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icehouse poetry Submissions

Goose Lane Editions has a long history of publishing poetry. We issued our first collection of poetry in 1954 under the former Fiddlehead Poetry Books imprint, and we haven’t looked back. We now publish full-length poetry collections by new and established writers under the icehouse poetry imprint.

We define full-length collections as those which are roughly 48-100 pages long. (We no longer publish chapbooks.) Our definition of poetry is expansive and encompasses a broad range of aesthetics, ranging from lyric poetry to genre-busting experimentation. Most of all, we are interested in submissions that demonstrate a distinctive voice and vision. Our editors are particularly interested in submissions that draw upon lived experiences, perspectives, and aesthetic traditions — especially from Black, Indigenous, and other racialized writers, 2SLGBTQIA+ writers, and writers with disabilities.

We only consider submissions by Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Although we recognize that many Indigenous writers do not identify as citizens and that the concept of citizenship is problematic as well for refugees and others living in diaspora, our current funding places limits on what we can publish.

Please also note that we receive around two hundred manuscripts each year, from which we select only 3 or 4 for publication. With the exception of returning poets, we only accept submissions between April 1 and June 30. Submissions received outside of this period will go unread.

Many (although not all) of the poets who publish with us have contributed to literary journals and magazines such as the FiddleheadAntigonish ReviewArc, New QuarterlyMalahat Review, and Maisonneuve or have previously published part of their manuscript with a chapbook press. Before submitting your manuscript, please also acquaint yourself with the work we have published; this will give you a sense of our list’s personality. If you are unsure whether your work might fit with what we’re looking for, send it in!

How to Submit Your Poetry Manuscript

Submit your work through our online portal. Beginning in 2023, the portal for poetry submissions will be open for three months each year, from April 1 to June 30. Please note that we only are able to consider one submission from a writer during the submission period. Please refrain from making multiple submissions. Also, please do not send queries or submissions directly to a Goose Lane email address.

Please submit your manuscript as an MS Word (.doc, .docx) or PDF file as a single attachment in 10-12 pt readable font, and include the following:

  • A cover letter that summarizes your relevant professional and personal information and provides some information about the manuscript (for a guide to writing a letter like this, see this article). Please ensure that it includes your current mailing address.
  • A list of previous publications, including any portions of the manuscript that have been published elsewhere.
  • The complete manuscript.

We prefer that you refrain from submitting your manuscript to other presses while it is under consideration at icehouse poetry. However, should you decide to send your work to other presses, please ensure that you let us know that you are doing so and notify us immediately if the status of your manuscript has changed during our selection process. 

We are currently accepting submissions until June 30.

What to Expect after Submission

We will notify you of receipt of your manuscript immediately, and we will inform you of our final decision within four months of the closing date of submissions (i.e. the following October), except in extraordinary circumstances.

The Selection Process

The editors at icehouse poetry read each submission with great care. Your manuscript will be read by at least one member of our editorial board. The board members will each compile their list of finalists to be read in-depth by the entire board and will make the final selection for publication.

Current board members include:

Ross Leckie (chair) is professor emeritus of English at the University of New Brunswick and the author of A Slow Light, The Authority of Roses, and Gravity’s Plumb Line. A former editor of the Fiddlehead, he is the current chair of the icehouse poetry board. He lives in Fredericton, on the unceded territory of the Wəlastəkwiyik.

Jim Johnstone is the author of six poetry collections, including Infinity Network, and is also editor-in-chief of the chapbook publisher Anstruther Press. He currently lives in Tkaronto/Toronto, the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat Peoples.

Annick MacAskill is the author of Shadow Blight, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry; Murmurations; and No Meeting without Body. She currently lives in Kjipuktuk (Halifax, Nova Scotia), on the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq.

Sadiqa de Meijer is the author of the poetry collections Leaving Howe Island and The Outer Wards, as well as the Governor General’s Literary Award-winning memoir alfabet/alphabet. She currently lives in Kingston, on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, and Huron-Wendat Peoples.

Tolu Oloruntoba is the author of The Junta of Happenstance, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry and the Griffin Poetry Prize, and Each One a Furnace. He has lived in Nigeria and the United States and currently resides in the metro area of Coast Salish lands known as Vancouver.