Indolent Books is a small independent press founded in 2015 and  operating in Brooklyn, N.Y. We publish print books and sometimes run online poetry features on the Indolent Books website or on project-based websites such as the HIV Here & Now project. Our poetic values include diversity, inclusion, innovation, provocation, and risk.

Indolent Books is seeking poems for our online poem-a-day feature, What Rough Beast. 

What Rough Beast is a poem-a-day project launched at the beginning of the Tump administration. While the series arose in response to the election of Mr. Trump, we avoid poems about Mr. Trump himself, unless the poet can REALLY pull off political satire—but that is rare. 

We seek personal poems that respond to the current surge of white nationalism, autocracy, and the assault on justice—racial, social, economic, and environmental. This includes the issues of criminal justice reform, the unjust policing of black and brown bodies, and the devaluation of black lives. No, these are not new issues, but yes, they have taken on a new urgency since this nation elected a president who is a virulent autocratic racist with no respect for the principles of American government or the values of American life. 

We value poems that use all the resources of poetry, especially in ways that are innovative, provocative, and risky. 

IMPORTANT: Poems submitted for this series must be previously unpublished. 

SUBMIT up to 3 poems or 3 pages of poetry in a Word file. NOT PDF. Word.

INCLUDE a brief bio that includes in the following order: 

  • Any books published (including publisher and year of publication); 
  • any journals in which poems have appeared; 
  • any anthologies in which poems have appeared (including publisher, year of publication, and names of editors); 
  • a few other personal or professional details of your choice. 

PLEASE NOTE: This is a poem-a-day series, and as we work our way through the Submittable queue, we pick a poem and post it immediately without notifying the author beforehand. You'll get your acceptance email via Submittable within a few minutes of the poem being posted, but generally not in advance of the poem being posted. Please be sure you are comfortable with that modus operandi when you decided to submit work. 

A NOTE ABOUT DONATIONS: At the end of the submission form, we provide an option to donate from $2.00 to $100.00 to Indolent Books, a nonprofit poetry press. Submissions are treated the same whether accompanied by a donation or not. We urge you to donate as generously as you can. Plain and simple, your donations make it possible for the press to continue its work. The more revenue we have, the more poems and books we can publish. If we don't have revenue, we cannot publish poems or books. It's as simple as that. 

We look forward to receiving and reading your work. 

Indolent Books