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.
- Thank you to all who submitted poetry in November 2022 when we kept the doors open all month! We are humbled by the interest in our magazine and will reopen for submissions later in 2024.
- 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.
- We now have a special submission category for translations. Please do not submit translations in the general poetry submissions category. We require that translators obtain permission from the copyright holders for the translation. Note: translations submissions are open January 1-31 2024.
- 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. (Currently closed.)
We also welcome submissions of book reviews or essays all year.
The 2024 James Welch Prize for Indigenous Poets accepts submissions from December 15 2023 – February 15 2024. Full prize guidelines are available on our website.
Our goal is to respond to unsolicited submissions within 9 months, but we may take longer, being largely a volunteer organization. Please be patient: We want to make sure your work gets the attention it deserves. Feel free to query if we've had your work for over a year--though do rest assured it's in good hands and is being carefully if not seriously considered as time goes by.
Poetry NW Editions
We are open for submissions to our Possession Sound Poetry Series in the spring of every year and announce our selections in the fall. Please check back for more!
We are interested in interviews that are meaty. By that we don’t mean long, we mean well-researched, well-constructed interviews that are intent on honoring the practice of what comes after the book. We are of the belief that the endpoint is not the final page, and that in fact there is no endpoint to a book. The discussion of poetry makes it eternal. And how lucky we are to be able to speak with the makers, the creators, the artist whose work we are holding. Let’s give them our attention. As Simone Weil says, “Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer.” We are interested in being part of that practice.
We strongly encourage interview-ers and interview-ees of historically marginalized backgrounds to send us their conversations. We also strongly encourage conversations with those working on the translation of poetry into the English language or poets whose work is invested in being multilingual in other interesting ways not documented here.
We publish interviews once every few months to the Poetry Northwest website and occasionally in print. Interviews submitted here will be considered for both locations, though we publish the majority of our interviews online. We generally would like to see interviews between 2,000-5,000 words. The interviews we publish are limited to conversations about works of poetry. We unfortunately do not accept interviews on nonfiction or fiction pieces. Please see our interviews section for examples on how to format your poetry interview submissions.
This submittable link is for completed interviews only. Please send your pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org directly. Please include the following: a 250-500 word pitch describing the author’s name, their relationship to you, why you feel it is important to interview this person now, and if you have already made contact with them about the interview/if they have already agreed to it. Please also include a previous example of an interview, should you have one so we get a sense of your style of questioning. If you don’t have that, no worries, please just send us a draft of the questions you’d like to ask. These should be included in the same file.
We aim to respond to all interview submissions within 90 days. Unfortunately, at the moment we cannot offer honorarium to authors for interviews published on the web.
We can’t wait to see what you’re talking about out there in the poetry ether!
–Alexa Luborsky, Interviews Editor
Poems submitted here will go unread. 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 also regularly feature reviews, interviews, and essays that engage specifically with poetry. For a list of titles we are particularly interested in, please check out this spreadsheet.
What We Look For in Essays/Reviews:
- Engaging, deep readings of titles that go beyond content summary and description into considerations of how the title might shift, challenge, illuminate, disturb, produce its poetics.
- We are especially interested in multi-book reviews that put multiple titles in productive conversation.
- Reviews that contextualize a book within a tradition or explore how it might/might not speak to it.
- Critical writing that is itself sharp, lyrical, and analytical!
We'll make every effort to respond within two months of submission. Please wait three months before inquiring.