Our next regular reading period will open on June 1, 2018. 

We're currently considering submissions for the Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry. (Scroll down / click through for ARA guidelines and to submit.)

General Guidelines

We seek unpublished poems or translations of poems not already available in English.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

And if you're not already a BPJ subscriber, please consider subscribing today, which you can do via an add-on payment (and at significant savings over regular prices) along with your fee-free submission. Subscriptions help support the magazine financially, but they also let us know that the work we're doing--and the work you're doing!--is important to readers. Thanks in advance for your support! 

Ends on April 30, 2018$15.00

The Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry

  •  $1,500 prize for a single poem
  •  Judge: Naomi Shihab Nye
  •  Submissions Open March 1 - April 30, 2018


  • Submit 1-3 unpublished poems on any subject in any style up to a maximum of 10 pages per entry. (We enjoy long poems!)
  • Simultaneous submissions welcome. Please notify us immediately of publication elsewhere.
  • We regret we cannot accept entries after the deadline or changes to poems after submission.      
  • Reading fee of $15 per entry. A limited number of complimentary entries are available to poets for whom the fee represents a hardship. Contact us at bpj@bpj.org for more information.
  • Submitters paying the $15 fee may purchase a 1-year subscription to the BPJ for only $15, nearly half off the regular subscription price. 
  • The editors will consider all submissions for publication.
  • Finalists will be notified by June 30; the winner will be announced and published in the Winter 2019 issue of the BPJ.
  • We follow the CLMP Guidelines for contests and are committed, in all we do, to the highest ethical standards. If you are a personal friend, family member, or student of any BPJ editor or of the judge, or if you are a former or current intern or staff member of the BPJ, please refrain from submitting.  


“…every poem breaks a silence that had to be overcome…”

Adrienne Rich