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"I would eat a lilac if it were a violet / Forcing the unstable air which is swirling around us / In the northeast to thunder & lightning / This air clears itself of clouds at night"

Bernadette Mayer,
"Instability (Weather)"


"The smoke for a sign my people as the churn of / Crows above death's burning on the beach .... / // And the shadow of terror arises on this world as a / Cloud out of the northeast: and death is / Everywhere like a resemblance...."

Archibald MacLeish,
"The Eleventh Book"


"[...] my great aunt / takes the penny ferry over the Tyne / and my English not my Scots granny / calls me hinny / and it feels / — that houyhnhnm whinny / of the northeast coast / almost like love and belonging"

Tom Paulin,
"The Wind Dog"


"[...] I find myself sighing sometimes and calling a name. / Besides which, here on the northeast arc of my skull / The hair is gravely departing, and though I comb it / To right or left, the naked truth will soon flourish."

Hyam Plutzik,
"Death at the Purple Rim"


[...] The old man moistened his lips and said: / 'You are not Reine Gore: that woman is gathered into the elements: You are a shell or a token. / Why are you sent?' She waved her long white hands toward the northeast, and passed him and glided away, / But he observed that she had a shadow."

Robinson Jeffers,
"The Inhumanist"


"They gazed through and beyond the space the poplar / had occupied. There to the northeast, in the scooped-out / hollow of the pass, was an area of unclouded sky still pale / with the last of daylight, and against it the far mountains / were ranged, a wistful blue, remote and austere."

Denise Levertov,
"Say the Word"


"Landscape sullen and sere, / O landscape drab and small, / hill with its scattered rocks, / rocks piled into a wall; / pattern meager and sparse, / O harvest meager and mean — / this is a landscape, love, / that you have never seen."

Constance Carrier,
"Northeast Acre"

Our history

Poetry Northeast was founded in 2012 as private publication associated with the Boston Poetry Union and published by the Pen & Anvil Press. The journal has no particular thematic or regional emphasis; the editors seek only to publish poems which are effective, memorable, and worth reading. We are as eager to publish an author writing in Bora Bora as one from Boston, but we are not slavishly committed to a global scope. Given the nature of literary relationships -- those ties woven from shared experiences, influences, temperament -- we expect that the contents of our issues will tend toward a Northeast or New England contributorship. That tendency should not be mistaken for a regional focus. It is the editors' intention that PoNE will earn a reputation for publishing and promoting writers whose mastery of craft and artistic sensibilities combine in poems that have enduring quality.

Each of our contributing editors has the authority to acquire texts as he or she sees fit, and to submit them for publication. There is no further process of deliberation, either by a chief editor or an editorial committee. The only concession to compromise is the spike rule: each editor contributing to an issue, has the prerogative of removing any one poem from the proposed contents. In this way, no editor will be asked to sign their name to an issue which includes a text that simply can't abide. This collaborative process is meant to produce an agreeable, exciting variety in our texts. Those that are interested can look in the lower right cover of poems appearing on our website, where they will find the initials of the editor who selected that text for publication.

About the title

Edward Field, to name one among many who takes this view, locates the center of the "publishing/academic 'establishment'" in the Northeast corner of these United States -- the domain of Cambridge mandarins and New Haven critics, of Manhattan rainmakers and rusticating gatekeepers retired to their New England farms but still doing their part to keep Bukowski marginal and the layers of the literary strata impermeable. This is an unimaginative but popular assessment. We bring it up here only to clarify that we are neither champions of the Northeast "establishment", nor revolutionaries intent on disrupting the status quo. As editors, our aim is to assemble in each issue a sheaf of poems which are memorable and worth the reading. The poetry will be complemented from time to time by smart prose which thinks about poetry; see, for example, in Issue One, George Szirtes' lecture on the sister arts of music and poetry.

Regarding submissions

We welcome unsolicited submissions, but wish to inform potential contributors that most of our contents come to us by direct request.

Writers with recent work may use Submishmash to upload a submission, or email the editors directly with a query. Persons who prefer to send hard copy, may mail their submission c/o the Boston Poetry Union, PO Box 15274, Boston MA 02215. While our issues are composed mostly of new poetry, we will consider reprinting work which has appeared elsewhere in print, as well as prose commentaries, essays, and articles which speak to poetic concerns.

For your interest: Our editors are contributors, readers and supporters of a number of contemporary literary publications. Persons who'd like to know more about our aesthetic preferences, should of course consult the contents of any back issue, but may also consider the following publications as 'members of our tribe'. We have no affiliation with any of the following, but we greatly value the place each has in our common literary culture: Granta; Lapham's Quarterly; American Poetry Review; Alaska Quarterly Review; Literary Imagination; Times Literary Supplement; Little Star; AGNI; Poetry Northwest; The Wolf; Botteghe Oscure; Fulcrum; Delos; Samizdat. Our ideal issue would include Robert Archambeau commenting on the literary culture of the US, and Reza Aslan sharing news from the literary world of the Middle East; new poems from Anne Carson, Geoffrey Hill, Ben Mazer, Derek Walcott, Katia Kapovich, and Bill Knott; the work of a dozen poets in their twenties and thirties, who are deserving of wider readership; and poems by Brodsky, Cavafy, Tsvataeva, MacDiarmid and Darwish, reproduced with permission of their respective estates.

Ordering a copy

PoNE publishes three issues a year online (with the exception of our first year, when only two issues were released). The contents of a year's issues are gathered in a print omnibus volume available for purchase in December. The price of the annual print edition of $16; if you'd like to order a copy (or pre-order a copy of a future edition), you can do so by sending a check payable to the Boston Poetry Union (PO Box 15274, Boston MA 02215), along with $2 for postage for each copy ordered -- please indicate the year/volume you'd like to receive.

What vol/year would you like?

Alternately, you can place your order via PayPal via the button at right. If you have any questions about the ordering process -- i.e., you are an instutional periodicals manager, or a reader who requires international shipping -- please write to us and let us know how we can help get a copy into your hands.

Our masthead

Zachary Bos is the founding, and present, Editor. Contributing editors do or have included Sean Smeland; Walter Smelt; Jenna Dee; Erin McDonagh; Matthew Kelsey; Robert Morris; Catherine Ahearn; Michael Healy; Adam Fitzgerald; Johanna Jacobson; and Ryne Hager.