What’s your advice for someone wanting to publish a first-time poetry collection?

The first step toward getting your poetry published is to get the Poets Market, a print resource also available on Kindle. It includes hundreds of publishing opportunities specifically for poets, including listings for book and chapbook publishers, print and online poetry publications, contests, and more.

Before trying to get a whole book of poetry published, you’ll want to start by first getting individual poems accepted by publications, as well as entering poetry contests. Eventually when you’ve built a track record, you may be able to interest one of the publishers of poetry books.

You can also find lists of poetry book publishers and poetry contests online at websites such as:




Unfortunately, there are a lot of scammers out there, making money from poets desperate to see their work in print. Google “poetry publishing scams” to begin learning how to watch out for these.

Most agents don’t represent poetry books unless their guidelines specifically state they’re seeking poetry, so it’s not a good use of your time to send out queries to agents. The poetry route is unique, so you’ll need to become familiar with the resources I mentioned above.


If you should decide to invest in some personalized counsel, I offer coaching for unpublished authors here: My Coaching Services


Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!