This is a question I often get asked, and I understand why: there are so many magazines out there and we often rely on word of mouth to suss out which ones are hot or not. Sometimes you can feel like you’re circling the same small pond of magazines and want to extend your horizons. So I thought I’d share a few links:
1) Poetry Library
The Poetry Library has quite an enormous list of magazines, both digital and hardprint. If you’re feeling stuck, why not pick a few at random and investigate them further. Better yet, if you live in or near London, go and visit the Poetry Library and get a feel for the magazines first hand. The Poetry Library has also created this amazing online resource, which makes some of the magazines available online.
Not too many places review magazines. Sabotage Reviews tries to feature them, see our digital and hardprint tags for some. The Review Review reviews magazines, but its focus is quite US-based (which is no bad thing). It might be a good idea to volunteer to review for either of them, not only do you get a free copy of the magazine, but it will also make you think about what works and what doesn’t in a magazine. Email Becky<at>sabotagereviews.com or Becky Tuch at 99review<at>gmail.com.
3) Look at the Back
The acknowledgement section in your favourite poet’s pamphlet/poetry collection is a great starting point. If you like their poetry then you will probably like the magazines they’ve been published in before.
- Dan Wyke compiled a list of UK magazines that accept email submissions. It was started in 2012 so it needs an update, but not a bad place to start if you find huge lists overwhelming.
- Jo Bell wrote an excellent blog post on actually submitting your poems to magazines, Kim Moore also has some great advice on the matter.
But really, what you want to know is, what poetry magazine will like your poems?
And the thing is, there isn’t an easy answer to that.
I will, however, share five distinctive magazines with you. It’s not a top 5 list or anything like that, but it can hopefully act as a starting point for you:
1) Handmade and prompt-based
If you like working with constraints, then consider submitting to Fuselit. Not only are their magazines beautifully put together, but they always revolve around a prompt word. They’re currently closed for submissions though but keep an eye on the website for when they re-open.
2) Hip and daring
Poems in Which is consistently good, and has the hippest panel of editors you could imagine. So if you feel your poetry is fresh and contemporary, then this might be a great fit…
3) Respectable without being stuffy
Poetry London is ‘one of the UK’s leading poetry magazines’, and yet doesn’t commit the sin of perpetually recycling the same names with the same voices... If your poetry is mainstream with a bit of an edge, then look no further…
4) Concrete Poetry
Submit to M58, an online magazine devoted to visual poetry in all shapes and sizes. So if this is your preferred medium, go for it!
5) Experimental and Innovative
Hopefully that’s enough to get you started…. Good luck!