Our diverse group of editors looks for the best unpublished poems, translations, and short lyric prose pieces by local, national, and international writers. We welcome all styles of writing, particularly that which is well-crafted, uses language lovingly and surprisingly, and feels daring or quietly powerful.
How and When to Submit:
While we do accept submissions via mail, we strongly encourage you to submit via Submittable. Please submit only once during each reading period.
· General Submissions: March 1 – June 30 or until monthly caps are reached
· Founders’ Prize: August 1 – September 30 or until monthly caps are reached
In order to allow our team of editors to read each submission with care, we cap our submissions every month. Once we’ve reached our cap, the window will remain closed until the first day of the following month, or until the next reading window opens.
All submissions are automatically considered for our Editors’ Prize; Founders' Prize submissions are considered for the Founders' Prize as well as the Editors' Prize. We often award a Translation Prize as well.
How does Rhino work?
Every submission is reviewed by at least three editors, any of whom can nominate a poem to be brought to our editorial table; there the poem is read aloud, discussed, and voted on by all the editors in attendance. Majority votes win; no editor has any more or less decision-making power than any other.
Our tastes are deliberately eclectic, and we value the dynamic discussions we have around our editorial table. We take a “step forward, step back” approach to our discussions, making sure that all editors’ voices are heard.
We build our journal poem by poem, organizing it alphabetically by author’s last name, letting the poems speak to each other as they wish to. That is, we don’t seek out poems by theme or kind. We select poems on their own merits, not by the reputation of the poet who submitted it to us. Every poem is a new beginning. Every poem is a fresh start.
We are curious about who submits to us, and we hope everyone feels welcome and encouraged to submit. We are looking for ways to reflect more deeply on our editorial practices, to stretch our own ideas of what excellence is, and to challenge ourselves to read beyond our comfort zones.
None of our editors are paid for their work. We create this journal because we believe in it, we believe in the work we publish, and we believe in the importance of collaboration and artistic community.
Submit to RHINO's Founders' Prize!
Guest Judge: Rodney Gomez
We are open August 1 – October 1** for submissions for our annual Founders' Prize Poetry Contest.
** Please note: in order to allow our team of editors to read each submission with care, we cap our submissions for each month that our reading window is open. Once we’ve reached our submission cap, the window will remain closed until the first day of the following calendar month. If we've not yet met our cap by October 1, we may elect to keep the contest open longer.
Our guest judge is Rodney Gomez, a poet and urbanist whose work explores the natural and built environments, culture, and history in the U.S./Mexico borderlands. A member of the Macondo Writers Workshop, he served as the 2020-2021 McAllen, Texas Poet Laureate. He is the author of Arsenal with Praise Song (Orison Books, 2021), winner of the Helen C. Smith Memorial Award for best book of poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters, recipient of the Writers’ League of Texas Book Award, and a finalist for the Balcones Prize; Geographic Tongue (Pleiades Press, 2020), winner of the Pleiades Press Visual Poetry Series; Ceremony of Sand (YesYes Books, 2019), winner of the Writers’ League of Texas Discovery Prize; Citizens of the Mausoleum (Sundress Publications, 2018); and Mouth Filled With Night (Northwestern University Press, 2014), winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize from Northwestern University’s Poetry and Poetics Colloquium.
The winner will receive $500.00, publication in the next issue and on a featured spot on our website, and a nomination for a Pushcart Prize.
Two runners up will receive $100.00, as well as publication in the next issue and on a featured spot on our website. We occasionally nominate a runner-up for a Pushcart Prize.
All contest submissions are considered for publication and the Ralph Hamilton Editors’ Prize.
What to send:
· 3-5 poems or lyric prose pieces (500 words or fewer), totaling no more than 5 pages, in a single, typed document (doc, docx, or pdf).
· a copy of the work in its original language if you are sending a translation; the translator is responsible for obtaining the author’s permission to use their material.
· your best version. Although we don't accept edits or revisions once you submit, we don't reject work on the basis of minor errors.
· unpublished work, which includes work that has appeared online, or work already accepted for publication in a chapbook, book, or elsewhere.
· If you wish to withdraw part of your submission, contact us via the MESSAGE function on Submittable. (A note won't reach us, but a message will.)
· If you use the withdraw button in Submittable, we consider your entire submission withdrawn. We accept simultaneous submissions, but trust that you will withdraw your poem or packet promptly if accepted elsewhere.