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Poet Lore was the first magazine to ever publish my work way back when I was a college basketball player in South Carolina.”
—Terrance Hayes, poet, educator, 2010 winner of the National Book Award for Poetry, and 2014 MacArthur Fellow

We have a mission of discovery at Poet Lore. Therefore, every submission is read without regard to reputation by our team of readers and editors. Please send us your best work.

Poet Lore publishes a range of established and award winning poets such as Erika Meitner, Jose Hernandez Diaz, Sharon Olds, Kim Addonizio, Terrance Hayes, Linda Pastan, Mary Oliver & Carl Philips, who share the space with emerging poets. Someone’s first published poem may stand alongside another author’s 100th.  

We nominate select published poems for both the Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets.  

We are committed to diversity and inclusivity and highly encourage submissions from marginalized voices. We do not tolerate racism, bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, or any work that promotes harmful stereotypes and viewpoints.

Poetry

As of May 1st, 2019, we are only considering poems submitted via our online submission platform, Submittable. Please note, we will continue to accept mailed submissions those who are currently incarcerated or otherwise unable to submit online. Thank you for understanding.

You may submit up to 5 poems (maximum 10 pages).

  • Include all poems in 1 single document and please only submit once per submission period.
  • Include the titles of all poems in your cover letter (bullet points or numbers are easiest).
  • If a poem is more than one page, please indicate if the second page begins with a new stanza.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, however, let us know in your cover letter if poems are simultaneously submitted, and please inform us immediately if a poem is accepted elsewhere.
  • We do not accept work that has been previously published. This includes on personal blogs and social media.
submit

Translations

Before submitting translations of works that are not in the public domain, please identify the rights holder and obtain a statement that the rights to publish an English translation are available. Include the original text if possible, as well as a short biography of the writer and the translator, and a short introduction of the work. If there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from including a copy of the original text at the time of your submission, please note that in the cover letter.  

You may submit up to 5 English translations of poems.

  • Include all poems in 1 single document and please only submit once per submission period.
  • Include the titles of all poems in your cover letter (bullet points or numbers are easiest).
  • If a poem is more than one page, please indicate if the second page begins with a new stanza.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, however, let us know in your cover letter if poems are simultaneously submitted, and please inform us immediately if a poem is accepted elsewhere.
  • We do not accept work that has been previously published. This includes on personal blogs and social media.
submit

Mail Submission Guidelines

(for those who are incarcerated or otherwise unable to submit electronically)

General mailed submissions will be recycled and will not be considered. Thank you for understanding.

You may submit up to 5 poems.

  • Mail submissions are only accepted March 1st through June 30th and September 1st through November 30th. Anything received outside of this window will be recycled.
  • Provide a cover letter & include a list of the titles of all poems (bullet points or numbers are easiest).
  • If a poem is more than one page, please indicate if the second page begins with a new stanza.
  • No staples.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, however, let us know in your cover letter if poems are simultaneously submitted, and please inform us immediately if a poem is accepted elsewhere.
  • A self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) must accompany all submissions for response only. As of August 15, 2016, we can no longer return manuscripts.
  • Poet Lore will recycle any submission that does not provide contact information; any submission that does not provide a return address with a SASE will not receive a reply regarding the editorial decision.

Mail paper submissions to:

Poet Lore
c/o The Writer’s Center
4508 Walsh Street
Bethesda, MD 20815

Response Time

We will try respond to all submissions between 4-6 months. Do not query regarding the status of your submission until 6 months have passed.

A Note on Publication Rights

Poet Lore requires first serial rights. We request (but does not require) the right to publish accepted poems on our website, social media outlets, monthly newsletter, and via our publisher’s (The Writer’s Center) triennial magazine. All other rights revert to the author upon publication; although, Poet Lore expects to be credited when poems are republished.