Best Places to Submit Poetry 2019

While we’d like to think that Adroit is your home, the one nest you keep coming back to, we also know that our readers and contributors have wingspans bigger than one journal. You rock, and that’s why we want to help you share everything you have to offer—your glitter, snark, fury, grief, and versed rambling—with anyone who will listen. Stay tuned for our call for submissions; in the meantime, we encourage you to fly by some of these journals. And if you’re hungry for more, visit some of our friends, as well. Publications are listed in order of submission period(s), but if they’re not open now, don’t worry—it means more time to spend at the drawing board!


Based at Emerson College in Boston, Ploughshares publishes four times a year, in print and online. In order to bring visibility to a newer generation of writers unrecognized by traditional presses, the magazine began in 1971 in an Irish pub in Cambridge, MA, named after Sean O’Casey’s play “The Plough and the Stars” about the Irish revolutionary period. As outlined in their Statement of Commitments, the magazine has since stuck to its mission: supporting “critical inquiry” as well as “active reform.” The journal is home to Pulitzer Prize-winning poets like Tracy K. Smith, as well as emerging poets; Ploughshares holds an annual Emerging Writer’s Contest—check their website for updates.

Published poets: Wendell Berry, Sharon Olds, Kevin Young
Recommended reading:
Don’t You Wonder, Sometimes?” by Tracy K. Smith (reprinted by Poetry Foundation from Life on Mars, printed in Ploughshares Winter 2010-11 issue)
“Luthier,” “Aubade to Replace the Sounds of Morning,” “Draining the Lake,” and “After the shipwreck” by Andy Eaton

Submit (June 1 – January 1)
Past Issues

Black Warrior Review

Graduate students of the University of Alabama’s Creative Writing MFA Program established the Black Warrior Review in 1974. Gripping in its rawness, the journal champions “[w]riters of color, queer and trans writers, disabled writers, immigrant writers, fat writers and femmes,” as stated on its submissions page. If your poems “interrogate genre, form, and language” and “ooze with wonder,” or even if they’re “weird, garbage, sparkly, kitsch,” send them over! The print journal is published biannually; the journal also houses an online publication called Boyfriend Village (submissions open from March 1-31). The BWR 2019 Contest is open now until September 1.

Published poets: Terrance Hayes, sam sax, Leslie Sainz
Recommended reading:
From a Poet to her Rumbero” by Sarah María Medina

Submit (June 1 – September 1 and December 1 – March 1)
Past Issues


A relatively newer journal, BOAAT started in 2014 and is based in Charlottesville, VA. The online journal publishes every two months and features a unique layout—each issue foregrounds the writers themselves by listing every poem under a picture of the poet; instead of reading a list of names in a traditional table of contents, readers first get to know the human face behind the words. BOAAT Press also publishes the winners of the BOAAT Book Prize for emerging poets who have not yet published a book of poems and the BOAAT Chapbook Prize—both open submission periods take place during the month of April.

Published poets: Tiana Clark, Franny Choi, Hieu Minh Nguyen
Recommended reading:
It’s Just That I’m Not Really Into Politics” by Hanif Abdurraqib
With Pretty Legs” by Talin Tahajian

Submit (Year-round)
Past Issues


“Odd but good,” as proclaimed on their submissions page, DIAGRAM publishes their free, online issue six times a year. From its taxonomical layout, distinct illustrations, and witty commentary running through the site’s various pages, DIAGRAM’s voice is singular and unmistakable. The journal has no length limits for submissions; however, it is strongly opposed to poems titled “13 ways of looking at X,” unless “they are all Mind Blowing. And make Questionable Use of Initial Capitals.” In conjunction with New Michigan Press, DIAGRAM also holds an annual chapbook contest.

Published poets: Jennifer Cheng, Ellie Black, Eric Tran
Recommended reading:
3 Poems” by Trevor Ketner
DNA ‘Is To’: A Quiz” by Charlotte Pence

Submit (Year-round)
Past Issues

Salt Hill

Published by writers affiliated with Syracuse University’s creative writing program, Salt Hill releases a new issue twice a year and features a wide variety of voices, especially “traditionally underrepresented” writers and artists. In addition, Salt Hill’s Philip Booth Poetry Prize and Dead Lake Chapbook Contest offer more publication opportunities—check the website for updates on both contests.

