[found on poets.org]
“How can I become a poet? The best advice for writing poetry is to read lots of poetry. Read everything you can get your hands on: contemporary and classic; English and translation, formal and experimental. Read literary journals and magazines geared toward writers.
How can I get my poems published? Start small. Everyone wants to publish a book, but you should be aware that most writers start their careers by submitting their work to literary magazines and journals, gaining recognition from editors, agents, and peers. Creep up the ranks. After your work has appeared in a variety of periodicals and you have amassed a solid manuscript, try approaching small presses and university publishers. There are also several well-respected first-book contests, including the Walt Whitman Award, which you could enter.
Where should I submit my poems? Research is key. Spend some time finding journals and ‘zines, online or in print, that publish work that you enjoy or is similar to your style. Poet’s Market, published annually, is an essential sourcebook for poets interested in sending out their work. It contains listings of publishers with descriptions, contact information, and submission guidelines.Poets & Writers magazine, published six times per year, is another excellent resource.”
For more excellent tools, and expounding on how-to for poetry, check out their site: poets.org.