Writing for human rights
protestpoems.org is a poetry journal entirely devoted to, and fully committed to, new poetry that tackles human rights issues worldwide.
The journal strives to present the best poems of protest written to promote freedom of speech and human rights. It is updated fortnightly. We publish a maximum six poems a month to keep a steady flow of relevant protests. Although we update the journal often, we are very selective. We are looking for edge.
The website and mailing lists provide information about persecuted writers, along with letters of protest ready for our subscribers to cut and paste. To receive emails (once a month, on average) with protest information focused on a specific persecuted writer, send an email to
We’re not looking for partisan propganda. We’re not looking for party-political mouthings. We’re not looking for sentimental depictions of what you see on the TV. We’re not looking for rhyming greetings card verses.
We want you to champion, not yourselves, but human rights; the rights of those who don’t have the freedom to write and speak as we do. Rage. Celebrate. Mourn. Demand. Scream. Dance.
Formal complaints are especially exciting. ThereE2s something wonderfully subversive about a villanelle that attacks a government deliberately making the same mistake over and over again.
If you need to be inspired, read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Then check out any objective newsfeed or news site.
Paste your poems (a maximum of 3 one-page poems), into the body of an email and send to write(at)protestpoems.org. If necessary, you can email a single .doc or .rtf file containing all the poems you are submitting.
Include a brief bio.
We will accept poems previously published on paper, as long as you hold the copyright. We will not accept poems which are already (or have previously been) published online (including blogs). We will publish a poet only once a year.
If your poem deals with a specific call for action, or commemorates a specific person, please let us know.
Publication dates for the first half of 2009 are :