Our Poetic Philosophy

We love visceral poetry with stunning concrete imagery. Our editors want to be transported to new landscapes. Let us walk the streets of your cities, explore your abandoned buildings, and meet your “angelheaded hipsters.” In addition, we want readers to be able to visualize and experience the world from fresh perspectives. Overall, we love imagery that punches like Mohamed Ali. However, we also adore the variety of meditative imagery written by talented haiku writers.

Our editors also love poets who are gifted storytellers. The idea of the poet as a Bard is extremely important to our poetic philosophy. We agree with Joy Harjo when she writes “the word poet is synonymous with truth teller,” in her note after the poem “A Postcolonial Tale.” If your poetry contains compelling narratives, shares the stories of specific regions, and engages the lives of specific peoples, your poetry is probably for our publication.

Bold figurative language is also important to our staff. We love poets who craft innovative similes and metaphors. If you can captivate us with your figurative language, we will read your poetry on numerous occasions. Tomas Tranströmer’s similes in the poem “April and Silence” are some of our favorites.

Generally, our editors are looking for modern poetry written in free verse. However, we love writers who craft compelling poetry written in closed forms. Modern Haiku and Senryū are two of our favorites. If you can write a sonnet or a villanelle about modern subjects, we would love to read your writing. We are not overly fond of typewriter poetry, but we like to be proven wrong. We welcome all varieties of alt lit, as well as microforms. Overall, we operate under a form follows function philosophy. We want the content of your poetry to harmonize with the form you choose.

Empathy is one of the most important qualities we are looking for in the poets we publish. Think of these lines from Anis Mojgani’s poem “Shake the Dust” when you submit your writing:

“This is for the hard men who want to love but know it won’t come
For the ones who are forgotten
The ones the amendments don’t stand up for”

Our mission is to spread peace and understanding one poem at a time. Our goal is to build communities, support marginalized individuals, and promote the creation of new relationships. We want your vast Grand Canyon heart, your earthquake voice, and your open bird nest palms. But we will not publish poems that feature hate speech. Just love, my brothers, sisters, and gender variant siblings.

Here is a list of some of our favorite writers. If your style is inspired by any of these poets, if you have honed your craft by reading these poets, and if you aspire to write like these poets, then our publication could be a valued home for your creations.

Our editors hope these notes prove to be helpful if you are considering submitting your writing to The Rising Phoenix Review.

Some of our favorite writers in no particular order:

Joy Harjo
Mark Doty
Tracey K. Smith
Eduardo C. Corral
Tomas Tranströmer

Philip Levine
Vandana Khanna
Ted Kooser
Ocean Vuong
Khalil gibran

James Wright
Anis Mojgani
Andrea Gibson
Mark Strand
Sylvia Plath

Charles Wright
Li Young Lee
Amiri Baraka
Warsan Shire
William Wordsworth

Billy Collins
Meg Day
Donald Hall
Jennifer Foerster
William Blake

Alan Ginsburg
Wendy Xu
Dobby Gibson
Jay Hopler
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Caitlyn Siehl
Richard Siken
Scherezade Siobhan
Azra Tabassum
Pablo Neruda
Louise Gluck

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