Carnegie Mellon University
October 04, 2012

News Brief: CMU Press Accepting Poetry Submissions Through Oct. 31

Contact: Shilo Rea / 412-268-6094 /

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University Press is accepting unsolicited manuscripts this month. The annual October reading period is open to any poet who has not previously been published by CMU Press.

"This is a time for us to review manuscripts by writers whose work we might not otherwise be familiar with, or by writers who no longer have an affiliation with another press," said Gerald Costanzo, professor of English and founder and director of the press.

Costanzo noted that the October reading period is not disguised as a "first book" contest. "It's not a contest or exclusive for first books, and, over the years, we've discovered exceptional poets this way," he said.

CMU Press was established in 1972 as a publisher of poetry. It has since evolved into a highly regarded publisher of poetry, classic contemporaries, short fiction and regional social history.  Among the press' most notable achievements is publishing poet Rita Dove's "Thomas and Beulah in 1986," which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize the following year.

The press publishes six poetry books each year, and at least two are selected from the October reading period.  Poetry chosen in October include books by Dove, Franz Wright, John Skoyles, Lawrence Raab, Thomas Rabbitt, Jerry Williams, Cornelius Eady, James Harms, Mary Ruefle, Margot Schilpp, Kevin Prufer, Amy Beeder, Hayan Charara, Nancy Eimers, Robert Thomas, K.A. Hays, Nicky Beer and Rachel Richardson.

Manuscripts should be between 48 and 96 pages and be sent with:

  • a self-addressed stamped business envelope for judge's decision;
  • an acknowledgments page that lists where the poems have been previously published;
  • a reading fee of $15 made payable to Carnegie Mellon University Press.

Send manuscripts to:

Poetry Editor
Carnegie Mellon University Press
5032 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15289-1021

Please note that due to a large volume of submissions, manuscripts will not be returned. In order to be eligible for the reading period, submissions must be postmarked during October 2012.

For complete details about CMU Press' October Reading Period, visit