We all remember the days when our middle school English teachers would urge us to write poems and we could never imagine voluntarily writing one on our own. Rhyme schemes, meter, alliteration… poetry just seemed like a lot of terminology when we were younger. Luckily, as we have grown older, we can better appreciate poetry and the hard work that goes into writing poems. With poetry books such as Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur gaining immense popularity, you might just be wondering about your own poems. If you’re looking to get your poems published but don’t know where to start looking, this article provides five different magazines and journals where you may want to submit your work.
1. Your University’s Literary Magazine
I cannot stress this one enough. If you currently attend college, chances are good that your school will have a literary magazine or publication of some sort that is looking for poetry submissions. Depending on your school, the magazine may be published online or in physical format. Either way, if you are looking to get your name out there and say you have published a piece, your university’s literary magazine is a great place to start. Here is an example of my college’s literary magazine, The Salamander.
2. Rufous City Review
The Rufous City Review is an online publication of fiction, art and poetry. It costs zero dollars to submit your poems, and you can submit more than one piece at a time. They accept submissions year-round and will generally tell you whether or not your piece is accepted within six weeks. What kind of pieces are they looking for? Well, the founding editor Jessica Bixel says,
"We like risks. We like unexpected endings. We like images that gyrate and taunt and expose. We like imperfections. We like things we don’t yet know we like, so send us your best work."
Check out their submission page and past issues here.
3. Phoebe Journal of Literature and Art
This is perfect if you have never published a work of yours before, since Phoebe Journal is especially interested in up-and-coming new writers. They accept poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and generally submissions are open twice a year. Phoebe Journal has both print issues and online issues. Douglas Luman and Janice Majewski, the editors of the journal’s poetry, say this,
"We seek poetry which addresses the im/possibilities of the medium through either arresting simplicity or overwhelming maximalism. We want to get lost in work that twists and tangles itself around an idea or concept, even if never touching it."
Read some of their past issues and submission guidelines here.
AGNI is a print literary magazine that will pay you to publish your piece. Past writers whose works have appeared in AGNI include David Foster Wallace, author of Infinite Jest and Seamus Heaney, who received a Nobel Prize in Literature. AGNI has published over seventy issues and you are welcome to read its published poems here.
5. Neon Literary Magazine
Interested in the dark and surreal? Neon Literary Magazine is interested in it, too. Submit your poems with a cover letter and a fifty-word biography and wait up to two months to hear back. You also don’t have to pay to submit, so that’s definitely a plus. If you’re unsure if your work is a good fit for the magazine, here’s what the editor, Krishan Coupland, has to say,
"I prefer darker pieces, especially those with an element of the surreal or speculative. I am open to reading anything, however, and am often surprised by pieces that don’t fall into these categories."
Check it out here.
While these are a few great places to start submitting your poems to, they aren't the only publications looking for your work. Start looking around and see what kinds of magazines and journals you think your poetry belongs to. Remember, no matter how small the publication is, the important thing is that your work is published. You probably won't get published in The New Yorker right off the bat. So work hard, submit your poems often and don't give up hope.
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