The Poetry Business is a leading writer development agency and an outstanding independent press.

We have nearly four decades of experience in nurturing the writing and developing the careers of hundreds of poets. Our teaching, mentoring and editorial work is widely regarded as the benchmark in writer development provision.

The Poetry Business is undoubtedly one of the most important initiatives in UK poetry

Carol Ann Duffy

We publish books, pamphlets and The North, a twice-yearly literary magazine; teach poetry workshops across the UK, and run intensive residential courses and an advanced Writing School for published poets. Since early 2020 we have developed various programmes of digital poetry workshops, guest-tutored each year by 32 of the best-known poets in Britain and typically attracting around 1500 writers to take

The Poetry Business has become an integral part of the British poetry landscape since it was established in 1986. Sir Andrew Motion described us as ‘one of the most vital and vitalising literary organisations in the country’.

International in reach, and run with energy, imagination and commitment

Blake Morrison

Our International Book & Pamphlet Competition is an important date in the literary calendar. It has discovered and promoted countless numbers of now established poets and continues to support and publish writers across the UK and further afield. In 2015 we developed The New Poets Prize, an annual pamphlet prize that creates new publishing and mentoring opportunities for poets between the ages of 17 and

Income from the Competition helps fund our other books and pamphlets, which are repped and promoted nationally by Inpress. We have a select but always growing list of new poets and a varied and dynamic back catalogue of publications by many of the UK’s best poets. Our publishing has expanded in the past years to incorporate Small|Donkey, an imprint of illustrated books for children, and The New Poets List, which showcases poets aged 17-24.

During her tenure, we edited and published twenty poets recommended to us by Carol Ann Duffy in a series of Laureate’s Choice pamphlets (and then an anthology). Now we work with and have projects in hand with Simon Armitage – whom incidentally we published first in the 1980s. Though we proud of the books we publish, we are best known for championing the pamphlet as the perfect vehicle for experiencing poetry. This may be why The Poetry Business has twice won the Michael Marks Award for Pamphlet Publishers – the judges referring to our collections as ‘a by-word for excellence’.

The publisher isn’t just churning out exciting pamphlets, it’s also consolidating its role as a major support network for poets from all over the country…and is developing its stellar work to bring poetry to more people online, via energetic blogging, audio downloads, live Q&As and so on.

Judge’s comments from the 2017 Michael Marks Awards

In this section

the poetry business

Our Team

Our team help keep our strong reputation for discovering, developing and publishing outstanding new poets.

Whats On

The Poetry Business Writing Days take place every month in Sheffield and Manchester. 

the poetry business

Our History

The Poetry Business is a leading writer development agency and an outstanding independent press.

the poetry business

Friends of PB

Helping us to continue to our ambitious and dynamic publishing programme and writer development work.

Trade Buyers

All Smith|Doorstop titles and issues of The North are available at reduced rates to booksellers and libraries.