Published poets: Patricia Smith, Margaret Cipriano, W. S. Merwin
Recommended reading:
Echoes” by Jenna Le

Submit (July 1 – September 30 and January 1 – March 31)
Past Issues (purchase copies here)


As proclaimed on its homepage in bold, AGNI is “named after the Vedic fire-god. Transformative. The writer in witness, the imagination in combustion.” Askold Melnyczuk founded the journal in 1972, when he and associate editor former Eric Hoffman were still “trying to back Askold’s hair out of the press after it was caught in the rollers.” AGNI publishes a print issue twice a year and an online issue twice a month. Although former AGNI contributors have gone on to win Nobel Prizes and the like, AGNI seeks to find voices that will create a new generation of greats.

Published poets: Cynthia Zarin, Jennifer Givhan, Edgar Kunz
Recommended reading:
Come Back” by Chloë Honum
Burning the Book” by John Witte

Submit (September 1 – May 31)
Past Issues


Like its name, Waxwing’s website evokes the verses of old, complete with an elegant font, wax seal, and quill; however, the poetry inside is hardly outdated. Published in October, February, and June, Waxwing promotes multicultural American contemporary literature and translated international literature. In its mission statement, the journal “aims to broadcast as widely as possible, in each and every issue, singular voices—and to hear these voices together, in all their harmony and dissonance.”

Published poets: Maggie Smith, Ada Límon, James Hoch
Recommended reading:
Late Summer After a Panic Attack” by Ada Límon

Submit (September 1 – April 30)
Past Issues


Poet Tom McGrath founded Crazyhorse in 1960 and since then, the journal has migrated from place to place before settling in its current home at the College of Charleston. Despite its long history, Crazyhorse has withstood the test of time—its sleek, beautiful website attracts new and established poets alike. During the month of January, Crazyhorse also accepts submissions for its annual Prizes in Fiction, Nonfiction, & Poetry.

Published poets: Ha Jin, Carolyn Forché, Charles Simic
Recommended reading:
Poem Where I Refuse to Talk about –” by Xandria Phillips
Boy Saint” by Peter LaBerge

Submit (General submissions: September 1 – December 31 and February 1 – May 3)
Past issues

The Kenyon Review

The Kenyon Review celebrates its eightieth birthday this year under the leadership of chief editor David H. Lynn. Based in Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, The Kenyon Review publishes award-winning work in print and online issues once every two months. The Kenyon Review also organizes a burgeoning scene of literary activity in Kenyon College and beyond—readings, writing programs, fellowships, and a podcast that features interviews and conversations with writers and contributors.

Published poets: Bob Hicock, Rita Dove, Philip B. Williams
Recommended reading:
Sacred and Profane Love” by Richie Hofmann
Obit” by Victoria Chang

Submit (September 15 – October 1)
Past Issues


Since its founding in 1984 in NYC, Boulevard has changed its offices a few times. The magazine is now based in St. Louis, MO, and publishes print and digital twice a year, as well as an anthology. What hasn’t changed, however, is its dedication to publishing “variegated yet coherent ensemble—as a boulevard, which contains in one place the best a community has to offer,” according to its homepage. From January 1 to June 1, Boulevard considers submissions for its Poetry Contest for Emerging Poets as well. Just be warned—if you submit, don’t use Courier!

Published poets: Carl Phillips, Joanna Klink, Kenneth Koch
Recommended reading:
How Can Black People Write About Flowers at a Time Like This” by Hanif Abdurraqib

Submit (October 1 – May 1)
Past issues

Bennington Review

Originally founded in 1966, relaunched in 1978, and paused in 1985, the Bennington Review returned in 2016—with a bang. The journal received CLMP’s 2017 Firecracker Award for Best Debut Magazine, and it’s no wonder why. A new magazine with the feel of an established journal, the Bennington Review features both common favorites and rising poets in their biannual print journal, with a few selections also posted on their website. Cross-genre work and film writing are also welcome, in addition to the usual triad—poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Submit your creatures of flight, submit your unhinged cages, submit something “simultaneously graceful and reckless.”

Published poets: Jericho Brown, Claire Schwartz, C Dylan Bassett
Recommended reading:
The Minotaur Invents the Circumstances of His Birth” by Analicia Sotelo
Elegy with Symptoms” by Emily Skaja

Submit (2018 submission window: November 1 – May 15. Check back for updates on 2019-2020)
Past Issues

Featured image: “Forever Rain” by Deandra Lee (from Issue Twenty-Nine).


Meimei Xu

Meimei Xu (Zhimei) is a senior at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA. Her journalism and creative work have been recognized by the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the Library of Congress, Torrance Legacy Creative Writing Awards, and the NCTE Superior Writing Achievement Award. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Typishly, Cathexis Northwest Press, and Sooth Swarm Journal. She is a 2019 alum of Asian American Journalists Association's JCamp and a 2018 alum of the Kenyon Review Young Writer's Workshop. Meimei currently works as a content writer for The Adroit Journal.

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