Thank you for your interest in Poetry Northwest, the region’s oldest literary magazine. After more than 60 years, we remain committed to publishing the best in contemporary poetry, especially work willing to take risks and push readers to the emotional and intellectual edge of what poetry makes possible. Our new editor, Keetje Kuipers, recently spoke with Poets & Writers about her editorial vision for the magazine:
I’m interested in accepting poems that I struggle with, that I don’t understand, that I might even fundamentally disagree with in terms of either their craft or simply the argument that they’re making about the state of the world. I’m excited to take those chances and to make myself uncomfortable and make readers a little uncomfortable.
We are also staunch advocates for our writers, and poems published in our magazine often appear later in the pages of the Pushcart Prize and Best American anthologies.
We strive to go beyond encouraging submissions from diverse voices. Our mission to employ equitable editorial practices runs parallel to our mission to publish the most exciting poetry we can find. Take a look at a recent issue and you’ll see that we stand behind both these commitments.
Poetry Northwest is published semi-annually in June and December. We also publish new work (poetry, reviews, interviews and poetry-related essays) on our website, to supplement and extend our print edition. All work submitted to us during our reading period will be considered for the print edition, the website, or both.
We do not accept work that has been previously published. This includes on personal blogs and social media.
We are currently considering poems for the 2023 season (Winter & Spring 2023 and Summer & Fall 2023).
You may submit up to four poems at a time. Please wait for a response before submitting again.
We are open for submissions during the months of October, November, February and March.
Please note that our monthly submission limit is 300. Once we reach that limit, submissions will be closed for the remainder of that month. We encourage you to try us again at the very beginning of the next reading month. Pro tip: In Winter of 2022, we hit the cap within 24 hours!
When the cap is reached, we open a portal for BIPOC poets that remains open through the months of October, November, February and March. That the cap is generally reached within a day or two is an equity and access issue we are seeking to address!
Please help us to ensure that we take to press a magazine that reflects the tremendous diversity of the contemporary poetry community by including in your cover letter any relevant information that you feel would aid us in this mission.
Out of respect for our volunteer readers, we request that you include a content warning if your work references or depicts personal or historical trauma (including violence, genocide, assault, abuse, etcetera). Please use the format “CW: ______” at the bottom of your cover letter.
If you are a previous contributor, we’d love to hear from you if it’s been two years since the date of your last publication with us. Writers submitting translations–please note that we now have a special translations category in which to submit. Do not submit in the general poetry category. We require that the translator have the permission of the original author for their translations.
If you are an emerging writer, please consider submitting poems to Presenting, a print feature in which Senior Editor Xavier Cavazos introduces readers to a poet whose work has never before been featured in a nationally distributed print journal. All work submitted in this category will be considered for general publication even if not selected for the Presenting feature.
We welcome unsolicited submissions of book reviews or essays all year.
We are currently accepting queries for Land/Form, an essay series edited by Publisher and Contributing Editor Kevin Craft that explores topics in geo-poetics. Read the first installment of the series here.
The 2022 James Welch Prize is open for submissions from December 1 2021 – January 31 2022. Please visit here for details and submission guidelines.