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Submissions Call: Plainsongs Poetry Magazine

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Submissions deadline: 15th June 2022

Plainsongs’ title suggests not only its location on the Great Plains but also its preference for the living language, whether in free or formal verse. Published twice a year from our home base in Hastings, Nebraska, Plainsongs presents poems that seem to be aware of modernist and postmodernist influences, not necessarily by imitation or allusion, but by using the tools provided by that rich heritage. Featuring poetry that runs the gamut from traditional to experimental, from realist to surrealist, Plainsongs strives to capture the multiplicity of voices–including those of feminist, nonwhite, immigrant, and LGBTQ+ writers–that make up this vibrant and diverse Midwestern soundscape. Poets from all fifty states and many foreign countries contribute regularly to Plainsongs.

Plainsongs poetry magazine was named recipient of the 2010 Jane Geske Award by the Nebraska Center for the Book. The Jane Geske Award recognizes a Nebraska association, organization, business, library, school, academic institution, or other group that has made an exceptional, long-term contribution to one or more of the following fields in Nebraska: literacy, reading, book selling, books, libraries, or writing.

Plainsongs began in 1980 at Peru State College and was published at Hastings College from 1983 to 2020. Former editors include Dwight Marsh and Laura Marvel-Wunderlich. The current editor of Plainsongs is Eric R. Tucker. Associate editors are poets Becky Faber, Michael Catherwood, and Eleanor Reeds.

Submission Guidelines

We request that poets submit no more than six poems for consideration for each issue. Poems of any length and genre may be submitted. Before uploading files, please verify that your submission conforms to the following guidelines:

  1. Your full name and mailing address should appear at the top of each poem.
  2. Each poem should begin on a new page.

We accept submissions from August 15 to December 15 and from February 15 to June 15 each year. Our submission deadlines (June 15, December 15)  indicate when we read manuscripts. Manuscripts received shortly before deadlines usually receive a response within twelve to sixteen weeks. Others are held longer.

  • Submissions received between August 15 and December 15 will be considered for our spring/summer issue. Submitters can expect to be informed of our decision in April.
  • Submissions received between February 15 and June 15 will be considered for our fall/winter issue. Submitters can expect to be informed of our decision in October.

Please make sure that the e-mail address associated with your Submittable account is accurate, as this is the address we will use for correspondence.

If you wish to withdraw any individual poems from consideration, please log in and add a note to your submission telling us which ones you wish to withdraw. We will see the note when we read your submission and will only consider the remaining submissions.

Successful contributors receive a complimentary print edition and PDF of the issue in which their poem appears.  Three poems are chosen from submissions to each issue and honored as award poems with short essays by the members of our Readers Board. Award poets receive small monetary sums, currently $50.

We ask for first-time rights only; copyright reverts to the author. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable.

To see award-winning poems from recent issues or to subscribe to Plainsongs, please click here.

See here for further information and to submit your work.

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