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The Yale Literary Magazine’s Guidelines for Poetry Submissions

This piece was originally featured in the DIY Issue. Read it now!

1) Before you begin, keep in mind that in the 21st century poetry does not rhyme. Slant rhyme is also impermissible – and punctuation is completely out of the question. In fact, everything you ever learned in grades 1-10 about poetry is not allowed. Real poets have no time for silly poetic devices.

2) except for when
we take the
time to make
sweet love
to enjambment

3) Do you have a soul? Do you feel inside? Your readers must not know this. You should remain detached from your subject matter at all costs. Acceptable tones include: bitter, world-weary, apathetic, and subtly mocking.

4) Make graphic but obscure references to acts sexual, illegal and unhygienic. If your parents would feel comfortable reading your poem, you’ve failed.

5) If your parents would understand your poem, you’ve failed.

6) Fill in the blanks as you see fit:
_____ the adamant _____ swooning pastel _____
___ _____
as we _________ to quell __ _______
tantalized in the ________ for ____ the recalcitrant
aura of ___________
____________ penetrate my ____ verdant _____
sorrows you __________ face the ____ _______
and yawn
__ ____ Kanye West
_______ _____ god’s refrigerator

7) Ask incomprehensible questions that have no answers; the dumber your readers feel, the more readily your shining genius will radiate from the pages. Possible queries:
– If a tree falls in the forest, how could you sleep with him?
– Whenceforth the reckoning of our yesteryears?
– We are water in water, understand?
– 3… 8; i 56% <,> ##### 4$4 ~~~~ ][ ????????

8 ) Bribe the editors.

A. Gertler


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