Q: I have been searching the Web to find potential publishers of poetry. Most publishers don’t accept unsolicited work. Most require literary agents. In my quest to have my poetry published, I am finding it difficult getting started. Can you help?
–T. McRae, Stockbridge, GA
A: Check out SoYouWanna.com. It has a section on getting poetry published that takes you step by step through the process. Here is a direct link to that section: www.soyouwanna.com/site/ syws/publishpoem/publishpoem.html.
Among the topics covered is how to find markets, such as electronic publications and literary magazines, for your poetry. It also offers links to several professional poetry Websites and provides straightforward advice on how to prepare your work for submission. You might also want to read How to Publish Your Poetry: A Complete Guide to Finding the Right Publishers for Your Work by Helene Ciaravino (Square One Publishers; $15.95).
You won’t necessarily need a literary agent, but you will need a lot of patience waiting for responses to your submissions. You will also need a high threshold for rejection; there is far more poetry than there are outlets for its publication. The key to improving the odds of your poems getting published is to submit your work to as many outlets as possible.