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Poetry Is Back!

By Coach House Date: April 16, 2019

Coach House Books is pleased to announce a new poetry program. Poetry has always been a significant part of our list, and we’re happy to be implementing a new approach to honouring our commitment to it.

We have convened an advisory board of six poets and our editorial director to sit for the next year. This board will help us make acquisitions for the 2020 publishing cycle and, more importantly, will help us shape the direction of our poetry program into the future.

We will work with the board to address the following questions, among others: What should this poetry board look like going forward? How many titles should we publish each year? What are best practices for soliciting new work? How can we balance publishing emerging poets as well as the extensive list of established poets we have been working with? How should we manage submissions? Should we publish, say, chapbooks? Should we publish lost classics? How can we responsibly and respectfully work with and publish Indigenous poets? How do we make sure we work respectfully with our community? How can we better promote our poets’ work?

At this time, we are open to submissions for 2020. We will be publishing four titles that year, and the interim board will help guide these acquisitions. The four poets chosen for 2020 will work with freelance editors who may or may not be a part of the advisory board. The members of the board will not be directly accepting any manuscripts; instead, please consult our submission guidelines before emailing your manuscripts in PDF form to The first acquisitions meeting will be in June; please submit any manuscripts to be considered for spring 2020 by May 31. The second acquisitions meeting will be in September; please submit manuscripts by August 31. We will continue to accept manuscripts after that for consideration beyond 2020. Please note that we are looking only for book-length manuscripts at this time.

With the understanding that some advisory board members may wish to have their work considered for publication, we will separate the acquisitions and future-planning meetings.

At the end of the year, we will have acquisitions for 2020 made and a clearer picture of what the Coach House poetry program will look like going forward.

The members of this interim advisory board are:

Billy-Ray Belcourt is from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He is a PhD candidate in the Dept. of English & Film Studies at the University of Alberta. His books include This Wound Is a World (Frontenac, 2017; UMinn Press, 2019), winner of the 2018 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, and the forthcoming Ndn Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field (House of Anansi, 2019).

Susan Holbrook has published three books of poetry, most recently Throaty Wipes, shortlisted for the Governor General's Award and the Trillium Book Award. She edited Intertidal:The Collected Earlier Poems of Daphne Marlatt and The Letters of Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson: Composition as Conversation. She has also written a textbook,How to Read (and Write About) Poetry.

Nasser Hussain is a Lecturer in Literature and Creative Writing at Leeds Beckett University in the U.K. He is the author of SKY WRI TEI NGS.

Tess Liem’s debut collection of poetry, Obits., was shortlisted for a 2019 Lambda Literary Award. She lives in Montreal: Tio’tia:ke/Mooniyaang, unceded Haudenosaunee and Anishinabe territories.

Matthew Tierney is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Midday at the Super-Kamiokande. He is a recipient of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, the P.K. Page Founders’ Award, and the K.M. Hunter Award. He lives in Toronto with his wife and son.

Ian Williams is the author of four books, including Personals, shortlisted for the Griffin Prize, and the new novel, Reproduction. He is a professor of poetry at the University of British Columbia and a trustee for the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry.

Alana Wilcox is the editorial director of Coach House Books.

For more information, please contact Alana Wilcox, Editorial Director:, 416 979 2217.