Full Guidelines for the Poetica Anthologies
For your convenience, here are the submission guidelines for the new Poetica series of poetry anthologies. For details about each individual anthology, or if you have any questions, please contact me by email:
The Intention of Poetica Anthologies
There is a common assumption among poets and readers generally that ‘There is no market for poetry.’ I hear this regularly.
This idea arises because, in the big world of publishing, poetry is seen to be a private, highly subjective affair which correspondingly does not sell well. Personal tastes, obscurity of form, and lack of poetic craft all add up to poetry being ‘shoved into the corner’ and usually only self-published or produced as a vanity piece.
This is a shame. There are a great many good poets out there: thousands of voices whose passionate visions of reality are not finding a proper outlet. Without channels to transmit these visions to readers, they can eventually fall silent.
The effort of this series of Poetica anthologies is to contribute to the creation of a market for poetry throughout the calendar year. The idea is that, by providing a regular, published venue for poetry from all over the world, poems as media for the communication of important and heartfelt ideas and reflections will gain in respect and become more widely acknowledged. Voices will be heard; channels will be opened.
For an individual poet, this potentially provides an ongoing marketplace for poetry. The benefits for a poet of appearing in a Poetica anthology include
• the credibility that comes from being independently published, as opposed to self-published
• the higher production standards associated with independent publishing
• a wider reading audience
• the building of a ‘track record’ as a published poet to help with future submissions elsewhere
• the boosting of personal confidence and strength of voice which comes from being recognised as a publishable poet.
As described below, classic poems as well as essays on those poems will be part of the anthologies.
The plan is to publish one anthology every two months or so. This may pick up speed depending on how well the anthologies are received.
The first edition will be called ‘Poetica # 4’ as it is in the sequence of previously published Poetica books, all of which have been trial publications building up to this project.
What I’m Looking For In General
I’m looking for well-crafted poems. That means poems which have been designed to appeal to readers through the use of accepted forms, rhythms and methods — not long, formless, rambling first drafts or shapeless, incomplete collections of words which don’t make internal sense. ‘Free verse’, as we can discover, is not entirely free.
Free verse contains some elements of form, including the poetic line, which may vary freely; rhythm; strophes or strophic rhythms; stanzaic patterns and rhythmic units or cadences. It is said that verse is free 'when it is not primarily obtained by the metered line.’ Donald Hall goes as far as to say that ‘the form of free verse is as binding and as liberating as the form of a rondeau,' and T. S. Eliot wrote, ‘No verse is free for the man who wants to do a good job.’
Read poetry widely before submitting. Submit only your BEST work.
Each Poetica anthology, in addition to including accepted poems, will contain several classic, publicly available poems by world famous poets, along with some essays about these. So a poet accepted into a Poetica anthology will be ‘rubbing shoulders’ with the greats. Try to live up to that association. Great poetry can be engendered in the company of great poets — or that’s the idea, anyway.
How To Submit
I accept submissions through the Clarendon House Publications email address:
Please don't post anything via mail, as I work through email only.
I need poems sent to me as Word documents. Anything more exotic will be refused.
PLEASE ALSO INCLUDE IN THE SAME DOCUMENT (NOT SEPARATELY) A 100 WORD AUTHOR BIO (with links if you wish). This is to save time later, if your submission is accepted.
Clarendon House Publications is based in the UK, but I accept submissions from authors all over the world, as long as they are in the correct format outlined above.
No submission fee is required.
Please submit ONLY ONE POEM to each anthology. This is to ensure that there is enough space for other poets. (Please note: Poetica anthologies will NOT be included in the Clarendon House competitions of the past in which the best poem selected by readers earned its author a book contract.)
I understand if you want to submit to more than one publisher at a time, but obviously I must know IMMEDIATELY if a poem you've submitted to me has been accepted elsewhere.
It is a condition of submission that the author must be open to me correcting punctuation, spelling, grammar or any other technical basics without always contacting him or her. This is occasionally tricky with poems, as what may seem to be an error may be intentional on the poet’s part. If your poem contains any such deliberate ‘errors’, please let me know by annotating it.
If I have suggestions on how to improve a poem in order to get it published, I will write back to the poet and discuss things. As an editor, I am here to help poets make it, and all suggestions will be made with that in mind. If, after receiving feedback, the poet does not wish to proceed, that is fine and will not bar future consideration for publication.
It is obviously in the poet’s best interests to ensure that the submission is in the best possible shape prior to sending it to me. If the submission takes too much time to fix, it is likely to be rejected. It also follows from this that submissions must be the FINAL version as far as the poets are concerned — I will not be able to entertain any adjustments to documents (other than proofreading fixes as above) once they have been received.
Anthologies will be available in paperback and ebook formats from Amazon. There may also be a full-colour illustrated version available later, downloadable as a pdf from the Clarendon House website.
Please note that I cannot consider anything with illustrations or photographs.
Poetica #4 January 31st
Poetica #5 March 31st
Poetica #6 May 31st
Poetica #7 July 31st
Further deadlines for future volumes will be announced later in the year.
When I publish a poem, I only ask that it not be tangled up in any other prior agreement and be exclusive to Clarendon House for one year after the date of publication. I don't ask for other rights, or place any limits on what you can do with your poem after the exclusivity period. This is to encourage sales of a particular anthology.
Copyright remains with you at all times.
Maximum word count for each poem will be 500 words. No minimum.
Nothing sexually or violently graphic or gratuitous will be accepted.
Each accepted poet receives a free e-copy of the complete anthology publication by email. As you can imagine, in an anthology with possibly 100 or more poets, monetary payments to each poet are not feasible or viable at this stage.
I strongly recommend (but do not insist) that each accepted author ideally purchase THREE copies of the paperback book once released — one for their own collection (it’s important to validate one’s own progress as a published poet); one for a family member, friend, or influencer; and one for their local library. If this is done, the marketplace grows for every poet included in each volume. But purchases will depend upon each poet’s budget and intentions, I understand that.
Other marketing advice includes using social media to spread the word, contacting friends and family, and so on. More about effective marketing (as opposed to time-wasting and expensive marketing) is contained in my ebook Crack Your Marketing.
I aim to reply to all submissions within three weeks, although I will sometimes go over this during busy periods. If you're waiting for a reply from me, please keep an eye on your junk mail folder, as some replies do end up there. If you grow concerned, or have any questions about anything, you can always email me at
Submitting work constitutes acceptance of these guidelines as a contractual arrangement.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Here’s to a new market for poetry!