Beltway Poetry Quarterly


Submissions are now open for our next issue!

Please read all the guidelines fully before sending work. The Winter Issue, Volume 21:1, will be the Poems About Revolutionary Music Issue.

Poets who live or work in the following states are eligible to submit work for consideration: DC, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Delaware. Those without mailing addresses in those five states will be disqualified.

Poems must be on the announced theme only. Submissions can be from one to five poems, but all poems must be submitted in a single file attachment (in doc or txt format only). The deadline is midnight on November 1, 2019. We cannot accept poems after the deadline.

The subject line of your submission must include your full name and the number of poems (for example: “Jane Doe, 4 poems”) and the body of your email should include a one-paragraph bio written in the third person of no more than 150 words, your full snail mail address, your telephone number(s), and the titles of your poems. Your poems should include your name and address on each page and should all be included in a single file. We cannot consider poems sent to us in multiple separate files, and we cannot consider submissions that are incomplete!

More about the theme of the issue: Poems About Revolutionary Music

The corner of 7th Street and Florida Ave., NW is known for the voluminous Go-Go music blasting all day from speakers outside the Metro PCS store. In the spring of 2019, it became known for an incredible and nearly spontaneous stirring of people when that Go-Go sound was threatened. That music has inspired more than a few passersby to break into dance or song over the last 24 years. Whenever anyone approaches, Go-Go is what they expect to hear. Some look forward to the instant lift it gives whenever they are within earshot. The music energizes that entire intersection otherwise indistinct from any other. Moreover, because it has been such a mainstay, it has come to represent DC culture. More than 3,000 Washingtonians gathered at that corner and rallied to save a slice of DC life from stuffy new neighbors. In a powerful demonstration of protest, Go-Go blaring over their heads, they shouted, “Don’t Mute DC.”

Go-Go music is an iconic representation of the city’s character because it is DC’s own invention. Go-Go is also a message about staying power. It is about a small but thriving business in spite of sweeping gentrification. Go-Go music is a living symbol of the roots laid firmly down in DC and a reminder to newcomers who to live in this city to embrace our homegrown music and how we choose to listen. Suffice it to say, there is still Go-Go music blasting from the speakers at 7th and Florida. That’s the power of the people. That is also the power of music.

Music awakens and transforms. Music can ignite revolutions in thought, word, and deed. Music can define an era, a people, a city. Poetry can do the same. That is the theme of this call for poems. In the spirit of “Don’t Mute DC,” we plan to feature poems about music’s revolutionary, transformative power. Whatever the origin or genre, we’re asking for poems in response to music that has defined movements, places, and cultures: poems about music that tell the mean and ugly truths about our world and that show what our world can become.

To submit poems for this special issue, please email the editors at
Deadline: November 1, 2019

Beltway Poetry Quarterly does not accept unsolicited submissions outside our annual Call for Entries. Please note that Beltway Poetry Quarterly only publishes authors with strong ties to the Washington, DC region, and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic states of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Delaware. Join our local subscriber list or “like” our Facebook page to get direct email notifications.


Poetry News

Authors are invited to provide information about their publications, awards and other kudos, and other activities for listing in the Poetry News section. Information should be submitted any time in the month prior to an event or publication to Please note that as of January 2018, we no longer publish listings of Readings and Performances, Competitions, Grants, Calls for Entries, Workshops, and Special Events on the web site; these announcements are covered on our Facebook page instead.

Forthcoming Issues

Volume 21:1, Winter 2020
Poems About Revolutionary Music Issue
Poems selected from an open call for entries by the editors, Venus Thrash and Indran Amirthanayagam.