Read excerpts or complete text of poetry books & chapbooks by some of the nation’s most exciting contemporary poets. The Poet’s Press has a distinct leaning toward powerful, neo-Romantic writing with clear meanings, powerful emotions and humanistic values. In other words, poetry worth reading!
This press, now based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was founded by Brett Rutherford in 1971 in New York City, and has now published more than 215 titles. The press was based in Weehawken, New Jersey and in Providence, Rhode Island from 1985 to 2015.
The Poet's Press also operates two additional imprints. Grim Reaper Books specializes in the Gothic and supernatural. Yogh & Thorn Press specializes in scholarly books and reprints of rare and wonderful "lost" texts. Expect an eclectic mix of books in the years ahead, including a four-volume set of Emilie Glen, lost literature of the World War I era, an "Egyptian Reader, " and Victor Hugo on The Siege of Paris.
The reading list from our archives includes full text and/or excerpts from some books which are still currently available in print. Other books which are out of print are presented here to help promulgate the work of these important poets. You may read these texts for your enjoyment, or even save the HTML or Acrobat files and print out poems. But please respect the copyrights of the authors and do not republish, perform or otherwise use these works without our knowledge.
A large part of our energies are also devoted to preserving and promulgating no-longer-living Poet's Press authors, most notably Emilie Glen, Barbara Holland and Annette Hayn. Contributions to the archives for these poets are welcome, in the form of undocumented poems, photographs, and personal reminiscences.
The press is now located at 2209 Murray Avenue #3/ Pittsburgh, PA 15217-2338. Watch for news about our Pittsburgh relocation in Fall 2015.
Our Publishing Policy
The Poet's Press is not a vanity publisher and we do not charge authors to have their books published. We select poets and titles that we believe fit our mission. Since our founding in 1971 we have produced books in many ways: as hand-bound chapbooks, as commercially printed books, as on-line e-books, and, most recently, back into print using on-demand printing. We now use Amazon's createspace.com to print and fulfill most of our book orders. Like many other small presses, we use on-demand services as a commercial printer and fulfilment operation, retaining our own identity, catalog, and ISBN number. Each book listed on our website has links for ordering or downloading. In early 2012, we were able to add many of our back titles for direct ordering at Amazon.com; in June 2012 we expanded this to include availability in UK and Europe.
Using print-on-demand for the physical book makes sense. Because we do not have to invest in a warehouse full on unsold dead-tree books, we can concentrate on designing and producing more books. Poet's Press books are sold directly from publisher to reader online. Because we are not using distributors and bricks-and-mortar bookstores, we can keep our prices reasonable and pay our authors a decent royalty for every copy sold. We encourage readers to buy Poet's Press books from this website's Amazon link or from the authors. (We have noticed that some book dealers are offering our titles on the internet at double the selling price or more -- another good reason to buy from the publisher.)
All publishers, large and small, are dealing with the realities of the new digital world. The age of the printed book is now coming to an end, and this is good news for poets. The text is liberated from the medium of the paper book at last. We intend to make as much poetry as possible available at the most reasonable cost — free where authors are willing to publish their work on-line. A recent book from our press sold a few hundred copies in ink-on-paper, while the e-book version had 15,000+ free reader downloads. We are more interested in live, responsive readers than in transporting, storing and selling little assemblages of paper, ink and glue. So yes, we print books, but we now regard the printed book as a by-product, available for those who want them. Perhaps the one true "value added" that we provide, after a lifetime of work in printing and publishing, is out steadfast belief that text, even online, deserves to be presented on a beautiful, legible "page." We are experimenting with ways to present books for wide-format screens and devices that make the best of both worlds.
A number of our books are available for sale as PDFs from Lulu or iTunes. Most, however, are posted on our website for FREE download. We are also adding interesting and important public domain texts and PDFs to the website, such as the pages on Greek and Latin Poetry. We are searching for the best available public domain texts for major poets, and will add more as we find them. We plan to open some texts for WIKI-style annotation after our late 2015 relocation is completed.
The real act of making books is to write, to edit, to design and to publish them, publish in its original sense of "to send abroad." For our roster of dead poets, publishing online in PDF format is making their work available to posterity. For our living poets, it establishes connections with new readers and may lead to other publications, live readings and teaching opportunities.
Guidelines for Submissions
While we do receive, and do look at, email submissions, it is not likely that we will be accepting many chapbook-size manuscripts. Poets can do just as well on their own by self-publishing chapbooks. We are more interested in anthologies or single-poet "collected works" projects suited to our publishing model.