Deadline September 1, 2021

The use of humor can be an act of rebellion, of subversion. Just as often, it can function as balm, as medicine. In either case, humor is something we greatly value but don’t necessarily see enough of in published poetry. We know it is a challenge to integrate humor into poetry, but we also think there’s probably a lot of poets writing humor and just not getting it placed. Therefore, we decided to send out a call and curate an issue of The Indianapolis Review dedicated to humor in poetry. 

What we’re looking for: Poetry that utilizes humor, whether subtly or overtly, or by surreal elements, or voice, or irony, or other vehicles. Here are a couple examples: THIS poem by Douglas Manuel       OR      THIS poem by Heather Christle

Poetry-themed prose that is humorous, such as:

Satire (for example, THIS satire of Poetry Mag’s response to controversy in The Rumpus)

Lists and Letters in the McSweeney’s vein, but POETRY-THEMED.

Other suggestions:
Poetry Comics that contain humor

Parodies of your own poetry (PLEASE specify this in the title of your piece) OR parodies of famous poets (preferably dead and not of someone that you are in a position of power over in relation to identity) 

What we’re NOT looking for: limericks, nursery rhyme-like poetry, anything racist, sexist, xenophobic or misogynist–often times people say or write these things as ‘just a joke’ –it’s not funny. At least to us.

NOTE-If you are sending us a submission for “Poets Are Funny” please specify this somehow in your email subject line. Thanks, and we look forward to reading your work!!

We are also still open for regular submissions of poetry, art and visual poetry.

Things to remember:

Submissions are FREE. However, we are not a paying market at this time. We accept submissions of poetry, art and visual poetry via our email–

Title of Email–When submitting, please put your name and the type of submission (poetry, art, or visual poetry) in the title of your email.

Poetry Guidelines–You may submit up to 5 poems at a time in a single attached file. Please do not exceed 10 pages total.

We do NOT accept poems that have been previously published in other journals; however, we DO consider poems that you have previously written and published on your personal social media.

Art & Visual Poetry Guidelines–If submitting visual poetry or artwork, please send up to 10 .jpg’s or .pdf’s of your work, attached to your email. Previously published artwork is fine. We accept images that are already available via other websites and/or exhibitions. If we accept your work and you submitted it as pdf, we will ask if you can send jpgs for publication.

Third Person Bio & Other Info–Artists and writers both should include a third person bio, along with any links to personal websites (optional), and an author photo (optional). Artists may also send artist statements as well as dimensions and materials of works, in addition to titles of works (these 3 things are optional). Send all of this to If your poetry is accepted for publication, you also have the option to send us a recording of yourself reading the work(s).

Ethics–We welcome writers of all backgrounds, and we actively strive to represent a diverse array of voices. We do not tolerate racism, discrimination, hate-speech, bullying or harassment of any kind. We will not accept works that exhibit or promote these qualities.

Local, Regional, Global–As stated, we work to promote local artists and writers, but we also want to showcase work from around the country and the world. Writers and artists of all geographic locations are encouraged to submit. If you are from or currently residing in the surrounding region, please do let us know.

Simultaneous submissions–are allowed, but please email us if one of your pieces is accepted elsewhere. You are more than welcome to just reply to us (to our email saying that your submission was received) and let us know which poem(s) were accepted, or you may send us a whole new email (in that case, please put something in the title about a poem being withdrawn).

Temporal Matters–Please allow 3-4 months for a response. If you have not heard from us regarding your submission in four months, feel free to inquire to make sure that we haven’t lost it!

–Please submit only once per reading period (once a season, or once every 3 months).

Donations— We appreciate any donations made to us, but want to assure you that a donation or absence of donation will not affect any decision made on your work, acceptance or rejection.

We are a volunteer organization, but we do have some administrative costs, such as our web platform. We believe in keeping our submissions free, so that the artists aren’t burdened with the cost. 

Thank you for your interest in us, and for trusting us with your work! We look forward to reading your submissions.