From the Editor
Rattle’s mission is to promote the practice of poetry. We feel that poetry lost its way in the 20th century, becoming so obscure and esoteric that mainstream readers have forgotten how moving language alone can be. As a result, most people learn to find their feelings in music, movies, and novels, while poetry languishes on its lone shelf in the bookstores, waiting only for the occasional cameo at a university workshop. But it shouldn’t take a scholar to be moved by the written word—great literature has something to offer everyone. All our lives are compelling, full of joys and burdens and profound experiences we should be sharing—and poetry is the most intimate way to share it. When you read a poem, you become the medium; the poet speaks in your voice, paints the canvas of your inner eye. This connection is more direct than any other, and it doesn’t take a Hollywood budget to do it. Read the poems on Rattle.com for free. Write a poem on a napkin and share it with a friend. Keep a journal and send us a page. Participate. The pure love of language is one of the most important experiences in the history of human culture, and somehow most of us have forgotten about it. More than anything, our goal is to promote a community of active poets. That means we care as much about submitters as subscribers. Lawyers, landscapers, homemakers, and Pulitzer Prize winners are all treated the same—and we’ve published them all. Most literary magazines cite a percentage of content that comes from the “slush pile,” meaning work sent in unsolicited. In most cases this percentage is less than 50%, meaning more than half of the content was solicited, meaning you never had a chance. At Rattle, every poem we publish starts in our “slush pile,” and has to rise through the same process of careful consideration. We don’t ask for or publish the standard credit-listing bios; we don’t even read them. If we like your poem better than the Poet Laureate’s, we’ll publish yours. That’s what makes Rattle so readable. Being an active community of poets also means that we’re always looking for feedback, and that the editors will always be available through email and Facebook and Twitter and whatever interactive technology comes out next. There’s nothing special about us; there is no ivory tower, and no etiquette to worry about breaking. So tell us what you think. Rattle is published in several forms, in effort to find as many readers as possible, but the primary version has been our print issue, originally twice per year, but now appearing quarterly in March, June, September, and December. Each issue is roughly 100 pages of poetry, essays, and an interview with a contemporary poet. Summer and winter issues are open; spring and fall issues focus on a specific stylistic, ethnic, or vocational group. Recent tributes have focused on sonnets, African American poets, cowboy poets, visual poetry, and nurses. Every poem we’ve published has or will appear on Rattle.com as part of our daily blog, which features a poem every day, or, occasionally, relevant prose. Many of the poems include an audio clip of the poet reading their work. At Rattle, anything always goes. If a poem is accessible, interesting, moving, and memorable, if it makes you laugh or cry, then it’s the kind of poem that rattles around inside you for years, and it’s our kind of poem.
Rattle publishes 150 poems each year, and we try to let them be as eclectic as possible. Long poems, short poems, free verse, formalism, slam—we’ll publish anything, as long as it’s musical, meaningful, and memorable. In addition to our regular issues, we also publish an annual anthology of young poets (age 15 or younger).
From the site:
Thanks for sharing your work with Rattle! All of our content comes from unsolicited submissions—we couldn’t exist without you, and we want this process to be as easy and friendly as possible. For more information, see our full guidelines page.
Tell us about upcoming events or contests
From the site:
The annual Rattle Poetry Prize offers $15,000 for a single poem to be published in the winter issue of the magazine. Ten finalists will also receive $500 each and publication, and be eligible for the $5,000 Readers’ Choice Award, to be selected by subscriber and entrant vote. https://www.rattle.com/prize/about/
We’ve always loved chapbooks for their brevity and intensity. At a few dozen pages, a great chapbook is the perfect reading experience for the 21st century—not too long, not too short: They’re the Goldilocks zone of the poetry world. So we wanted to do for chapbooks what we’ve done for poems with the Rattle Poetry Prize https://www.rattle.com/chapbooks/prize/
Editors Name Timothy Green
Print publication? Yes
Do you take online submissions? Yes
Submission Guidelines URL
Approx. Response Time? 1 – 3 months
How often do you publish? Quarterly
Year Founded? 1995
Do you pay? $50 and subscription