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The editors of Bear Review are open to a wide variety of poetry, and we read submissions all year. We publish two issues a year: one in the fall, and one in the spring. Our only criteria: your writing is alive on the page, has urgency and has something at stake. 


We’re big readers, so we admire pieces that make the old new. We also dig aesthetic competence and a knowledge of genre and literary tradition. That said, we admire experimentation and blurred genres as well, so long as the writer brings the heat.


Submit up to five original, previously unpublished poems in a single .docx or .pdf file, via our submittable account:


We will consider long poems and sequences as long as every part pulls its aesthetic weight. Query us before submitting.

Simultaneous submissions are fine by us as long as you let us know immediately if a piece is accepted elsewhere by adding a note to your submission via Submittable.


We strive to respond within 60 days. Due to a high volume of submissions, however, it sometimes takes up to three months for us to respond. Please wait until four months have passed to query.

We give every submission a careful reading. Therefore, please only submit twice a year (once between January and June; once between July and December). If you submit more than once per reading period, we reserve the right to reject the second submission unread. 


Why we now charge for submissions:

We are a group of friends who devote our precious off hours to this journal. We receive no support from grants or institutions, and every cent we raise here offsets the costs associated with our website and the use of Submittable. Any leftover funds will go to fund our prizes and any events we may hold in the future.

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