Lauren Gordon wants your poems “with bite”

In the summer of 2011, Jen Lambert and I put out our first call for submissions for burntdistrict, and we were honored and gratified at the work you shared with us. We’re asking you to trust us once again as we transition burntdistrict into an online format. We have loved so much about the physicality of a print journal but our commitment to sustainability (both fiscal and environmental) has pushed us to reconsider. So much about the journal will be staying the same—the excellence of the work, the careful selection of diverse voices, and our vision of community will remain unchanged, as will our twice yearly publication schedule.
One change the online format will offer us is the ability to broadcast your poems farther and wider, and we are delighted about that.

One other change that excites us is the opportunity to reinvigorate the journal with new visions and passions. We are so excited to announce that poet and former burntdistrict contributor Lauren Gordon has agreed to guest edit this very first on-line issue. Jen and I are tremendous fans of Lauren’s work and we can’t wait to see her vision come to life.

Lauren Gordon is the author of four chapbooks, Meaningful Fingers (Finishing Line Press, 2014), Keen (Horse Less Press, 2014), Fiddle Is Flood (Blood Pudding Press, 2015) and Generalizations About Spines (Yellow Flag Press, 2015). She is also a Contributing Editor to Radius Lit.

Of “poems with bite” she says: I’m talking about the kind of poems that demand a third and fourth reading… The kind of poem that stays in your consciousness long after you’ve read it. A poem you feel in your body when you read it.

Submissions are open. Send us your poems.

Look for the new issue to launch with a fully redesigned website in Spring of 2016.

Today, It’s Official

We are delighted to announce that Spark Wheel Press and burntdistrict have become a part of the Nebraska Writers Collective, a vibrant nonprofit that promotes creative writing and performance poetry throughout the Midwest. This is an exciting new chapter for us, and while our editorial mission and aesthetic at SWP are unchanged, we’ll be spending some time considering how to best embrace the growth this new partnership is offering. In the short term, submissions to burntdistrict will be closed. Full length collections continue to be considered at Spark Wheel Press

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Pushcart Nominations

It’s been a busy fall, both personally and professionally, and we’ve been a little discouraged at the delays we’ve run into putting our 6th issue out. Ugh, poetry! we’ve said more than once. But this week, we spent some time rereading our 2014 issues, poem after poem after poem, and my god, what an honor it is to do this work. We are beyond delighted to nominate the following poems for the Pushcart anthology.

From burntdistrict Fall 2014 (Forthcoming December 2014)

Steven Schroeder Literally

Gregory Mahrer Adiago with Bell and Lantern  

Nandini Dhar Dream Collection

From burntdistrict Spring 2014

Alexander Lumans What We Don’t Know About Natalie Portman Can Still Hurt Us

Simon Perchik Untitled (First Line: You can still make out the stars)

Amber Rambharose The First Time I Kissed Her

Best of luck to these poets, and many thanks to all of those who share their work with us.

All best,

Liz and Jen

Pushcart Nominations

We are delighted to nominate the following poems for 2013.


Francesca Bell’s “You Can Call Me Ma’am” published in burntdistrict Volume 2 issue 1, Winter/Spring 2013

CM Borroughs’ “Monument the Dead” published in burntdistrict Volume 2 issue 1, Winter/Spring 2013

Eszter Takacs’ “Sometimes I Look At Your Boyfriends And They Are Colorful” published in burntdistrict Volume 2 issue 1, Winter/Spring 2013

Brian Clifton’s “A Prayer to Forget”  published in burntdistrict Volume 2 issue 2, Summer/Fall 2013

Ryder Collins’ “Voyeur” published in burntdistrict Volume 2 issue 2, Summer/ Fall 2013

Brandon Courtney’s “[Misreading] The Odyssey in Iraq” published in burntdistrict Volume 2 issue 2, Summer/ Fall 2013


Submission Guidelines

We are currently in the process of redesigning the site.

In the meantime, for more information about us, visit

We are still accepting submissions through our submissions manager.

Submission guidelines are as follows.

Submit up to 5 previously unpublished poems through our online submission manager. Combine all poems into a single file. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please indicate that your work is under consideration elsewhere, and notify us immediately when your work is accepted. A cover letter is appreciated but not required. We have no restrictions as to form and content.

Unless we request to see more of your work, please submit no more than once in 6 months.