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How To Make Your Poems LIVE Longer

Chapbooks are super, super, super valuable for poets in publishing.

They’re kind of a cheat code because in traditional publishing, it works like this:

you submit a poem, the poem gets published, and in general, no other journal wants to publish that. No one wants to touch that poem again because it’s…it’s tainted; it’s already published. Like, “we don’t want it; we want something pure. Stay away from me.”

Chapbooks, however, want those published poems

(NOTE: I’m thinking less of the homemade chapbooks and more of the published ones, from competitions and things like that).

So chapbooks will typically allow poems you’ve already published. You can include a little acknowledgments page to indicate where the poems originally appeared, some in earlier versions, etc.

And then you can publish that chapbook full of poems you’ve already published.

That really helps with developing those connections because now you have a connection, not only with your chapbook publisher, but also with all the different editors of the journals where your poems were published.

This develops your professional network in the poetry world.

When that chapbook comes out, you can reach out to those editors where those poems originally appeared and be like, ‘Hey, guys, thank you so much again for publishing my work. I’m excited to tell you that it’s now appearing in this chapbook.’

Now you’re helping drive attention not back to the original journals where pieces appeared, but also to the press publishing your chapbook!

The other reason that this can build further is that once the chapbook appears, and you get ready to do a full-length, well…

you can take those same poems that were published in journals, were published in the chapbook, and get them published a third time in a full-length collection. So you’re able to triple-dip!

See the full video here:

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