Finding Your Niche as a Poet: how to locate markets for your poetry
Getting poems into print is hard work. There is a lot of competition in the field. There is a lot of really bad poetry being written and submitted for publication. There's even a fair amount of bad poetry being published.
So, how does the poet wade through the mess and get her or his work in print? How does s/he know where to submit the poems so lovingly labored over?
One trick I've found is to focus on a specific niche market. For me, it was relatively easy to find my niche, as speculative fiction (including science fiction, fantasy, and the whole gamut of "the weird") has always been my choice of reading material. It is natural that my poetry tastes follow suit. I loved Edgar Allan Poe and Edwin Morgan long before I knew there was a whole field of poetry that has grown up in the past several decades that caters to my tastes. I found that my own speculative poetry was not so strange after all, and that there are plenty of markets for it. And since then, I've enjoyed a modest level of success in getting my poetry published within the field.
Speculative poetry is not the only niche market, of course. There are markets that target a specific geographical location, religious group, or other similar set of interests. These niche markets are always a great place to start. And, if you are as lucky as I am, you might just get nice and settled in your niche. Why not, when it feels so much like home?