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 Submit Poems, we have reached that limit.

  • Our cap is usually reached within a couple days. In recognization of the fact that that 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. A submission category for BIPOC poets only will be available throughout those months after our submission cap has been reached. 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).
  • If you are an emerging writer, please consider submitting poems to Presenting, an annual feature published in the Winter & Spring issue of the magazine 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.

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.

The Possession Sound Poetry Series from Poetry NW Editions will publish one or two manuscripts in spring 2023 drawn from our open reading period.


Poets who have published at least one full-length collection are eligible. First book prizes are fairly common… but what comes next? Our mission is to give mid-career poets—those seeking a publisher for second books and beyond—a lift and a home. As with our flagship magazine, we have a strong preference for poems that discover joy in the musicality of language, poems attentive to their linguistic roots and expressive permutations. We have no formal or stylistic preferences beyond deep attention. Verse which employs meter and rhyme is as welcome as free verse, nonce forms, and experimentation. Read more about our aesthetic and guiding principles on our website.


Manuscripts are read in-house. If you think your work aligns with our mission, please send. All manuscripts will be read and selected by the Poetry NW Editions team.


Eligibility
This series is open to established poets who have already published at least one full-length collection (48+ pages). This includes books published by established third-party presses. Self-published manuscripts are not accepted for eligibility purposes.

How to Submit
Between May 16 and 11:59pm on July 31, submit your manuscript through Submittable. Please submit only once. Reading fee is $15.


Submissions must include a cover letter using the Submittable form, including a brief bio. Manuscripts will be read anonymously and discussed by a team of Poetry Northwest readers. Please include a title page featuring manuscript title only, a table of contents, and any notes. You are welcome to include publication notes, but they are not required.


All manuscripts must be previously unpublished. We do accept simultaneous submissions, but please let us know in your cover letter if you have submitted elsewhere. Also, if your manuscript is accepted anywhere else (congrats!) please let us know by sending a note through Submittable. If needed, you may withdraw your submission at any time, also through Submittable.


Reading Period Results
We will announce the winner along with a shortlist in the fall. The winner will receive a $500 advance, standard publication contract, and national distribution via Ingram. We use the IngramSpark platform for printing and distribution. All manuscripts will be considered for publication.


Code of Ethics
Poetry Northwest Editions complies with the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) code of ethics.

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.

Poetry Northwest