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The Benefits and Challenges of Submitting Poetry to the New York Review of Books

New York Review of Books Poetry Submissions: A Guide for Poets

If you are a poet who wants to reach a wide and sophisticated audience, you might have considered submitting your work to the New York Review of Books. But what is this publication, and how can you get your poems published in it? In this article, we will answer these questions and provide you with some useful tips on how to submit poetry to the New York Review of Books.

New York Review Of Books Poetry Submissions

What is the New York Review of Books?

The New York Review of Books (NYRB) is a biweekly literary magazine that features essays, reviews, interviews, and poetry on a variety of topics, such as literature, culture, politics, science, and art. It was founded in 1963 by a group of writers and critics who wanted to create a space for intelligent and independent discussion of books and ideas. Since then, it has become one of the most influential and respected publications in the literary world.

A brief history of the publication

The NYRB was born out of a strike that affected the New York publishing industry in 1963. During this time, many newspapers and magazines stopped printing book reviews, leaving many writers and readers frustrated. A group of friends, including Robert Silvers, Barbara Epstein, Elizabeth Hardwick, and Robert Lowell, decided to launch their own magazine that would fill this gap. They invited some of the most prominent writers and thinkers of their time, such as W.H. Auden, Susan Sontag, Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, and Noam Chomsky, to contribute essays and reviews on books that they found interesting and important. The first issue of the NYRB was published on February 1, 1963, and was an instant success. It sold out its initial print run of 100,000 copies within days.

The editorial vision and style

The NYRB has maintained its original vision of providing a forum for lively and independent criticism of books and ideas. It does not follow any particular ideological or political agenda, but rather encourages its contributors to express their own opinions and perspectives. The NYRB also prides itself on its editorial quality and rigor. It edits each piece carefully and extensively, ensuring that it meets its high standards of clarity, accuracy, and elegance. The NYRB's style is characterized by its long-form essays that cover a wide range of topics in depth and detail. The average length of an essay in the NYRB is about 4,000 words.

The audience and reach

The NYRB has a loyal and sophisticated readership that includes writers, academics, journalists, artists, intellectuals, and general book lovers. According to its website, it has over 140,000 subscribers in more than 150 countries. It also has a large online presence, with over 1 million monthly visitors to its website and over 2 million followers on social media platforms. The NYRB also organizes various events and programs, such as lectures, readings, podcasts, book clubs, and festivals.

Why submit poetry to the New York Review of Books?

Submitting poetry to the NYRB can be a rewarding and beneficial experience for poets. Here are some of the reasons why you might want to do so:

The prestige and recognition

The NYRB is one of the most prestigious and respected literary magazines in the world. It has published poems by some of the most renowned poets of our time, such as Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, Louise Glück, and W.S. Merwin. It has also introduced many emerging and diverse voices to its readers, such as Ocean Vuong, Natalie Diaz, Terrance Hayes, and Tracy K. Smith. Having your poem published in the NYRB can boost your reputation and credibility as a poet, and open up new opportunities for your career.

The exposure and opportunities

The NYRB has a large and engaged audience that appreciates and supports poetry. Your poem will be read by thousands of people who share your passion for literature and culture. You will also have the chance to reach new readers who might not be familiar with your work or your genre. Moreover, your poem will be noticed by other editors, publishers, agents, and organizations who might be interested in working with you or featuring your work in other venues.

The payment and rights

The NYRB pays its poets generously for their work. According to its website, it pays $300 per poem, plus a complimentary one-year subscription to the magazine. It also offers a 25% discount on books purchased from its online store. The NYRB acquires first North American serial rights for your poem, which means that you can publish it elsewhere after it appears in the magazine. You also retain the copyright to your poem.

How to submit poetry to the New York Review of Books?

If you are interested in submitting poetry to the NYRB, you need to follow its submission guidelines and requirements carefully. Here are some of the main points you need to know:

The submission guidelines and requirements

  • The NYRB accepts poetry submissions by email only. You can send your poems to

  • You can submit up to five poems at a time. Each poem should be no longer than two pages.

  • You should include a cover letter with your name, address, phone number, email address, and a brief bio.

  • You should format your poems in a standard font and size, such as Times New Roman 12 pt.

  • You should attach your poems as a single PDF file.

  • You should not submit poems that have been previously published or are under consideration elsewhere.

  • You should not submit more than once every six months.

The submission process and tips

  • The NYRB does not have a specific deadline or reading period for poetry submissions. It accepts them year-round.

  • The NYRB does not charge any fee for poetry submissions.

  • The NYRB does not accept simultaneous submissions for poetry. This means that you should not send the same poems to other publications while they are under consideration by the NYRB.

  • The NYRB does not accept unsolicited revisions or queries for poetry submissions. You should only send your best and final version of your poems.

  • The NYRB does not provide feedback or comments on poetry submissions.

  • The NYRB responds to poetry submissions within three months. If you do not hear from them within this time frame, you can assume that they have declined your submission.

  • If the NYRB accepts your poem for publication, they will contact you by email with an acceptance letter and a contract.

Some tips to increase your chances of getting published in the NYRB are:

  • Read the NYRB regularly and familiarize yourself with its style and preferences.

  • Write original and compelling poems that showcase your voice and vision.

  • Edit and proofread your poems carefully before submitting them.

  • Follow the submission guidelines and requirements strictly.

  • Be patient and persistent. The NYRB receives thousands of poetry submissions every year, so it might take some time and luck to get published in it.



  • What kind of poems does the NYRB publish?

The NYRB publishes poems of various styles, forms, and genres, as long as they are well-written, original, and relevant to its readers. The NYRB does not have a specific preference for any particular type of poetry, but it tends to favor poems that are thoughtful, engaging, and insightful.

  • How often does the NYRB publish poetry?

The NYRB publishes poetry in every issue, which comes out every two weeks. Each issue usually features one or two poems by different poets.

  • Who are the poetry editors of the NYRB?

The poetry editors of the NYRB are Jana Prikryl and Meghan O'Rourke. They are both accomplished poets and critics who have published their own books and essays in various publications.

  • How can I subscribe to the NYRB?

You can subscribe to the NYRB online through its website or by phone or mail. You can choose from different subscription options, such as print, digital, or both. You can also give a gift subscription to someone else.

  • Where can I find more information about the NYRB?

You can find more information about the NYRB on its website, where you can also read some of its articles and poems for free. You can also follow the NYRB on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also contact the NYRB by email or phone if you have any questions or comments.



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