Guidelines for Contests and Regular Submissions: 

  • We read non-contest submissions year-round.  Contest submissions have specific reading dates.
  • We consider up to five poems or flash fictions (500 words or less) for each submission 
  • Poems and flash fiction submitted may not have been published elsewhere.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions. Please let us know if your work has been accepted elsewhere. 

Address any questions to:
Michael Malan, Editor
Cloudbank, PO Box 610,
Corvallis, Oregon 97339-0610


The winner of the Vern Rutsala Book Prize wins a cash prize of $1000, publication of the book., and 50 free books. Cloudbank poetry editors seek a wide range of styles, approaches, forms, and aesthetics (for example: lyric, prose poems, experimental, flash fiction (up to 500 words), etc).
The final judge is Robert Morgan.
• Submissions can be 60 to 90 pages of poetry and/or flash fiction, including a Acknowledgments page and Table of Contents.
• The first 50 writers submitting to the contest receive a Cloudbank book or journal.
• Enclose two title sheets with your submission, one with contact information and one without.
• Include a cover letter with brief biographical information.
• Electronic submissions are accepted from around the world with no citizenship limitations.
• Simultaneous submissions and multiple submissions are acceptable. Revisions are not allowed during the contest.
• Manuscript submissions must be original. (If you include quotes from other works in your manuscript, please be sure they are clearly attributed to the author either on the same page or in a “Notes” section at the back of the manuscript.)
• Manuscripts must be in English, although it is perfectly acceptable to include some text in other languages.
• Manuscripts must be previously unpublished, although individual poems in a manuscript are still eligible for this contest if they have been previously published in print or web magazines, journals, anthologies, or on a personal website.


Cloudbank editors seek a wide range of styles, approaches, forms, and aesthetics (for example: lyric, prose poems, experimental, flash fiction, etc). 

Please submit up to five poems; your name and address should appear on each page. 

We are happy to accept simultaneous submissions, but please so let us know if your work has been accepted elsewhere. 
Two contributors’ copies will be sent to writers whose work appears in the magazine. 

Please submit up to five pieces of flash fiction (no more than 500 words per piece); your name and address should appear on each page. 

We are happy to accept simultaneous submissions, but please so let us know if your work has been accepted elsewhere. 
Two contributors’ copies will be sent to writers whose work appears in the magazine. 

Order the most recently published issue of Cloudbank.

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Constellation by H. L. Hix s the winner of the Vern Rutsala Book Prize for 2023. 

Praise for the book:

Constellation is poetry on a larger scale than we are used to, an extraordinary combination of memory and meditation, precise and personal, ritualistic, soaring, by turns, with eloquence, erudition, candor. In both rich and allusive verse, and prose with poetic charge, the work draws you in and won’t let you forget the vivid motifs and variations that repeat as in an oratorio, often playful, in the idioms of today, while touching the timeless and magnificent.

—Robert Mortgan, author of Dark Energy


The Scarecrow Alibis, poems by Denver Butson, is the winner of Cloudbank’s 2022 Vern Rutsala Book Prize. Zoë Ryder White writes: “The Scarecrow Alibis reads like a love letter to the blundering, persistently tender self.” “Praise by Ilya Kaminsky includes “What a terrific imagination! What verve! . . . . I love this work,.”  

The author has four previous poetry collections and two books with visual artists. Featured on National Public Radio, in the Library of Congress’s Poetry 180 curated by Billy Collins, and in dozens of journals and anthologies, Butson lives in Brooklyn with is wife and daughter. He frequently collaborates with musicians and visual and performing artists


Book of Years by Doug Ramspeck is the runner up for the Vern Rutsala Poetry Prize 2021. 80 pages. Ramspeck is the author of eight poetry collections, one collection of short stories, and a novella. A retired professor of English from The Ohio State University at Lima, he lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

The poems in Doug Ramspeck’s Book of Years explore, as one carefully crafted lineation effect puts it, “the life of the unmade,” and discover “the way a cut flower adorns the temporary” and “clouds/going by like the uncut hair of the dead.” The dead, and the past they inhabit, inform the present in this collection in which everything can become “beautiful with forgetfulness.” And the living are here too, often in the form of a wife listening, with the speaker, to “the moon/interrogating the land” and to how rain can be “an illusion of speech//against the eaves.” These poems are elaborate and evocative constructs that offer insight and, more significantly, consolation, which is something we need, it might be said, now more than ever.
     —George Looney, author of The Itinerate Circus: New and Selected Poems 1995-2020


Long Voyage Gathering Light by John Kooistra is the winner of the 2021 Vern Rutsala Poetry Prize. 

