Best New Poets is an annual anthology of fifty poems from emerging writers. The anthology began in 2005 and the book is currently distributed nationally as a University of Virginia Press title and produced in cooperation with Meridian, a semiannual literary magazine from the University of Virginia.
The anthology takes submissions from three sources:
- nominations from literary magazines in the United States and Canada,
- nominations from graduate-level writing programs in the United States and Canada, and
- entries from an annual open competition.
All entries go into a single blind pool where readers rank the submissions. A finalist pool of 150 to 300 poems then goes to a guest editor for review, and that guest editor selects the final fifty poems for the book.
Each submission to our Open Competition can contain up to two poems (in one document of no more than twelve pages total, please). See www.bestnewpoets.org for full details. Please do not put identifying information in your document or file name; we read our submissions as masked/anonymized.
- The poems submitted for Best New Poets 2022 must either be unpublished work or work published after January 1, 2021 where the writer currently retains all rights (allowing the writer to publish it again without needing permission from a magazine or publisher).
- Because many of our initial readers are former or current editors of Meridian, poems previously published in Meridian are NOT eligible.
- Best New Poets 2022 is a book for emerging writers. We will only accept submissions from writers who have NOT yet published a book-length poetry collection. This includes self-published books if they were sold online, in stores, or at readings. For the purposes of BNP eligibility, we do not consider chapbooks to be "book-length," and poets with only chapbook publications remain eligible to enter.
- Poets with forthcoming books may enter if their first book's publication date is after April 1, 2022.
- Writers who have edited and published an anthology or a collection of other writers' works remain eligible.
To help reduce the appearance of any bias, we ask poets with significant connections to UVA, Meridian, and the editors not to enter. Poets with the following connections to our anthology should not enter:
- former editors or staff of Meridian
- friends, former professors, or family of current Meridian editors and staff
- friends, family, or former and current students* of the series editor, Jeb Livingood
- friends, family, or former and current students* of our guest editor, Paula Bohince
- former or current University of Virginia MFA in Creative Writing students
- former UVA undergraduate APLP or APPW students who graduated after April 2016
- poets featured in the prior year's anthology
* We define a "student" as someone who has done semester-length coursework with the editors, or someone for whom the editors served as an undergraduate or master's level thesis advisor. Poets who attended 1-2 week workshops or retreats with the editors remain eligible.