If you’re a Canadian poet and you want to publish a collection of poems, below we’ve featured 13 top poetry publishers in Canada.
1. Brick Books
Founded in 1975 by Stan Dragland and Don McKay, Brick Books started its activity with the publishing of chapbooks, and is now specialized in poetry. Their goal has remained that of promoting both aspiring and established Canadian poets and poetry translators. The press publishes around 9 reprints and 7 new books per year.
If you’re looking for a publisher of full-length poetry volumes in London, Ontario, Brick Books is one of your best options. You can become familiar with their interests by browsing the online catalogue – here, you will find titles such as “All Our Wonder Unavenged”, by Don Domanski, “Amanuesis”, by Phil Hall, and “Anatomy of Keys”, by Steven Price.
Canadian citizens and landed immigrants are not the only ones mentioned in terms of authors – they also encourage poets from the LGBT community, Indigenous and racialized poets, as well as poets with disabilities to submit their work. However, you can only do so between January 1st and April 30th.
For more information, you can find their contact details at the bottom of the page.
Dennis Lee and David Godfrey established House of Anansi in 1967. The main goal of the press has remained that of publishing Canadian writers, while French-Canadian works in translation have also been a great part of the list since the beginning. The business is currently based in Toronto, Ontario.
Since they have a wide range of interests, they also feature a separate Canadian poetry category on the website – “River Woman”, by Katherena Vermette, “Poems for All the Annettes”, by Al Purdy, and “Stilt Jack”, by John Thompson are just three of the numerous titles you will find in this section.
In terms of submission guidelines, House of Anansi publishes already-established authors. Because of this, your work must have previously been published in magazines, literary journals, or books. Out of 50 new titles produced every year, only four of them are of poetry, so their standards are high in this regard.
If you want to know more, contact them here.
A not-for-profit organization, Invisible Publishing was founded in 2007 and is currently a member of the Literary Press Group of Canada, the Ontario Book Publishers Organization, and of the Association of Canadian Publishers. They are interested in Canadian poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and are based in Picton, Ontario.
If you access their website, you will notice that all of their published works are categorized by genre – thus, in the Poetry section, you can become familiar with titles such as “The Truth About Facts”, by Bart Vautour, “I Can Hear You, Can You Hear Me?”, by Nolan Natasha, and “Maze”, by Hugh Thomas.
Luckily, they are open for submissions at present. As they are also passionate about diversity, LGBT+ members, Indigenous writers, and people of color are welcome to send their works as well. Regardless, you will also have to submit a dated query letter, a CV, a synopsis, and the full manuscript.
Founded over 60 years ago, the press is now Canada’s oldest independent publisher. It is currently based in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and it provides the audience with tales and stories about travel, history, human ingenuity, creativity, nature, and others.
Their website divides books into several categories, among which poetry, art and architecture, military history, trail guides, fiction, and non-fiction can be named. When it comes to the first category, “In the Vicinity of Riches”, by Chris Hutchinson, “Hymnswitch”, by Ali Blythe, and “Ritual Lights”, by Joelle Barron are some of the titles available.
All poems are published under the Icehouse poetry imprint. They are mainly interested in the works of Canadian authors, but they would be willing to publish writers from outside of Canada, as long as their work is of great interest to the Canadian citizens. Submissions can only be made electronically, and it might take over 6-8 months to receive a reply.
For more information, read the Guidelines displayed online.
Based in Hamilton, Ontario, the press began its journey in 1982, thanks to Heather Cadsby and Marja Jacobs. Their main purpose was that of providing the audience with poetry, a genre that was rather neglected at that time. Soon enough, their success was marked by the earning of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry.
They have three main book categories displayed online, respectively poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. However, you can also check their new releases here – when it comes to the preferred genre, one of the most recent titles you will find is “For It Is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe: New and Selected Poems”, by Gary Barwin.
Committed to publishing strong Canadian voices, the submission period of Wolsak and Wynn is between January 1st and March 31st of each year. Besides a letter of inquiry, your poetry submission has to include a sample of 15-20 poems, single-spaced, on one-sided paper, and with only one poem per page.
If you want to learn more, click here.
Stan Bevington established Coach House Books in 1965 in Toronto, Ontario, and started his activity with the publishing of a Wayne Clifford poetry book. Soon after this, the company initiated and maintained the tradition of both publishing and printing its books of choice. Currently, it is specialized in fiction, select non-fiction, poetry, and drama.
In their Poetry section, you will find titles such as “Unsun”, by Andrew Zawacki, “This is the Emergency Present”, by Vincent Pagé, and “Vulgar Mechanics”, by K. B. Thors.
Although they receive numerous submissions every year, they only accept around ten of them, so their standards are rather high. They mostly publish Canadian authors and are particularly open to working with people from diverse communities, such as Indigenous writers or writers of color.
You will have to send a complete manuscript, an introductory letter in which you describe your work, and a few other things which are enumerated here.
The Mansfield Press was founded by Denis De Klerck in 1999 and began its activity in 2000, along with the publishing of four poetry books by Margaret Christakos, Diana Fitzgerald Bryden, Ann Shin, and Corrado Paina. The press is currently located in Toronto, Ontario.
