We have no particular preferred style, seeking only to publish poetry that we find engaging. Our poems should possess “duende” (loosely means having soul, a heightened state of emotion, expression and authenticity). Kim Addonizio once said that poetry that is written with excellent technical craft but lacks duende is pseudo-poetry. She was, of course, channelling Lorca. We want to showcase work that is contemporary, words for the 21st Century. Humorous and ironic poetry is welcome, as well as the serious.

Our Chief Editor’s favourite books are the three 20th century anthologies produced by Bloodaxe and edited by Neil Astley (Staying Alive, Being Alive, and Being Human). Poetry of the human condition, reflecting the international taste and eclecticism of Algebra of Owls.

Please email submissions to, with the following guidelines.

  1. Send no more than three poems. Poems received are reduced to a long-list by the Chief Editor, and that long-list is given to the co-editors for anonymous appraisal before shortlisting and final selection of poems to publish.
  2. No poems exceeding 50 lines in length.
  3. English language poems only.
  4. The poems should be single spaced, and included in the body of the email, not in attachments.
  5. All submissions should be previously unpublished. We do not consider self-posting on personal blogs “published” – for us the word implies the selection of work via an editorial process and dissemination to a wider readership.
  6. Please include a brief (max 50 word) bio that you would like to accompany your poem, if selected, together with links where appropriate (blogs, websites, Amazon etc).
  7. Please do not make more than one submission per calendar month.
  8. We would prefer no simultaneous submissions. We endeavour to respond to all submissions within five weeks (and sometimes faster than that).

We would remind potential contributors that the rejection of a poem is statistically more likely than its acceptance (currently we publish between 5% and 8% of poems received) and no reflection on the innate qualities of its author.

By submitting to Algebra of Owls, you are granting us the non-exclusive right to publish your work online and, potentially, in a quarterly selected print anthology pamphlet. Copyright remains with the author in all cases. If your work is subsequently reprinted elsewhere, please acknowledge Algebra of Owls as a site of previous publication.