Poetry as a self-care practice is something we can get behind.
There’s nothing better than waking up, settling in with a cup of coffee or tea, and reading poetry in a cozy nook. Maybe you’ll reserve this for a rainy weekend morning ritual, or perhaps you’re an early riser who wants to spend a bit of time before work doing something beautiful for yourself. Whatever the case, there are some incredibly lovely online literary journals you should be browsing.
The ones included below are known for being inclusive, welcoming established and emerging poets, and creating a beautiful reading experience for the viewer. Oh, and did we mention they publish incredible poetry?
Occulum is a beautifully-designed journal full of stellar, well-curated poems. The style is incredibly diverse, but they do have a slight penchant for the peculiar, the dark, and the experimental. You can follow them on Twitter, too, where they’re always chatty and poetic, using “eye” rather than “I” — for a delightfully quirky touch.
Recommended reads: Living is Binary by Caseyrenée Lopez and Witch : Satiation by Elizabeth Theriot.
The Brown Orient
The Brown Orient is a thoughtfully-designed space for all sorts of literature, including gorgeous, vulerable poetry. According to their site, they are an “independently founded movement championing equal representation and safe creative spaces for poets, writers and artists from underrepresented regions in Asia by uplifting contemporary Brown Asian art and literature.”
With a simple click, you can download their issues.
Recommended reads: Keeping by Saquina Karla C. Guiam and neon lights and other signs of modernity by Umang Kalra, which can both be read in Issue 1.
Yes, Poetry is the place to read all sorts of work (including lots of prompts and playlists for writers). The poetry section, which is wonderful, is constantly updated, too. With a special focus on women, queer, nonbinary and writers of color, the journal makes space for all sorts of voices and perspectives. Bonus: The images placed alongside each piece are glorious, adding to the experience.
Recommended reads: Coming Out To Abuela by Matthew Dix and Bunkong Tuon’s What Is Not Fluid.
Devoted to works by women and nonbinary poets, this gloriously aesthetic literary journal feels like a secret room on the Internet, tucked away from the everyday — filled with glittering magic. With its line drawings, soft colors, and vintage images, Cordella begs to be read on a rainy day in early morning light.
Recommended reads: Herbarium by Molly Kugel and Blood Mine by Lauren Coodley
The Atlas Review
The Atlas Review is the epitome of quality. Offering sharp, smart, unique pieces, one will always find something new and daring here. With a focus on diversity — of its writers and its aesthetics — you’ll be treated to a whole range of voices and themes. To read The Atlas Review is to read a gem in a dark, rough sea. Its works inspire creativity, thought, and vulnerability.
Recommended reads: Vanessa Jimenez Gabb’s Weekend Poems: At The Apt. (Excerpt) and Colette Arrand’s poems.
Run by Platypus Press, Wildness is a literary journal unparalleled. With its clean, minimal design, you fall right into the poems splayed out across the screen. The work they select is bold and unique, sort of like coming across a cactus that stings you (in a way that you rather like).
Recommended reads: The Way We Move Through Water by Lino Anunciacion and A List of Waters by Bryce Emley.
The Rumpus is an incredible literary site, well-known for its diverse representation of writing. Their poetry section is filled with the work and interviews of incredible poets from all backgrounds. This is a must-have bookmark for anyone interested in the literary arts.
Recommended reads: Violence and Tenderness: The Explosive Expert’s Wife by Shara Lessley and two poems by I.S. Jones.
Apogee is a journal of both writing and art that specifically engages with identity politics — including race, gender, class. You’ll find brave, bold voices here, from underrepresented emerging and established writers. Although you have to purchase the issues to read the content (well worth it; you’ll be supporting diversity in the arts!) each issue does offer a few click-to read pieces so you can get a taste for their style before you commit.
Recommended reads: From Nature Poem by Tommy Pico and Surrender by Danez Smith.
If you’re into poetry, feminism, magic, and identity, the poetry journal I founded, Luna Luna, is your go-to. We are committed to diverse voices, diverse styles, and presenting poetry in a beautifully, aesthetically pleasing space. You’ll find all the new poetry right here.
Recommended reads: Poems by Diannely Antigua and poetry by Dominique Christina.
Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash