History & Soft Guidelines

Moist Poetry Journal was born at a poetry house party, where some poets got to talking about words that might cause an editor to immediately reject a poem. One of those words was “moist.”

Now. There was a rejector and a defender of “moist” in the conversation, as there will always be, but it was decided that MOIST POETRY JOURNAL would be an ideal journal concept–a place for moist poems, for gendered and queer language, for language play that might not “be a good fit” for other journals.

You can read whole articles against the word “moist,” if you desire, but the editor is reminded of Anne Carson’s essay “The Gender of Sound,” and how Plutarch’s metaphor of a leaky water jar is connected to gendered sound and more. Carson writes:

“Now when a woman runs off at the mouth there is far more at stake than than waste of words: the image of the leaky water jar with which Plutarch concludes his first anecdote is one of the commonest figures in ancient literature for the representation of female sexuality.”

In addition to loving Anne Carson, it also happens that the editor of Moist genuinely loves watery poems: rain, fog, sea, humidity, mist, snow. So feel free to send water poems to Moist, and also feel invited to send us lush, juicy, and fresh poems, poems that are metaphorically, metaphysically, or sonically moist.

After all, the first two definitions of moist in the OED are:

 a. Slightly wet, imbued with moisture; containing liquid in a state of suspension or absorption; not dry; damp, humid. b. Of a plant, fruit, etc.: juicy, succulent; not withered or dry; fresh.