Last Updated: 6 January 2017
- A.J. Odasso, Senior Editor
- Sonya Taaffe, Senior Editor
- Li Chua, Editor
- M.J. Cunniff, Editor
What We Publish
We're looking for high-quality literary, SF/F, speculative, and slipstream poetry.
We're looking for modern, exciting poems that explore the possible and impossible: stories about human and nonhuman experiences, dreams and reality, past and future, the here-and-now and otherwhere-and-elsewhen. We want poems from imaginative and unconventional writers; we want voices from diverse perspectives and backgrounds.
We want poems that understand "literary" doesn't equal "boring"; poems that know how to write strange without being senseless; and poems that balance inventiveness with traditional structures. We like mischievous poems, pensive poems, and everything in between.
We don't see nearly enough true science fiction or formal poetry. We are also open to confessional and hypertext poetry. However, poems must substantiate their forms; a weak concept in rhyme is still a weak concept. Sonnet plus spaceship is not enough. Break the mold.
To give you an idea, here are some of our current and long-term favorite poets:
A.E. Housman, Albert Goldbarth, Alexander Pope, Amal El-Mohtar, Anna Akhmatova, Anna Margolin, Bogi Takács, Bryan Thao Worra, C.P. Cavafy, Carl Phillips, Catullus, Charles Baudelaire, David Kirby, dg okpik, Dominik Parisien, Dylan Thomas, Edward Lear, Frank O'Hara, Frederick Seidel, Gawain/Pearl-Poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, H.D., Halee Kirkwood, Iain Sinclair, Inua Ellams, James Tate, Jean Toomer, Jennifer L. Knox, Joy Harjo, Jo Walton, Kay Ryan, Laura Da', Liliana Ursu, Lisel Mueller, Li-Young Lee, Louise Glück, Marie de France, Margaret Atwood, Michele Bannister, Nayyirah Waheed, Ogden Nash, Ovid, Patience Agbabi, Phyllis Gotlieb, Qwo-Li Driskill, Rae Armantrout, Rainer Maria Rilke, Richard Siken, Rika Lesser, Robin Robertson, Rose Lemberg, Rudyard Kipling, Sappho, Seamus Heaney, Sean O'Brien, Sharon Olds, Shweta Narayan, Sofia Samatar, T.S. Eliot, Tanaya Winder, Tapiwa Mugabe, U.A. Fanthorpe, Ursula K. Le Guin, W.B. Yeats, Warsan Shire, William Carlos Williams, and Yrsa Daley-Ward.
This is by no means a complete list. For more, you can read nearly every poem Strange Horizons has published since 2000 in our archives. We publish very short poems, very long poems, illustrated poems, and even prose poems. Above all, we publish poems we like.
Our pay rate for new poetry is $40 (U.S.) per poem, regardless of length or complexity.
We buy first-printing world exclusive rights for six months. After that period, you are free to republish the poem elsewhere. We hope (but don't require) that you'll allow us to post the poem in our archives indefinitely. You have the right to remove your poem from the archives at any point after six months. Please contact us on the address below if this is the case.
How to Submit
No simultaneous submissions, please. We adhere strictly to this rule.
Also, we do not accept unsolicited reprints. This includes poems previously published on personal websites or message boards. If a search engine can find it, so can we.
Email poetry to email@example.com, one poem per e-mail, subject line "POETRY SUB: Your Poem Title." Do not send an attachment without querying first. If you do not follow these guidelines, your submission may be tagged as spam by our email system, and we won't see it.
Poems should be in plain text (ASCII) format in the body of your email. Use two line breaks to indicate paragraph breaks. Place an _underscore_ at the beginning and end of a word or phrase to indicate italics; use *asterisks* to indicate boldface. For any other special formatting, please include an explanatory note. Send no more than six poems per two calendar months.
Strange Horizons does not use an auto-responder to acknowledge submissions. We respond to most submissions within three months; if you haven't heard from us four months after the date of submission, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Poetry Department staff operate on a rotation system; depending on when you submit, you may be read by a different editor each time. In order to determine to whom you should be addressing your submission(s), please refer to the following schedule:
January/February 2017: A.J. Odasso [taking over for M.J.]
March/April 2017: A.J. Odasso [usual spring rotation slot]
May/June 2017: Sonya Taaffe
July/August 2017: Li Chua
September/October 2017: M.J. Cunniff
November/December 2017: A.J. Odasso
If you find it necessary to query a submission, you should also address your query to the editor who was on duty in the reading period during which you submitted. This helps us to keep track regarding who should be responding to which queries. Many thanks in advance!