Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How to Find a Poetry Market

Cover of "Walking to Martha's Vineyard"Cover of Walking to Martha's Vineyard

Aspiring poets need to find markets that would publish the fruits of our loving labor. Here's one trick:

Go to the library, your bookshelf, or a bookstore. Pick up a recent-ish volume of poetry where the material isn't too different from your own. Then skim the front and back matter for a list of acknowledgements.

For example, the Pulitzer Prize-winning collection Walking to Martha's Vineyard by Franz Wright was published in 2005 and it contains a single page of acknowledgements. Wright thanks a number of publications for publishing the peoms that ended up in this book:
Now, we hit the Web with searches like (perihelion poetry) and ("Gulf Coast" poetry). As it turns out, a couple of these publications have closed down entirely, and others no longer accept new submissions. Bummer. How can you tell? Some journals post a final "goodbye" and others just freeze up. Can we have our ball back was last updated three years ago, so it's a safe bet that the submission window has closed.

But a select handful are open for business and have proper submission guidelines posted on the Web. The links above go directly to those guidelines for your convenience.

So there you have it -- a short list of poetry fora that are actively accepting submissions and may appreciate my voice.

Have any other market-finding tricks to share? Please let me know in the Comments below.
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