Every line in John Kooistra’s poetry in Long Voyage Gathering Light is one more step deeper—not just into the landscape of the world but also of the mind. Sure-footed but open to surprise, linked not just to place but the connections between places, these poems do not hesitate to crunch down to inspect a small track in the snow, or to stand up straight to take hold of an epiphany as sudden and miraculous as Elizabeth Bishop’s moose. Though “. . .cars / shrink to nothing / in the long gaps / between yard lights,” John Kooistra never sleeps in his voyages between Alaska and Ohio, the past and the present, the deep breathing of ideas and the persuasion of wilderness. Kooistra in his poems always finds those crucial moments when the mind needs to pay attention, “the last of the sunset / flaming like a stained glass window.” But he also knows when to shut up and let the world talk: “The sense in all this / I now make a mystery / by asking.”  A salmon fisher for many years on Cook Inlet, Kooistra also knew how to the repair the engine on his boat to keep himself alive. It’s that same ability to take apart and put together small parts into something big and powerful that makes his poems strong for their long voyage. Expertise and patience. Grease and metaphor. 

—Dan Bourne


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A two-year subscription includes two issues of Cloudbank and begins with the most recently published issue.

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My Bright Last Country by Jane Craven is the winner of the 2020 Vern Rutsala Poetry Prize.

The poems are evocative explorations of a woman moving through the world, simultaneously burdened and enriched by her familial past and her own experience. In “The Sketchbooks of Hiroshige” a dead father is remembered as a working man, then touchingly comes to life as a vulnerable child in a Japanese scroll. Craven laments the disappearing natural world in “88 Roads” which describes the aftermath of a flood in a rural county with “its empty highway/ slick with river fish” and its “Huffys tangled in telephone wires, 6,000 hogs/ whose waterlogged bodies knocked against sheet metal/ for days.” These are moving poems of regard in which Craven looks closely, attentively, to reveal the astonishing connective tissues that bind us to others and to the natural world.   

Jane Craven grew up in North Carolina and holds an MFA from North Carolina State University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Beloit Journal, The Columbia Review, Tar River Poetry, The Southern Humanities Review and other journals. Her poem, “The Sketchbooks of Hiroshige,” won first prize in The MacGuffin’s 2019 Poet Hunt Contest, guest judged by Richard Tillinghast.


Tarzan's Jungle Plane, prose poetry by Cloudbank editor Michael Malan, is now available. Michael's writing has appeared in numerous journals over the years and this, his second full-length collection, was published by Blue Light Press.  Along with the title poem, this collection includes stories about "Chippewa Street," "Twins," "A Dangerous Woman," and "Richie Rich at Glacier Point."

Praise for this book include these comments by Richard Jones, author of Stranger on Earth: I love how real, how tangible the imaginary worlds of Michael Malan’s prose poems are—their immediacy and intimacy—as well as their accurate portrayal of the human desire to balance history, psychology, and imagination like so many plates spinning atop poles. These exhilarating paragraphs are a delight. As soon as one suspects the tug of easy irony, veils are swept away to astonish as the poet reveals vistas, insights, and what feels to me like truth. 


Deep Territory is a book of poems by Cloudbank Editor Michael Malan. Praise for this book includes this comment by Robert Morgan, author of Dark Energy: “There is a special sense of kinship and community inMichael Malan’s poems: trees, streams, clouds, horses, and horizons. All things are alert, articulate, and time in touch with the timeless.”