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Merion West (Gold Star Program) Gold Star

You are invited to send up to 3 poems to the Arts Editor at Merion West in a Word document. Please adhere to the guidelines below.

Poetry Submission Guidelines

We are open to poetry ranging from strictly formal verse to experimental poetry. Yet we do have premises and preferences.

1.) Whether the verse is formal, experimental or “free verse,” we appreciate poetry that adeptly uses a poetic line, a stanza and explores the tension that exists between the sentence and the line. A poem is an artifact, a made thing, wrought from words and separate from everyday speech. Colloquial speech of course is in many great poems, but somehow exalted into something memorable for the ear.
2.) We believe that form precedes content. While we welcome a vast range of themes, we do not see poetry as primarily an essay.
3.) We have a keen appreciation for skill with prosody, e.g., the music of a poems whether that music is sweet, or hard and clashing. The use of consonance, assonance, alliteration, enjambment, and a feel for the drama of the sentence vs. the line, are all highly welcome. We believe that poetry is written first with the ear, second with the eye.
4.) We enjoy a balance of imagery vs. rhetoric, with pride of place going to sharp, memorable images. When a poem is discursive, one hopes the discourse is one of subtlety. Even outrage may be sung, thus opera.
5.) Poems ideally are serious, but not self-serious. As such, we invite wit and satire.
6.) We do not stipulate length. Just be sure the poem is as long or short as it needs to be.
7.) One to three poems per submission is about right.
8.) Please provide a short bio.
9.) For a greater sense of the magazine’s stance on poetics, please read some of Johnny Payne’s bi-weekly essays on poetry in Merion West, and those of our guest poetry essayists. We are trying to contribute to an international conversation about poetry: its importance and what it can do to help make us into more thoughtful people.
10.) As such, we welcome translations of poetry into English from any language. Please provide the original text from the source language if possible.

Poetry Free


We look forward to reading your poetry. Please follow our submission guidelines.