Poetry NW Editions

Poetry NW Editions grows out of a deep and vital literary tradition. For sixty years, we’ve published one of the country’s finest poetry magazines, presenting Northwest writers to a national audience and an expanding roster of poets from around the globe to audiences in the Northwest and beyond. As the publishing industry has changed, so have we. In fall 2018, we add book publishing to the platforms—print and digital—that showcase the imaginative values of the Poetry Northwest community for readers everywhere.

Poetry NW Editions focuses on publishing poets who have already published at least one full length collection. We recognize that there are a large number of first book contests and far fewer venues for the next stage in a developing poet’s career. Just as the magazine seeks out emerging writers to present alongside established voices, serving as a gateway to greater visibility for many new talents, so the press will spotlight the ongoing work of our best poets, those whose work we’ve nurtured in our pages.

We seek to amplify voices that hone the experiential edge of language into poems of specific gravity, replete with the music of time and place. We are interested in the intersections of poetry and science, ecology and elegy, epistemology and the echocardiogram. We love poetry that investigates the essential mysteries, bearing the grief and wonder of human endeavor, sharpened by animal instinct in all its forms. In tone and substance, we admire writers who swing through contradiction, celebrating folly and ferocity, tenderness and endurance, the fragility of existence and the renewable resource of imagination, wherever they may go.

We are guided by these lines from Theodore Roethke in “North American Sequence”:

I would unlearn the lingo of exasperation, all the distortions of malice and hatred;
I would believe my pain; and the eye quiet on the growing rose;
I would delight in my hands, the branch singing, altering the excessive bird;
I long for the imperishable quiet at the heart of form…

About our publications

If you love words, “the redolent disorder of this mortal life, / this ambush, this silence” (Roethke, again), then Poetry NW Editions is for you.

We published two to three books per year. Our trademark series is the Possession Sound Poetry Series, which celebrates musicality of all kinds. We also publish the annual collection of the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate, produced in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures. 

Our 2023 reading period is open from May 1, 2023, to 11:59 p.m., June 30, 2023. We will also open for free submissions from BIPOC writers from March 8, 2023, to 11:59 p.m., April 30, 2023.