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I would like to publish a poetry folio through my university press. My ex-poetry professor at my alma mater says that is possible, but the university will only publish me if I already have a book published elsewhere, through a traditional publisher.

Toward that end, can anyone recommend a traditional publisher to submit to? I have found lists on the internet. However I have not found any high quality lists with working links, nor any indication that these publishers are genuinely interested in publishing poetry.

I would suppose there aren't very many. I'll probably also end up doing an ebook. But... it would tickle me, and my family, if I could publish via the university press from my college. So that's a career goal.

Good advice on how to further my objective would be much appreciated.

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4 Answers

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I would check on duotrope.com. They list a large number of publishers looking to publish individual poems, chapbooks, as well as full collections. You will be able to sort by genre, pay scales, and acceptance rates. Once you find a few possible publishers, find out what else they're publishing and if you think you'd fit with them.

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I would suggest going to Amazon.com and do a search for Poetry under their Books category. I did this and then sorted by Publication Date. This will give you a list of poetry books that have recently been published. I selected six and found three that are currently taking submissions, although you have just missed the deadline for one of them. Even so, you can expand this type of search and come up with a pretty sizable list if you put the time into it. Below are the three I found:

Coach House Books

Black Lawrence Press

Sarabande Books

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Another publisher to look at would be Sourcebooks. I know they have developed the largest website for poetry. Very interesting group....think they might be able to help.

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One of the better (and more effective) ways to start getting published is through one of the many legitimate competitions, of which there are many in just about every genre you can think of. The best resource I know in this regard is Winning Writers. It's chock full of good information and hosts several annual, legitimate competitions of its own (including a satirical contest for the most egregiously awful pseudo-poem accepted by one of the illegitimate "poetry competitions," such as poetry.com).

Poet's Market and Writer's Market are essential resources in the hunt for possible publishers, because they provide detailed submission requirements. (Do, however, take anything that looks too good to be true with a hefty grain of salt. Just because an agent or imprint has an entry in PM or WM doesn't mean they're legit. Check them on "Writer Beware" and "Preditors [sic] and Editors".)

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