I am thinking of making a book of poetry and was wondering how many poems do I need?

  • Closely related but not a duplicate: How Many Poems Does a Chapbook Typically Contain?
    – user5232
    Feb 10, 2017 at 23:51
  • Poems like the Iliad? One. Poems like individual limericks? Possibly hundreds. Could you clarify what kind of content you're talking about, and perhaps who the intended audience is? Thanks. May 25, 2017 at 18:14
  • 1
    Look at the poetry books on your own bookshelf. (You do have poetry books, don't you? If you write, then you must read.) May 26, 2017 at 13:07

3 Answers 3


Books under 50 pages, particularly if they are saddle stapled or bound in some similar style, are generally referred to as chapbooks. Based on what I've seen of publishers requirements for submissions, these are generally in the 16 to 44 page range (my estimate, not official). Many poets, especially new and emerging, publish chapbooks first. Longer ("full length") poetry books are usually perfect bound and can range from 60 pages upwards. Notice that I am using pages rather than number of poems. It is one poem per page, but if your work is longer, a poem may take multiple pages.

I would recommend buying a few books of the type you like to get some ideas of how large a compilation you want to make and, if you are publishing it yourself, what type of binding, paper stock, etc. you like for your book.

  • Since poetry is one of those art forms which will forever remain unbounded, it was wise not to judge the size of the book by the number of poems in the book.
    – Igbanam
    Apr 2, 2017 at 19:24

This is a stylistic choice, as it varies depending on the length of your poems, or simply just how many you would like to add.

Typically books of poems with 1 page per poem are around 25-30 pages long, however I have seen books that are longer than 50 poems.


If you self pub, places such as Amazon will print a book as low as 24 pages, so if your poetry is an epic poem it can be almost 1 book itself, say like Beowolf. Font size and how you typset it also play a role. If this is for commercial or your own use? I would at least think 3 poems filling 24 pages is small, but doable. They are called booklets.

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