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Top 10 Online Lit Mags for Poetry

February 13, 2017


Check out our Biography of the Blade Back Girl. It’s in the form of a small e-book.

Remember the crisis in legitimacy that poets and writers underwent when the physical print journals typically associated with “quality” literature decided to embrace the web? Many gave up the husk of permabound or spine-stapled physicality to live online, amidst all those zeros and ones raining down from the Matrix onto your poem now wearing obligatorily dark shades and trench. These days, few would doubt the authority of a venue based solely on its status as an online journal when so many of them kick ass while the action stops and the camera pivots.

In fact, some of the very best journals are online–only online, without the perfunctory small-run printing of its work to be found anywhere other than that Glorious Nowhere known as the digital.

Thus, with all due caveats, qualifications, admissions of biases, and full disclosures of subjectivity aside–though they are blinking as brightly as the red pill that let’s you stay in Wonderland–I give you a list of a few of the very best places online to send your poetry.



Why Boaat? Because, as RAQUEL SALAS-RIVERA tells you in


or each scalpel you bury
a triceratops conch is born,
umbrella screw, celestial octagon.
for each scalpel you bury
a dollar goes to
the governmental development bank.



Need another sketch? Try


Ryan Dzelzkalns

Here is an excerpt from a schematic-poem:


8. Thrush Poetry Journal


I’m partial to the opening lines of

Hala Alyan

I talk back to the videos. Someone ate paper. Someone isn’t eating anymore.
Mornings like this, I wish I never loved anyone. What is it to be a lucky city, a row of white houses strung with Christmas lights.
There is no minute.

7. The Collagist


For more incontrovertible claims, take a gander at the first line of this poem, which wants us to imagine a future that is also weirdly knowable in terms of the precise scientific stuff we (certainly) won’t be thinking:

When We Dead Awaken

Kathryn Nuernberger

When you look at a long wave of kelp stretched out
as it if were a mess of some drowned girl’s hair, you won’t
be thinking of the functionality of the ovoid bladders
like tiny buoys holding the flat wide blades toward
the sun for maximally efficient photosynthesis.


6. Diode Poetry Journal


The resonant, the tuning-fork-off-the-knee-so-hard-it-hurts kind of resonant, ending found in:

Wild Fire” by Michael Broek

but I’ve been ready all along. How to say
I left a lifetime ago. How to say I want to burn


5. Muzzle Magazine


I’m particularly fond of the ending of My Grandpa Emails Me Regarding My Plans to Return to Kurdistan

by Tracy May Fuad


4. Sixth Finch


Molly Brodak’s poem “Friendship” ends with an image of a beautiful alternative to love:


3. Memorious


To begin our navigation through the verdant wellspring of poetic excellence here, you’ll need a serviceable Field Guide. Happily, the editors have arranged for one to be provided.

A Field Guide to the Moths of North America

Midsummer vibrato. Nightfall of yellow
poplar, spicebush and sassafras. Sex
at altitude will end in the underbrush.
Our next subject: the moon.


2. Waxwing


Who enjoys ekphrasis? Those in the know, know what I mean, or shall I paint you a picture and then write a poem about that picture and spell it out for you? No time for elementary instruction, the master class is in session in this poem



1. Blackbird

A favorite of mine there is by

LENA KHALAF TUFFAHA, whose My English Teacher Tells Me

stirs with its relentless investment in the idea that words contain portals as well as barriers–no matter what English teachers will have you believe!


First: I am thrilled to have contributed to a collage and lyric graphic artwork, published in Redivider and New Delta Review, Biography of the Blade Back Girl. It’s in the form of a small e-book. Please check it out if you like the info below. Thanks.

  1. Thanks for sharing! I’ve been getting braver with some of my poems and sending them out. I might try a few places on this list. 🙂

  2. Whatever bravery you glean here is yours for the taking, Sara!

  3. nonnieaugustine permalink

    Thank you, Michael. I’ll make use of your list. Cheers, Nonnie

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