Poemeleon: A Journal of Poetry

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

Call for Submissions: Happy Poems

Why is it so hard to write a happy poem? Correction: Why is it so hard to write a good happy poem? The lit world is rife with sadness, anger, depression, horror, fear, rage, outrage—the full range of negative emotions. This is of course a natural reaction to the news of the world and in fact just to the dailiness of living. And sure, there are plenty of writers who bury their head in the sand and write nothing but shallow light verse. That's not what we are looking for. (But feel free to submit anyway. Who knows?)

We instead propose an issue that finds something happy to latch on to, some ray of hope beaming out from a crack in the steaming pile of dogshit that is the world. For this issue, we want to see your version of a happy poem. The full range of happy. How do we acknowledge those things that bring us joy, contentment, or dare I say, happiness, even as the world burns down around us? 

Interpret this as you may.  

Would it make you happy to, say, see a certain politician shot from a cannon to the moon? Can you read the newspaper without crying and for a moment contemplate how lucky you are with your hot cup of coffee and someone you care about? Can we all breathe deeply and be in the moment and look for those things that make life worth living?

Happiness is a complex emotion. Send us your happy poems, whatever that means to you. Give yourself a brief respite from whatever is ailing you to write some happiness into your life.

Opens: October 27, 2023. Deadline: December 31, 2023. Slated for publication in spring 2024.

Please include a 50 word third-person bio. Cover letter optional. Also optional: If moved to do so,  include a 50 word contributor statement about the work submitted. (See past issues for examples of what we mean.)

Further reading:




General guidelines:

Poemeleon is published annually. Expect a response within 1 - 3 months after close of submissions. If you have not heard from us after this time period please feel free to inquire. We have, historically, taken a while to get back to people, because — life. If that bothers you, please remember this is an all-volunteer labor of love.

Other details

  • Simultaneous submissions are fine as long as we are notified promptly when work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Only one submission per category (essay, poetry, book review), per reading period.
  • Previously published is also fine, as long as it was in print, not online, and as long as you as the author retain all copyright. Because we  strive to be the first online publisher of your work, if it has appeared  anywhere that is publicly accessible on the web (including on your  blog) then it is considered previously published. Please feel free to  contact us and we will provide clarification on a case-by-case basis.
  • We acquire one-time, non-exclusive rights to publish your work, at which time all rights revert back to you as the author. If we should ever decide to create a print anthology and would  like to include your work, we will contact you.
  • Please note that we are a non-paying market.
  • No snail mail submissions. All submissions must come through our online submissions manager.
Poemeleon: A Journal of Poetry