Submission Guidelines

We consider general submissions during seasonal open reading periods. Our next regular reading period will open on January 1, 2019.

(Note: We welcome submissions for the Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry from March 1-April 30.)

We seek unpublished poems or translations of poems not already available in English. 

We are open to a wide range of forms and styles in contemporary poetry. We are always watching for new poets, quickened language, and work that offers a fresh purchase on the political or social landscape. 

The editors read every poem that comes in over the transom. Those we know aren't for us we return within weeks of their arrival. The rest we circulate among the editorial board members and continue to winnow. At face-to-face, long-weekend-long meetings, we read aloud those poems in which we have strong interest and collaborate to choose an issue from among them.

If you submit translations, please also include the poems in their original language.

We are now willing to consider simultaneous submissions, but (given the time- and labor-intensive nature of our editorial process) we ask that you notify us immediately if a poem is accepted elsewhere. 

Before you send work, please familiarize yourself with the BPJ by buying a sample issue or browsing our website archive.

Limit your submission to five poems OR a single long poem. (Yes, we enjoy long poems!) 

We ask that you send no more than one manuscript during any submission period. Put no more than one poem on a page. 

We seek to emphasize the poems themselves, so we use no contributors' notes, but feel free to send us a note if you want to tell us something about yourself. 

If you don’t hear from us within a few weeks, your manuscript has been screened and is under active consideration. Please wait to query us until four months have passed.