To see your poetry published by a mainstream publisher then you must market yourself as much as your work, argues Kenneth Stevens. A mainstream publisher will only handle your material if you are already an recognised name, so you need to be known on the poetry circuit.
Start by offering your work to the smaller of the small press poetry magazines, then graduate to the major small-presses, then perhaps to local newspapers. Aim eventually for publication in major national poetry magazines. Start at a modest level and work your way up is the policy.
At the same time, attend and read your work at poetry readings; more poetry books are sold at readings than through bookshops.
The skills required for this policy are fully explained in Publishing Poetry, which also looks at the mechanics of submitting poetry for publication: how to present your poetry manuscripts; how to write convincing covering letters. It adds up to the complete guide to getting your poems into print.