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
“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
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
“From a Poet to her Rumbero” by Sarah María Medina
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.
“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 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
“Echoes” by Jenna Le
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.
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
“Late Summer After a Panic Attack” by Ada Límon
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.
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.
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
“How Can Black People Write About Flowers at a Time Like This” by Hanif Abdurraqib
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
“The Minotaur Invents the Circumstances of His Birth” by Analicia Sotelo
“Elegy with Symptoms” by Emily Skaja