Frequently asked questions

Does Southern Poetry Review publish only or mainly prefer poems that are “southern” or by Southern writers?

SPR is not a “regional” journal. In fact, since its beginning in 1958, the journal has published poets from all over the country, as well as publishing poets from abroad. A small sampling of poets published by SPR might include Betty Adcock, Chana Bloch, Michael Blumenthal, Billy Collins, Albert Goldbarth, Andrew Hudgins, David Kirby, Ted Kooser, Maxine Kumin, Heather McHugh, Robert Morgan, Sharon Olds, Linda Pastan, R. T. Smith, William Stafford.

The journal always has been based in the South, and its new home of Savannah, Georgia, continues that tradition. The journal’s name, however, signifies location for this editorial staff, more than it signals a regional sensibility (if there is such a thing). On the other hand, we encourage southern poets to consider us a receptive audience for their work; poetry that is recognizably “southern” sometimes has trouble finding a home in journals outside the South. We do not, however, encourage stereotypical “southern” material that is dealt with stereotypically. Above all, we are more interested in poems that handle language with care and scrupulousness than any particular subject matter or regional stance.

Does Southern Poetry Review read submissions during the summer?

We read submissions year-round, but our response time may be slower in the summer.

How long does it take before I get a response to my submission?

Up to three months, typically.

May I submit my work electronically? May I submit my work on disk?

SPR accepts through our online submission option at, or through regular mail, printed on standard-size sheets of paper (responses average three months if an SASE is included with the submission).

How do I know which of my poems to send to Southern Poetry Review?

Spend some time reading two or three back issues cover to cover; get a sense of the range of poems we have published in the last few years.

On your “Submissions” page online, you say submit 5-7 poems (10 pp. max.), but is it all right if I send more?

Ten pages will give us a good idea of your work. Please always adhere to the submissions guidelines.

How often do you recommend that I submit my poems to SPR?

We read year-round and publish two issues per year; we recommend no more than one submission per issue. Additionally, we have a June 15 deadline for the Guy Owen Prize Contest. Therefore, a poet might send three packets of poems over the course of a year.

What makes a complete submission?

Be sure to include a cover letter with basic information: the number of poems submitted and their titles, plus a brief biographical note that emphasizes previous publications. Include an SASE. For hard copies only: make sure your name, mailing address, phone number, and if applicable, email address appear on each page of the manuscript.

What percentage of poems does SPR chose from the manuscripts it receives each year?

We accept approximately 5% of the poems we receive each year.

How may I help support SPR?

Your subscription and your contest entry provide the journal with its major support. We also accept various categories of donations: Supporter ($25-99), Donor ($100-499), Patron ($500-999), Sponsor ($1000-2499), Benefactor ($2500 or more).