cu·rio : noun [ˈkjʊ ɹi ˌo]
something (as a decorative object) considered novel, rare, or bizarre; a curiosity; also : an unusual or bizarre person (Merriam-Webster)
At Curio, we are interested in a poetry of moments: those perfect conjunctions of image, space, time, emotion, and all the other little pieces that make part of the world jump out at you. (Marcel Proust dipped a madeleine in his tea, and an entire autobiographical epic spun out of it; we’re just asking for verses.) We want to see objects and happenings, small self-contained places and quotations, little things that have more significance than they get credit for. It’s up to the poet whether those images should speak for themselves, for sometimes a decorative object needs some explanation of its significance: we want to hear what is summoned up in you by what may seem like a trifle to others.
What we’re fond of: short-ish verse (though we won’t say no to a truly dazzling long form piece) that finds rich description in simple things, verse that has thought and unexpected emotion in it, poems that the reader can put in their pocket and carry around all day, thinking about how it relates to them. Haiku and other pieces that are purely image are okay, but we enjoy a little more stream of consciousness to come through. Formal verse and free verse equally welcome, but light and sing-song verse less so (unless we see very specifically how it fits with the theme of the piece).
What we’re less fond of: poetry that takes an overbearing political stance, or over-indulges in its own emotion (two lines about a feather that spawns eight sappy stanzas about a relationship? meh), or tells a story completely divorced from any experience you’ve stumbled across. Remember this dictum: “move through the world, let the world move through you.” There are eight million bits and pieces out there that can be reacted to, and everyone will have a different, personal, unique reaction to each one. That’s a lot of poem potential; we appreciate sprawling works of invention, but there are other journals better suited for those. (Also, for now we really are sticking to poetry: no flash fiction or short stories, please. Stay tuned, though.)
The finer points: simultaneous submissions are fine, and previously published work is too, so long as it’s okay with the earlier journal and you let us know where it came from. (Work posted on blogs is fine, though we would ask that you revise the piece and/or password protect the original blog post or something.) We do not have defined reading periods at this time; when we accrue, say, 25 pieces, we will put them together as an issue. As a result, we will be reading work as it arrives, so you should hear from us (at least about acceptance, if not exact publication date) fairly quickly; give us two weeks before inquiring. We also do not have a defined theme at this time, though we may do so in the future. Regrettably, we can’t pay at this time, but are investigating having a print edition available for purchase online.
The copyright things: submission to Curio entails that the journal has one-time and non-exclusive anthology rights. You are welcome to continue to use your work elsewhere, though we prefer that you give a grace period (90 days recommended) for your work to be appreciated here first, and that you acknowledge publication in Curio. (We’d rather not see another journal publish the same piece three months later and claim it’s never been seen before.) Curio reserves the right to use your work in future editions or anthologies; we will inform you and heap credit/praise upon you, though. These terms are part of the submission agreement unless otherwise negotiated by the poet and editors. (And anyone looking to borrow a poem for use outside the magazine: you need the poet’s permission, as per the Creative Commons license, not ours.)
Now that you’ve read all that…
To submit: please send three to six poems in the body of an email to curiopoetry[at]gmail[dot]com, with the words “Poetry” and/or “Submission” somewhere in the subject header. Do not send attachments, as these will be deleted. The two exceptions to this rule are art submissions, or poems that have special formatting that would be lost in the transfer; in these cases, please notify us first at the same email address, and we will arrange file sending. If you want to submit a poem for consideration that has more than 40 lines or so (longer than a sestina), again, please notify us first. In any case, please include a short and interesting bio that is a curio of its own, so that we know who you are. Leave us wanting to find out more.
We will give feedback ONLY if you request it! All responses are personalized, but if you would like a particular reason why your work was chosen/not chosen, please indicate this with your submission.
Art submissions: We welcome photography and illustrations that reflect the ephemeral theme of the magazine, particularly that which might be inspirational to the poets. Please send 4 to 8 pieces that you feel are representative of your work and fit Curio‘s mission; since we are focused primarily on poetry, we will be publishing fewer art pieces than poems, but we will try to feature at least a couple of artists each issue, starting with Issue 5. If you would like to have a piece considered for the page header, note that it will be cropped to the appropriate size if chosen (500×160).
If you have any questions or want to give us some commentary, the same email above is a good place to find us: curiopoetry[at]gmail[dot]com. (Obviously you will want to replace [at] with @ and [dot] with . when you send the thing.) Thanks for reading, and we look forward to hearing from you! 🙂