We Are

...a small press determined to look like a big one.
  • Welcome

    We publish contemporary English-language poetry books and chapbooks. Founded in 2007 by long-time editor/publishers and partners Diane Kistner and Robert S. King, we incorporated as a nonprofit in 2012.

  • Quality

    We collaborate with our authors to make our books and chapbooks the best they can be. We take our editorial role very seriously. Our editors, most of them working poets, volunteer their time to the press.

  • Submissions

    Anyone interested in submitting work to us should refer to our Guidelines tab. The Guide for Authors, essential reading for those whose book manuscripts we accept, answers many questions about how we work.

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Well, it's been a crazy year, and we expect 2017 will be at least as crazy. But we've got lots of things happening here at FutureCycle Press, and we'll tell you about them all soon. For now, we'd just like to congratulate our 2016 FutureCycle Poetry Book Prize winner, William Page, for In This Maybe Best of All Possible Worlds. This year's judges were last year's book prize winner, Paul Hostovsky, and press editors Diane Kistner, Robert S. King, David Chorlton, Joan Colby, and Temple Cone. Normally we don't mention the other contenders, but this year we had an incredible three-way tie. Twelve books made it onto at least one of the judges' top five picks, and two other poets tied with the winner for first place: Michael Gessner, and Nancy Carol Moody. We wish we could have given all three of these fine poets the prize, but our policy is not to split it. After another round of voting, we had our winner.

Free Stuff

At FutureCycle Press, our number-one goal is to bring well-written, well-edited poetry to the attention of as many people as possible for as long as possible. We and our authors have worked very hard on these books, and we want everyone who loves poetry to read them—even if they cannot afford to buy them. The upper-right pull-down of our events calendar (below) shows a color-coded key. Click on any event on the calendar for more information in the description. Enter our month-long Goodreads Giveaways to win paperbacks, or build your poetry library with our Free Kindle Saturdays editions. Just click on an author event and description link, then select the Kindle link from our catalog page to "buy" that title for 0.00 in the Kindle store. Then it will always be yours, and you can even loan it to other people. (Tip: Each title repeats every six months or so, so if you miss out on something you wanted, check back later.) The giveaways may float around some based on circumstances on the ground, so it's a good idea to copy events you don't want to miss to your own calendar so they will auto-update for you if rescheduled. Or like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to receive timely notifications. We ask only one thing: If you discover poets whose work you really like, please help us get the word out by sharing book notices online, leaving short honest book reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, telling your friends about it—whatever!

Good Works

Introduced in 2013, our Good Works projects are thematically focused anthologies of individual works. No reading fee is required, and all proceeds from sales are donated to a charitable cause. To date, FutureCycle Press has been able to donate a total of $1,447 from sales of Malala: Poems for Malala Yousafzai, guest-edited by Joseph Hutchison and Andrea L. Watson, to the Malala Fund. In 2015, we have given Friends of the Earth $381 for Weatherings (David Chorlton and Robert S. King, eds.) and $383 to Action Against Hunger for all Kentucky Review donations and sales. Kentucky Review, a division of FutureCycle Press and one of our Good Works projects, is now closed to submissions and will cease publication at the end of 2016; the third and final print edition will be published early in 2017. Poetry publishing is hard, people, and KR has proven to be more work than we can stay on top of. We'd like to thank everyone who has been involved with making it such a stellar publication. Never fear: There will certainly be more Good Works projects in the future. Open projects will be listed in our Submission Guidelines.

The Archives

Full PDFs of the now-defunct FutureCycle and FutureCycle Poetry magazines are in our Archives for free download and sharing, along with book reviews written and curated by David Chorlton.

The Bottom Line

FutureCycle Press authors stand to benefit in numerous non-monetary ways, but let’s just talk here about money. We charge a $15 reading fee for book and chapbook manuscripts. Period. No extra contest fee to be considered for the FutureCycle Poetry Book Prize and honorarium. No permissions fees to reprint your work. No “collaborative” costs or requirement to buy or pre-sell X number of copies. Certainly no charges for the professional editing and design—so lacking with so many publishers these days—that we pride ourselves on. The most money you will ever have to give us is $15, which ensures your manuscript is read critically but fairly by at least two senior-level editors.


If your poetry book or chapbook is accepted for publication, you’ll get free copies as detailed in our Guide for Authors, which we will require you to read and follow. (In fact, we strongly suggest anyone wishing to submit a manuscript to our press read the guide first, especially the section about type on the spine.) If you ask us to, we will order unlimited extra author copies for you (in multiples of 25) at our cost (what we have to pay the printer) plus 10% of the list price. (You are, of course, responsible for shipping, handling, and sales tax.) You can resell your copies at any price you wish, however you wish, with no further obligation to us. You stand to net an average of $7 per chapbook, $11 per full-length book, if sold at the list price we set. We’ll also give you a discount code so you can directly order any book or chapbook we publish, at any time, sent to any address you wish, at 30 cents on the dollar. (Because our Good Works projects and Kentucky Review benefit charity, only contributors are given an author discount.) This is a considerably better deal for poets than the much-vaunted but veritably insignificant (at least for poetry) “industry standard” 10% royalties—which, you may have heard, we do not pay. (“But why not?” Because it’s a time-consuming endeavor, for us and for you, for average annual earnings of $10 or less. Even if we had a full-time secretary and bookkeeper, we don’t think it’s worth the hassle. Our time, and yours, we think, is much better spent.)

“But,” some will say, “you’re taking my money!” Well, no. No we’re not—and here’s why. First, we’re already giving you much deeper discounts on your author copies than you’ll get from that “industry standard” publishing contract, with potential for greater profits than you’re ever likely to earn on royalties. If we did nothing else, this would be quite generous, but we do more. We put that 10% of the royalties received from all online book sales into the FutureCycle Poetry Book Prize honorarium, then match it dollar-for-dollar. We’re not “taking” 10%, we’re giving 10% along with you and the rest of the poets we publish to crowd-fund the honorarium. (There are no contest fees, remember? That prize money has to come from somewhere.) If your book wins the prize, you’ll receive the entire 20%; if you don’t, one of your fellow poets will. So, no, we don’t make a dime off your royalties. Not one thin dime.


Publishing poetry is not lucrative. (On the contrary, it’s usually subsidized.) It’s also very hard work to do it right. That’s why the big trade publishers don’t publish much, if any, poetry and the smaller poetry publishers wink in and out so quickly. About 10% of our costs are covered by reading fees, meager royalties from online sales, and the small press markup on author copies ordered directly through us. The other 90% comes from perspiration: the many hours of skilled professional labor we dedicate to keeping poetry alive as a precision art form. (There’s no way we could afford to pay the going rate for our time.)

We’re not playing at publishing here. Our aim is to stay viable for the long haul and keep our work—the work we do together with poets—alive. Toward that end, we want to keep your book in print as long as you want us to; our contract reflects this commitment. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that many independent and university poetry presses have died either from a thousand little funding cuts or a brutal chopping-block whack. Because we refuse to become dependent on outside funding, we aren’t going to go under and leave you with a dead book—at least not until we’re in our graves or the planet blows up. We think the books we believe in enough to publish deserve to survive even if (as is likely) very few people ever buy them or read them.

The bottom line is this. We ask very little of poets in return for our commitment to their work. Read and follow the guidelines. Work with us to make your book as good as it can be. Be flexible. Be realistic. What we offer poets is bounteous, and we put a great deal of thought and effort into the books we publish. If you don't think our publishing model is more than fair, we ask that you please not waste our time or your fifteen bucks by submitting to us.