Caboose: A Journal of Really Awful Poetry

Written by Emily Harstone

Have you ever written a poem, read it over, and groaned? Was it a truly terrible poem that was overwrought, confusing, and mixed metaphors the way a blender does? I know I have written these poems, even if I didn’t know it when I wrote them. Months later I will stumble across them and flush with embarrassment. Sometimes I write deliberately dreadful poems, just to get them out of my system.

These terrible poems are not useless, they are funny and one could even say compelling in their own way. Now you can submit them to Caboose, a journal that is only interested in publishing bad poems. The worse the poem, the higher the likelihood of it being accepted.

Now they are an online journal that plans to publish their first issue before AWP (The biggest writing conference in North America) at the end of February. So that means the sooner you submit the better. It also means that they will probably have a pretty fast response time if they are currently working to meet that deadline

It helps to have a sense of humor about writing as a poet. Acknowledging that one writes terrible poems is becoming more and more of the writing culture. Reading series’s often have a section devoted to bad poems and so do many journals. Besides the best bad poems are funny, so to not share them is a small crime against comedy.

Also the wonderful thing about Caboose is that you’re not actually publishing this work under your own name – you are encouraged to make up a ridiculous pen name and a fake bio. They also accept art work submissions and fake rejection notes. They use the submission manager Submittable. You can submit up to five poems at a time.

To learn more visit their website here:


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