Current themed Calls for Submission: Mothers & Fathers and #GunViolence. See Below.

What We Seek

We’ll consider your original poetry on most topics. (We’ll pass on inspirational verse, as well as work we feel is violent, pornographic, or oppressive.) Fitting in with our Califragile theme is a plus, but it’s not required. We seek writing that is spare and economic while showcasing what’s possible with imagery. We tend to prefer modern free verse over classical end rhyming, metered work. But quality walks in on its own. Wake up our eyes with something thrilling and unexpected. Have something to say, whether on the micro or macro level.

Regarding the Califragile theme, we’re not necessarily asking your poetry to save the world or have magical fixes to our ancient collective flaws. We’re more interested in poems that drag the scary questions from the shadows and portrait the truths we need to face. Send us your poems that deepen the dialog.

We are happy to consider previously published poems. You must include that information in your submission (“Previously published in Jug Handle Review“) so we can include that credit and be good poetry community citizens.

How to Submit

We have no deadline or distinct issues. We read and publish on a rolling basis, often daily. Just send up to 5 poems, in the body of an email, to Include a third person bio of no more than 150 words, and a short cover letter. Please tell us how you learned of Califragile! We may not be able to handle unusual formatting or indentions. We will try to respond within 3 weeks. But if you have not heard from us in 1 month, we have passed on your work. If rejected, please wait 3 months before submitting again. We welcome simultaneous submissions. Just contact us through our comments page if a poem becomes unavailable. We’re unable to give feedback on your submitted poems (read about our critique service below). But in some cases, we may propose edits to work we wish to publish.


When submitting to Califragile, you are attesting that writing you submit is yours and is free for publication. You grant us the right to publish your work on this site in perpetuity, in social media and news media for promotional purposes, and in our annual print anthology (should your work be selected for it). You also give Califragile editors permission for your work to be submitted to and published in Best of the Net, Best of the Web, and Pushcart Anthology, should we select it for nomination.

If your work has been previously published (other than your blog) you must notify us of the place where it first appeared, so we may attach credit, which is our editorial policy.

If your work appears in Califragile first (other than your blog) you agree to credit Califragile if you publish it elsewhere (including your blog), such as:

First published in Califragile, or Previously published in Califragile.

For work appearing here first, you grant Califragile First North American Publication Rights. All other rights, including copyright, are retained by the author. Once your work appears here, we impose no time frame on republishing your work elsewhere.

Read Wren Tuatha’s interview with Califragile Featured Poet Trish Hopkinson for more insight into what we seek.


Call for #GunViolence Submissions (Ends May 30):

The scale of gun violence we’re seeing is unique to America, as is the political inertia to do anything about it. Califragile seeks imaginative, economic, highly crafted poems that react to these events and call out leaders who put political agendas before the lives of children and other innocent people. Mention #GunViolence when submitting in this category.

Califragile Call for Mothers & Fathers Poetry Submissions (Mothers ends on May 12; Fathers ends on June 16):

We’re planning special Mother’s Day and Father’s Day issues. We’re looking for more depth and exploration than the typical loving portrait. Parent and child relationships can be complex, nuanced, positive and negative. Sometimes it’s not easy to thank or forgive. How does your history and relationship with your parent contribute to your world view and who you are? How has your understanding of your parent shifted now that you’ve become an adult? How does it inform your parenting? What is your experience of eldercare? What pieces of culture shape your relationship with your parent?

As with all Califragile submissions, let your images (especially metaphoric) convey your attitude and suggest your story. Avoid a conversational, journalistic, or narrative tone. Avoid “tells.” Your submission should show great economy. Let us see the brushstrokes of your craft and editing. Read poems on our site and our general guidelines to get a sense of what we seek. We look forward to reading your work!


Call for #MeToo Submissions (ended 3/31/18):

Thank you for all the amazing stories. We feel honored that so many women shared their experiences with us. Although we didn’t select every one for publication, you have been seen and heard! We hope you continue to tell your stories.

Stay tuned as we plan a print anthology of Califragile #MeToo poems!

[As Time Magazine recognizes Silence Breakers, the women and men coming forward to hold sexual harassers accountable, let’s keep deepening the discussion. We can tell our stories and witness for those who still can’t speak publicly. Let’s examine the issues of power and consent. We hope this national conversation will be thorough, transformative and culture changing. In that spirit, we’ll only be publishing #MeToo submissions from women at this time. Mention #MeToo when submitting in this category.]

Califragile Critiquing Services

Poets at all levels of experience sometimes want outside opinions of their work. Califragile offers a professional, in depth critique of your poetry, with a two week turnaround.

In her report, the editor will identify strengths and suggest areas for improvement, both of specific poems and of your craft in general. If relevant, the editor may suggest readings. She may share ideas of where to submit your work or how to further develop your skills. Her lens will be to prepare your work for publication in a literary journal. Feel free to pose questions to the editor and discuss goals for your work in your request.


$15 for the first poem; $12 each for additional poem, five poems maximum, so:

1 poem $15
2 poems $27
3 poems $39
4 poems $51
5 poems $63

To Use Our Critiquing Services

Send a cover letter and your poems to the above email address:

IMPORTANT: Title your email CRITIQUE REQUEST so it’s not mistaken for a publication submission. Poems can be in the body of the email or in a doc. If in a doc, one poem per page, each poem no longer than two pages, no more than five poems total. Use a standard font, 12 point size. No fancy colors, just black.

Send your debit or credit payment to our account:

You don’t need to have a PayPal account to use our service. You’ll receive our detailed critique within one week. We look forward to serving you!