In honor of National Poetry Month, I thought I would publish this list of great poets who self published their books. This is but a very small list, as thousands of famous poets have self-published.
American poet Walt Whitman self-published many editions of his collected poems, Leaves of Grass (first edition published on July 4, 1855). Leaves of Grass continues to sell thousands of copies each year — almost 120 years after his death!
T.S. Eliot, author of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and The Waste Land, paid for the publication of his first book.
British poet Alexander Pope, author of the satirical mock-epic poems The Rape of the Lock and The Dunciad, paid for the publication of his first book.
American poet and short story writer Edgar Allen Poe, author of the poem The Raven and short stories such as The Tell-Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher, self-published some of his writings.
English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, author of Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark, Adonais, and Prometheus Unbound, paid for the publication of his first book.
English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, author of Sonnets from the Portuguese, paid for the publication of her first book.
American poet E. E. Cummings self-published No Thanks, a volume of poetry financed by his mother. On the half-title page, he listed the 13 publishers that had rejected the book, which became one of his classics.
Carl Sandburg self-published poems and essays with the financial assistance of his college professor. His work came to public notice when he began selling to Poetry magazine.
Oscar Wilde self-published a book of poetry in 1881.
If you are thinking about self-publishing your poetry, you’re in good company. If you want to add your name to this list of self-published poets, you should check out Bookstand Publishing’s affordable Paperback Book Publishing Packages.