Thank you for your interest in Poetry Northwest. 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. We are 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 essays) on our website. We make no distinction between the work selected for print edition or website publication. 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.

Please submit in only one category, and limit yourself to one submission per reading period.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted in all categories with advance indication and prompt notification upon acceptance elsewhere. Please send a message to us through Submittable if any of your work has been accepted elsewhere. Please do not email the editors directly regarding your submission.

We accept submissions online only; work sent via mail will be recycled. 

Poetry

We welcome unsolicited submissions of poetry, original or in translation, twice a year: October 1 – November 30 and February 1 – March 31. Please note that our monthly submission limit for poetry is 300. Once we reach that limit, submissions will be closed for the remainder of that month. If you do not see the option to submit poetry, we have reached that limit.

  • Our cap is usually reached within a couple days. In recognization of the fact that this is an equity and access issue, we gladly accept submissions from poets who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color after we hit our cap in the months of October, November, February, and March. BIPOC poets are welcome to send their work to editors@poetrynw.org throughout those months. All other submission guidelines apply.
  • Please submit no more than four poems at a time. Combine all poems into a single document and upload as a Word file. If you wish to submit a PDF, please include it as a second file.
  • 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.
  • When submitting translations, please submit the originals alongside the translations, and be sure you hold the rights to print the originals. Please note, translations need not include a version of the poem in English (ie. you might submit a poem originally written in Arabic and subsequently translated into French).

Essays

We also welcome submissions of book reviews or essays all year.

Prizes

The 2022 James Welch Prize for Indigenous Poets accepts submissions from December 1 2021 – January 31 2022. Full prize guidelines are available on our website.

Response time

Our goal is to respond to unsolicited submissions within 6 months, but we may take longer during our busiest months. Please be patient. We want to make sure your work gets the attention it deserves.

Full guidelines are available on our website.

Eligibility

The prize is open to new, emerging, and established poets who are community-recognized members of tribal nations within the United States and its trust territories (including American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Chamorros, and American Samoans). Only poets who have not published more than one book-length collection are eligible; however, previous publication is not a requirement. Eligible contestants must be community-recognized members of their tribal nation. Formal tribal enrollment is not the only way of acknowledging belonging, and this prize aims to recognize all Native writers who are in community. Previous first place winners of this prize are not eligible, but previous finalists are welcome to submit work.

How to submit

Between December 1 and January 31, each entrant may submit up to three poems in a single submission. Please submit only once.

There is no submission fee for this prize. Please read our guidelines before you submit.

Submissions must include a cover letter with tribal affiliation(s) and a short biography. However, please do not include any personal information (name, mailing address, etc.) on the poems themselves. All entries will be screened by a team of poets from the board and advisory committee of In-Na-Po (Indigenous Nations Poets). All identifying information will be removed from the submissions before each round of judging, and entries will be read blind at each stage of the judging process.

Entries must be previously unpublished. We accept simultaneous submissions. You may withdraw your submission at any time via Submittable.

All entrants will receive a complimentary copy of the issue that includes the winning poems.

Land/Form is a new series edited by Publisher and Contributing Editor Kevin Craft that explores topics in geo-poetics. Read first installment of the series here.

Our focus is to publish longer essays of a lyrical, exploratory nature, mapping lived experience, big or small, with the topography of selected poems. Our goal is to offer a different kind of close reading, one that borrows equally from landscape and lineation, showcasing how poetry deepens our engagement with places—those loved, lost, or previously overlooked.

If you have a proposal for the series, please query us here or at landform@poetrynw.org.

Essays only. Poems submitted here will go unread. Please read our submission guidelines for information about our reading period.

We are open to reviewing prose that encourages us to engage with books of poetry (not necessarily new releases), individual poets, and issues of craft or poetics in new ways. We like thinking about how poetry makes the world a bigger place, and we enjoy reading about the connections drawn between the literary arts and food, migration, the ocean—anything unexpected or risky. We also regularly feature reviews, interviews, and essays that engage specifically with poetry. 

We have many regular features that appear in print and online, including On Failure, Line Cook, and a new somewhat tongue-in-cheek "writers advice" column. Feel free to pitch us one of these or something entirely new, as we often run one-off features on such topics as under-sung poetic heroes or AWP panel recaps.

We'll make every effort to respond within a month of submission. Please wait three months before inquiring.

Essays only. Poems submitted here will go unread. Please read our submission guidelines for information about our reading period.

We are open to reviewing prose that encourages us to engage with books of poetry (not necessarily new releases), individual poets, and issues of craft or poetics in new ways. We like thinking about how poetry makes the world a bigger place, and we enjoy reading about the connections drawn between the literary arts and food, migration, the ocean—anything unexpected or risky. We also regularly feature reviews, interviews, and essays that engage specifically with poetry. 

We have many regular features that appear in print and online, including On Failure, Line Cook, and a new somewhat tongue-in-cheek "writers advice" column. Feel free to pitch us one of these or something entirely new, as we often run one-off features on such topics as under-sung poetic heroes or AWP panel recaps.

We'll make every effort to respond within a month of submission. Please wait three months before inquiring.

Poetry Northwest