Although they also publish fiction and non-fiction, the emphasis is placed upon poetry. Thus, their catalogue includes volumes such as “The Beggar’s Loom”, by Matt Santateresa, “The Aging Cheerleader’s Alphabet”, and “Among Ruins”, by Christopher Doda.
They publish Canadian writers only, and they request the full manuscript for poetry submissions. It normally takes up to 6 months to send a reply, but there are cases in which it could take longer. Regardless, keep in mind that it is unlikely for them to publish your work if this would be your first publication.
Their contact details are here, in case you want to inquire.
BookLand Press was founded in Markham, Ontario in 2006. They are interested in books that differ from the vast majority, and they publish them both in English and in various Indigenous languages. Award-winning books written in Canadian French are also translated in English and published. All of them portray different values and aspects of the Canadian society.
On the website, they categorize the writings by genre, so you can choose between fiction, non-fiction, poetry, Indigenous books, Indigenous languages, translations, and books in French. Within the poetry section, you can find “Mister Blackhurst”, by Louis-Philippe Hébert, “The Philosophy of As If”, by Fraser Sutherland, and many other titles.
In terms of submission guidelines, the manuscript has to be typewritten and double-spaced, and it must be sent along with a synopsis, a brief literary resume, and a cover letter. Writers with diverse backgrounds, people with disabilities, Indigenous writers, and others as such are especially welcome to send their works.
If you have any questions, you can contact them here.
Founded in 1963 under a different name by Bill Bissett, the press was called Nightwood Editions in 1983, after it was sold to Maureen Cochrane and David Lee. It has remained committed to publishing high-quality Canadian writings, and it is now specialized in new poetry and fiction.
Among all the books listed in the New Titles category, you will find “Renaissance Normcore”, by Adèle Barclay, “Belated Bris of the Brainsick”, by Lucas Crawford, and several others which have not been published yet.
In case you want to collaborate with them, you should know that all manuscripts have to be 15 pages long and to be written in English. If yours has been published in a book form before, it will not be accepted; at the same time, if they appreciate your work, they will most likely ask for additional writings. Sending a poetry submission also requires sending a PDF file which has to contain all documents listed here.
10. Kegedonce Press
Kegedonce Press was founded in 1993, and they are based in Neyaashiinigmiing, a traditional territory of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, in Canada. Their main aim is that of publishing, promoting, and developing the works of Indigenous people, both on a national and an international level.
In the Poetry section of their Bookstore, you will find a wide array of titles, among which you’ll be pleased to see “YOU ARE ENOUGH: LOVE POEMS FOR THE END OF THE WORLD”, by Smokii Sumac, “Halfling Spring: an internet romance”, by Joanne Arnott, and “Looking into the Eyes of My Forgotten Dreams”, by Joseph A. Dandurant.
If you would like to submit your works for Kegedonce Press, you can do that by going to the Submissions page. You need to include a bio and a cover letter with any submission you decide to send them. Be sure to include your full contact information and your Nation affiliation along with everything else.
11. Penrose Press
In 2017, Natalie Lythe and Brianna Tosswill founded Penrose Press in Toronto, with the publication of their first book, “Caterpillar Portraits”, by Jodie Kim. It was an incredible success, and it is what set them off on their wonderful journey. They consider themselves lucky to have come such a long way in just two short years.
Among their published poetry books, you will find “The Insomniac’s Assistant with Sleep or Else”, by Sienna Tristen, “The Pink of the Seams – Complete Envelope Set”, by Sanna Wani, and “Letters to Frida”, by Rebecca Davison-Mora.
They place importance on a number of aspects when searching for new work: it should have a lot of imagery and it should involve meaningful content, regardless of how you choose to express it. If you are looking to publish your work with Penrose Press, you can find all the details that you need on the Submit your Writing section.
Inanna Publications was founded in 1978, with the aim of publishing essential writings for feminists all over the world, and of making them accessible to an extremely wide community of women.
You can take a look at their online spring and fall catalogues, where you will find works like “Any Waking Morning”, by Mary Lou Soutar-Hynes, “We Are Malala”, by Katerina Vaughan Fretwell, and “Stained With The Colours of Sunday Morning”, by Rayanne Haines.
Inanna Publications are looking for any work that speaks about the varied lives of women from all around the globe. They have a strict policy against writings that are homophobic, racist, sexist, or discriminatory in any shape or form towards women. If you want to publish your poems with them, you can find the submission details here. You need to include a bio in which you talk about your previous publishing experience, and a cover letter detailing your book.
Carolyn Zonato founded Caitlin Press Inc. in 1977 as a feminist literally press, only for it to become a BC literary press later on. The press was bought by Cynthia Wilson and her husband in 1991, and the press was moved to Prince George. In 2008 it was placed under new management, that of Vici Johnstone, who didn’t break the tradition of publishing books that treat the subjects of history, culture, and concerns in British Columbia.
Among their publications, you will find “He Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car”, by Arleen Paré, “This Isn’t the Apocalypse We Hoped For”, by Al Rempel, and “Curtained Windows, Lightened Rooms”, by Bal Sethi.
If you wish to send your works to the press, you can find details regarding submissions here. Keep in mind that they are looking for books regarding the British Columbia Interior or by writers from there. Make sure to check the details for the letter of enquiry before sending a manuscript.
Are there any other poetry publishers in Canada that should be on this list? Please tell us about them in the comments box below!
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