how to submit a poem to the poetry review


Advice on submitting to Poetry Review

Beginning poets have a great advantage over other artists: the technical equipment required to make a start consists of A4 paper, a word-processor or typewriter and a pile of SAEs. And once you start you don’t have to complete a full length work before you start to get feedback. Three or four short poems sent to a magazines with SAE starts the ball rolling. Magazine editors read all the poems that come in. They do not read all the books and full-length manuscripts.

What to Do

The list of what you should do is very short.

  1. Send no more than 6 poems.
  2. Type them.
  3. Send an adequate SAE for return, ie, please ensure your submission will fit in the return envelope, and that it has the right postage (in the UK), or that you have included International Reply Coupons.

The list of don’ts is rather longer.

  1. Don’t send your bound collected works or self-printed volumes.
  2. Don’t send your book from whatever publisher unless you have been sending out poems to magazines regularly for a couple of years. Magazines receive perhaps 3000 books in a year, out of which they might review 150-200 at most. The other books are not read, but all individual poems properly presented are read.
  3. Don’t use fancy layouts and typography for the poems and don’t illustrate them.
  4. Don’t print your poems in capital letters.
  5. Don’t send long CVs with the poems. If you have already published, say where briefly.
  6. Don’t claim that a famous poet has recommended that you send (even if it’s true).
  7. Don’t submit work via e-mail.

Poetry Review receives around 60,000 poems a year and prints about 120 poems in the same period. The odds are long but since every poem is read by the Editor herself there is a real chance. There are hundreds of poetry magazines to try; it’s important to read a magazine before you submit to it so you can be sure that your poetry is suitable for that particular publication. This applies to the Review too. 






JMW Turner


Turner did see

The glory of dawn

Ripples of water

Steam in motion


No Genius he says

Damned hard work he says

Tramp across England

Sketch, watercolour, look


A stop in Paris

Perfection in Claude Lorraine

Plagiarise, Perfect, Mould



Engrave, Illustrate Murrays Books

Prints galore, block the rest

Nice little earner, there



Veritable Venice

Captured, light, water

Reflection and movement

No Canaletto he

Movement and light

Is He


Capture the fashion

Childe Harold in paint

Roman ruins for Soane

Dido at carthage


Played the game

In the right clubs

Had the right friends

Kept the mistress discreet


A life of painting holidays !

Dinner parties !

Secret fun !

He respectable, you see

No genius, you see

Damned hard work ?


mm,yes Mr Turner

I see !


Tippity Tap


Tap Tap, Click Click

On the train

Leeds To London

Click Click go the mice

Strange Tunes from phones


Is there no time

To kick back

To take time

To enjoy the ride


Worker drones drone on

Click Click

Ring Ring


Work appears to end

Beer & wine from the trolley

Relax time

Work time

Travel time is now

Other times



Coniston Peace


Outside an inn, one sits, with half a cider but

Feels  full of Coniston peace


The lake, the duck riding the shore wave for fun, the sun glinting

The coffee and shower

Of a new b&b at mid day  

The rushing idyllic river under the bridge

A warm inn with wood beams


These are the things a day should fill

 Not the desk, the PC, the email.


Oh if we had heard Ruskin and neglected

MISTER Adam Smith

What an England we could have made


Can a middle way exist?

Is it one or the other?


Is it a nation of the TV minded workers?

Verses simple pleasures?


Did we pay too higher a price for a high pile of pins

Made in a day



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