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napomo with ihlr

It's been 13 years since we started publishing an annual issue dedicated to National Poetry Month! This is one of our most popular issues, and we always combine new voices with some established champions. Each fall, when we begin hunting the poems we will include, we're excited to see what poets have been working on over the summer.

Recently, we've rethought the way we manage and release our annual NaPoMo issue. Now, it is published electronically, via

ISSUU, which means anyone can download and read it for free, and so our contributors' works reach a wider audience. We're also more selective with this issue: instead of 25 poems, we select only the very best 10: one winner and nine finalists--much like our annual PhotoFinish issue. The issue will be released in full color, and each manuscript will have its own artwork. 

The entrance fee is now $15, which includes a year's subscription for print issues. Plus, while the ten finalists will receive our special NaPoMo honorarium for poems ($100 per poem), the winner will receive $1,000. 


• Poets can submit up to five poems for consideration.

• Manuscripts must be typed and in a 12-point font.

• The author’s name and  contact  information  must  appear  on  the  Submittable  form, but it must NOT appear anywhere else--no headers or footers with identifying information; no bio note inside the manuscript. Manuscripts with biographical information will be disqualified.

The $15 entry fee includes a year's subscription to IHLR.

• We only accept electronic manuscripts, submitted as ONE pdf file, with all of the poems in that single file. 

•  Submissions will be accepted between August 15 and October 15.

•  Geffrey Davis will judge.

free submit day

We will accept 25 free submissions on October 1. On that day, we will open a special gate, revealed on our social media pages (connect with us below) and here on our website. We will accept only one free submission per person (automatically disqualifying subsequent free submission attempts), and we will only accept the first 25. Once we hit 25 submissions in the free gate, we will close it. Free submissions will not receive a subscription or feedback. We offer this opportunity in the hopes of targeting writers who cannot afford to enter otherwise. If you can afford to enter, please do not take one of the 25 available free slots.

August 15 to October 15: Currently Closed.

October 1 for free: Currently Closed.



We'll announce semi-finalists, finalists, and the winner here in December. The winner and finalists will be published in a full-color, electronic issue in the spring!

2023 winner!


2023 finalists

Amy Thatcher, “Visitation”




Eric Odynocki, “FOLDEROL”


Lindsey Priest, “Mother–Dictionary, Son– Thesaurus”


Melody Wilson, “Shadow Birds”


Pamela Wax, “To my brother who left an “I love you, when can we talk?” message one day, then jumped from a bridge the next”


Sean Cho A., “Because” and “Thesis Proof #11”


Tara Westmor, “I Imagine My Father Sitting on the Deck I Built for him Just Moments Before He Has The Heart Attack”

winners and napomo issues

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