebrates National Poetry Month with new poems sent every day in April; and press releases and news from the Academy of American Poets.
  • Winning Writers Newsletter
    Features the poetry contests, calls for submissions, poetry news, book announcements, and new resources for poets and writers. They offer a free basic newsletter and membership, but for a small fee, premium members have access to a huge variety of contests, including poetry manuscript competitions, first-book prizes, chapbooks, etc.
  • Duotrope's Digest Weekly Wire
    Each edition contains a list of poetry and fiction markets that have been added or updated at Duotrope's Digest within the past week. Also lists upcoming themed publication deadlines. Particularly helpful to publishing writers is the news from members who report having received responses from listed journals: this information sometimes hints at when you might receive information from a particular journal about your submissions.
  • The Writer's Almanac
    A nice way to start your day: With poems, prose, and literary history every morning from Garrison Keillor.

Teaching Poetry Writing

Links updated on September 2, 2010

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