Poetry Submission Guidelines

“Poetry proves again and again that any single overall theory doesn’t work. Poetry is always the cat concert under the window of the room in which the official version of reality is being written.”
— Charles Simic, “The Flute Player in the Pit”

We are seeking unpublished poems that place as much emphasis on language as they do on meaning-making. We hope to read poetry that takes full advantage of the musical potential of English verse, whether in the original composition or via literary translation.

All poetic schools, styles, forms, and modes are welcome. Prose poems will be considered shared terrain for poetry and prose editors. 

Poetry Submission Guidelines:

  1. Send three to five unpublished poems in the body of your email (or as one Word attachment) to poetry@identitytheory.com. (Alternatively, you are welcome to use Submittable.)
  2. Within the subject of the email, please list your name and the titles of your poems. For example, a subject line will look something like: John Smith, "Poem A," "Poem B," "Poem C"
  3. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but please notify us promptly if your work has found a home elsewhere.
  4. Submissions are accepted year-round, and responses are emailed back within 1-6 months from the submission date.
  5. If inclined, you may include a brief bio within your email.
  6. If your submission is a poem in translation, please include a bio of the poet whose work you’re translating and clearly label your submission as a work in translation. 
  7. By submitting to Identity Theory, translators are confirming that they have identified the original copyright holder and acquired the right to publish the poem in both the source and target languages.

Bonus: Enter Our 2022 Poetry Contest

We are accepting 2022-word poems (and sets of 22-word poems) for our free 2022 writing competition.

Our Poetry Editors

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