New additions to my website page: Poetry Book Publishers.
These are book publishers who read outside of contests. If you have a manuscript and are tired of the contest round, check it out. People have written to me to say they found their publishers with this list. You can also search on New Pages and Poets and Writers, under Small Presses.
Keeping this list up has made me more discriminating in thinking about where to submit my manuscript. Readers of this blog will know that last year I had an unusual publishing mishap I dubbed "Poet Left at the Altar." My soon-to-be publisher, Kitsune Books, went out of business just before my book was to appear. I picked them because they also published fiction, and I have a novel ready to boil over and need a publisher. I thought I had found my dream relationship: a publisher who might welcome all my future books! As fragile a dream as any romantic fantasy, it seems. While there are a few publishers who publish both prose and poetry (the big houses don't do poetry, the small presses don't often do fiction), many small presses are so financially fragile that one life event or bad year can wipe them out.
Having learned a lot about publishing in order to market my novel and choose a publisher well for the next books I publish, I discovered that the enterprise of small press publishing is often floating on a dream, funded by not much more than a dream and some sweat, and received in the world of readers with an astonishing absence. Few buy these books, few review them, few subscribe to magazines that publish poetry and literary fiction. Yet we're all avid readers.
This isn't meant to scare us, just to pose a problem that needs some creative problem-solving. Freedom of writing and publishing depends on our collaborating to create a new publishing paradigm, one not controlled by a few wealthy gatekeepers, but more by the tastes of the reading public.