There are presently no open calls for submissions.
There are currently no active calls for submissions.
We only consider previously unpublished work (and we consider work from a blog or personal website as published). Simultaneous submissions are encouraged, but please let us know right away via Submittable if a poem has been accepted elsewhere. If your entire submission has been accepted elsewhere, kindly withdraw. In the event of an entire submission withdrawal, you may submit new work right away. However, if you receive a rejection notice from us, please wait six months before resubmitting unless we personally ask you to submit sooner. All submissions should be typed using a clear and easy to read font such as Times New Roman, Garamond, or Cambria, with the pages numbered. Each submission should be carefully checked for spelling, grammar, and general readiness for submission. Have someone who doesn’t particularly like you read your work. All submissions should be accompanied by a brief cover letter that includes a third-person bio. Your cover letter should also state that you have read the submission guidelines for your genre. Submissions are accepted year round. Your work, with your permission, might be held for future issues.
What We Like:
Writing that makes us stop and think, but not because it’s cryptic. Tell us something we don’t know. Remind us of something we don’t want to remember. Give us dance partners who are better than we are and can teach us a few moves.
Our current acceptance rate for poetry is approximately 1 out of every 100 submissions, so please send us your best. We only publish 5-7 poets per issue for a total of about 10-14 a year. Send 3-5 poems, with each poem on its own page. There is no maximum line length. Please do not send light verse or song lyrics or anything that you would write in a greeting card to your Great Aunt Ruth.
We want poems that take risks, that aren’t afraid to get weird, poems that have courage, poems that have tension, poems with light and shadow. We want poems that bear witness. We want poems that have duende. We want poems that do the hard and uncomfortable work of seeing. We want poems that have mystery but don’t leave us feeling left out of meaning all together. We want poems that know when to leave (poems that don’t write past their endings). Send us your lyrical, your narrative, your sectioned. Send us your vivid. Send us your evocative. Send us your very, very best. We can’t pay you, but you’ll have our love and respect, and you might just be one of the poets we nominate for the Pushcart. To get an idea of what we like, check out the current issue and an issue from our beautiful archive. You’ll find work by David St. John, Chad Sweeney, Matt Hart, Dorianne Laux, Marsha de la O, Rick Barot, Roxane Beth Johnson, Lynne Thompson, Fleda Brown, Ephraim Scott Sommers, Lisa Coffman, Dian Sousa, Nathan McClain, Kevin Clark, Joseph Millar, Lia Purpura, Greg Glazner, Megan Peak, Marvin Bell, Jennifer K. Sweeney, Patty Seyburn, Kristin Bock, and many other poets we know you’ll dig as much as we do.
We want to read your very best essays that are 5,000 words or less, which is about 20 double-spaced pages. Is your essay 5,057 words? Fine. Don’t chop off an ear or a fingertip just to make it fit. If your creation is a little longer, and we are loving it, we’ll keep reading.
Essays must be polished and sufficiently sourced. The editors still believe in things like science, history, and observable facts, so please back up your claims with credible evidence and adhere to MLA formatting rules. We may suggest revisions and edits to your essay. Along with a bio, send a cover letter with your submission stating that you have read our guidelines and the essay has not been previously published elsewhere, and be sure to include a one-paragraph synopsis of your essay.
Send us your lyrical, your humorous, your emotionally leveling, your intimate, your personal, your narrative, your crisp, your braided, your flashpoint, your wrought, your restrained, your best, your very best. We are fans of a range of nonfiction essayists including David Sedaris, Lia Purpura, David Foster Wallace, Roxane Gay, Leslie Jamison, Amy Tan, Zadie Smith, Annie Dillard, Joan Didion, Rebecca Solnit, and Sandra Cisneros.
We are interested in publishing original, previously unpublished flash fiction. Tell us a compelling story in no more than 1,000 words. Compression is key, but not so much that we lose either the music or a sense of narrative. We want to experience new worlds, or see our world anew. Bring something fresh, something mysterious but not obscure. Similar to micro-memoir, we want flash that makes much of the moment, and much of language—prose that borrows the lyrical quality of poetry. We’re less into plot-driven narratives and more into captivating, troubled, compromised, rising and falling characters that can’t help but command our attention and empathy, advancing the course of events in their own unique and wonderfully flawed ways. Sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, are great, but focus on giving a gift to your readers, something vital, nothing moralizing, no Hallmark cards.
Show us a slice of your life (or your scrappy grandfather’s life or your eccentric, figurine-collecting friend Susan’s life) in 500 words or less. We think Beth Ann Fennelly said it best in her article “Making much of the moment: A guide to the micro-memoir” published in Writer Magazine:
“A true hybrid, the micro-memoir strives to combine the extreme abbreviation of poetry, the narrative tension of fiction, and the truth-telling of creative nonfiction.”
In addition, we would like to see micro-memoir that not only makes much of the moment, but that makes much of language—we want to see prose that borrows the lyrical quality of poetry. Make every word count. Dispense with plot, and stay with the moment that made you want to write a memoir piece to begin with. Writers who have taken on the challenge of writing tiny and done so in a way that makes us go all knock-kneed and swoony: Beth Ann Fennelly, Lia Purpura, Lawrence Sutton, Rebecca Hart Olander, Elizabeth Paul, Dinty W. Moore, and Diane Seuss.
We are interested in publishing original, previously unpublished reviews of books of poetry. While we’d prefer to showcase newer work, we are open to shining a light on lesser-known books published a few years ago. If you are unsure about this, feel free to contact us. We request that you disclose any connections you have with the author of the book you are reviewing. It’s probably best if you don’t submit a review of a close friend’s work. We may suggest edits to your review. Simultaneous submissions are welcomed, but we ask that you contact us immediately if your piece is offered publication elsewhere. Along with a bio, include a cover letter stating: a) you have read our guidelines, b) your proximity to the author of the book you’re reviewing, and c) the review has not been previously published elsewhere. Reviews should be 1,000 words or less.
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