Top 10 Lit Mags to Send Your Very Best Poetry (and get happily rejected)

Fantastic list of some of the top lit mags. Includes sample poems from each.

michaelalexanderchaney

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The following list represents the varsity squad of the indie-competitive, not affiliated with a university, hipster poetry scene. This top ten balances competitive and COOL, really cool, on its forefinger and makes it spin. If you can get into these, you’ve got your cool poet shades on, “hangin’ round the water fountain, playin’ the fool,” as sung by Randy Newman-esque Vince Guaraldi. Can you hear it? Can you dig it? < that is the sound of finger snapping >

Sixth Finch (0.66 % Duotrope-acceptance rate; 29 avg. days per acceptance) “We take pride in bringing your poems to a wide audience, and your work will become a part of our permanent archives, so please be sure to send us your best.” The poetry is a crisp autumn apple, a late-night walk through misting rain, a swift combat boot to the face. The gamut marches towards you in the opening lines…

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Love after Love: A poem by Derek Walcott

A poem by Derek Walcott:

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

An Excerpt from “In Blackwater Woods”

There is something about Mary Oliver’s poems that resonates with me.

“to live in this world

you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go”

– Mary Oliver

When my mom was sick, I previously posted another poem excerpt of Oliver’s, that helps me again now:

Then said my friend Daniel
(brave even among lions),
“It’s not the weight you carry

but how you carry it –
books, bricks, grief –
it’s all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot and would not,
put it down.

–Excerpted from “Heavy,” by Mary Oliver