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Submissions FAQ  

What kind of poetry are you looking for?

We are looking for exceptional poetry from writers who love to work and play with language, who make us see and think in new ways, who engage our imaginations.

Copper Canyon Press poets are linked by an editorial vision that sees the audience for poetry as broad and diverse: our audience contains multitudes. Our poets have a keen understanding of the traditions in which they write poetry, as they try to make it new.

We believe that we fail—and that the poetry goes missing—whenever we limit ourselves to any one school of thought or aesthetic. We are looking for writers who are also readers. So go ahead and be a part of a literary tradition: astonish us with the best of what you do!

What kind of poetry don’t you publish?

Although there are no hard and fast rules about kinds of poetry we will not accept, when you spend some time with our catalogue and website you may notice some of our editorial tendencies. For example, in more than forty years we've only published one book of haiku: a translation of Yosa Buson, one of the world's masters of the form. We aren't interested in limericks and other light verse. We believe such types of poetry are better served by other publishers.

Do you publish poetry in translation?

Copper Canyon Press takes pride in publishing high-quality translations. We have published poetry originally composed in Spanish, Chinese, Belarusian, Japanese, Arabic, and many other languages. We select books in this category based on the excellence of the English translation and our interest in the original text. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with translations we have already published.

How do I know if my manuscript is ready for submission?

We read on an ongoing basis, with internal deadlines which are determined by our staffing capacity. As such, we appreciate reading manuscripts that have been carefully composed, revised, and proofread, and we suggest that you have strong critics or writer colleagues read your collection before submitting it to us. We like seeing that numerous poems in the manuscript have been published in reputable journals and magazines. This tells us that you take your work seriously, and that others in the literary community advocate for your poems.

Other questions we ask ourselves while reading your work: Does it hold together as a book? Are there strong poems throughout? Are the poems repetitive in subject matter or composition? If this is a "project book," do the poems transcend the project or are they limited by it?

Who will read my manuscript?

Every submission is read, reread, and discussed by our editors and editorial assistants. Currently our editorial staff includes Editor in Chief Michael Wiegers, Production Editor John Pierce, Editor Elaina Ellis, and Assistant Editor Rio Cortez. Additionally, we have a skilled team of editorial assistants who live all over the country; they hold MFA and PhD degrees in creative writing and literature, occupy professional positions in publishing, and demonstrate an intimate knowledge of the Copper Canyon aesthetic and vision. All final decisions regarding publication are made by Michael Wiegers.

Why do you charge a fee for submissions?

Without the fees, we would not be able to accept unsolicited submissions. The fees go directly toward reading manuscripts and allow us to maintain editorial staff and infrastructure sufficient enough to review the submissions. However, rather than charging a typical fee for service, we ask you to participate in a reading exchange: when you submit your manuscript and pay $35 on the Submittable system, you will be prompted to choose two books from the Copper Canyon catalogue to add to your library.

We hope to change the old paradigm of publishing by engaging poets and further inviting them into Copper Canyon's community of writers and readers. While you're reading our poetry, we're reading yours. We hope this feels like a respectful, mutually beneficial transaction.

How many manuscripts will you choose?

This is an open reading system, not a contest. There is no set number of books we select for publication; each submission period we will read carefully with the hope that we will find one or more books to publish.

I submitted my manuscript and later revised it. May I submit the revised one?

If you have already submitted a manuscript, do not send us the latest version. If your book is not selected, please wait for a future reading period to resubmit (see below).

May I submit again next period?

We do not recommend that you submit the same manuscript to us two reading periods in a row.

Do you have a Question that we did not Answer? Please contact us.

To return to the general submissions page, click here.



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