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Friday, September 20, 2019

Catholic Poetry Journal reading period open

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Our reading period will run from Aug. 1 - Oct. 1 each year, with the annual issue planned for April of the following year.

Please read our Mission Statement while deciding upon poems to submit.

Poets are invited to submit up to 5 poems, each of which should be no more than 2 typed pages in length.  Poems must be unpublished, neither in print, nor on the web, nor self-published.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted.  However, in the meantime, should a poem be accepted for publication elsewhere, please notify us as soon as possible by e-mailing the editor at

To submit poems, please use the following link to Submittable:

In your cover letter, please include a short biography, approximately 50-75 words in length.

Biographies should list at least the poet's most recent book titles, some titles of journals containing the poet's individual poems, any key awards or honors received.  Other information individualizing the poet is also encouraged, such as occupation, geographical location, interests.  Poets may also wish to explain briefly how their poems are informed by Catholicism, either in their inception or content or otherwise, but this request is optional and at the discretion of the poem's author.  The poems themselves should stand alone without the need of gloss.  However, we also recognize the value of such autobiographical information for many readers.  We intend to print short biographies of contributing poets in an appendix in each issue.

The remaining pages of the file should include all the poems to be submitted.  Be sure that your name and e-mail address appear at the top of EVERY page in your file.  Please submit poems in a standard font, such as Times New Roman (11-point), taking care that spacing is preserved and that you are sending your latest revised version of your poem(s).

Because of limited staff, we cannot guarantee individualized editorial responses to all poems submitted.  However, we will make every effort to notify poets of acceptance or rejection within 3-4 months after the close of the reading period.

Prize nominations:

Presence nominates for the annual Pushcart Prize and sends copies of each issue to Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, among others.

Accolades to date:

Presence 2017: James Matthew Wilson's poem, "On a Palm," was selected for Best American Poetry 2018.

Presence 2018: John F. Deane's interview with Michael P. Murphy was selected for the prose feature on Poetry Daily for the week of July 23, 2018.

Library periodical indexes:

Soon, Presence plans to send its first three issues to a variety of library indexes, so that poems, interviews, book reviews, and essays may be indexed.  [This paragraph will be updated with a list of these indexes at a later date.]

Rights information:

We ask for first serial rights and anthology rights (for any future anthology of poems from a series of publication years of the journal). We may request, at the author’s discretion, the right to publish accepted poems electronically on our Web site. All other rights revert to the author upon publication, with the expectation that Presence will be credited when poems are republished. Acknowledgments should cite in the following manner: "Poem or prose title" was originally published in Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry 2017 [i.e. the appropriate year].

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