“Poems are like dreams: in them you put what you don’t know you know.” Adrienne Rich, Arts of the Possible: Essays and Conversations
CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS
ARTEMIS POETRY, a publication of Second Light Network of Women Poets, is open for submissions to its November 2020 issue: Poetry by 31st August; Artwork by 15th September: Members’ News & Readers’ Letters, 15th September. Details HERE.
LITERARY MAMA “believes that all mothers have a story worth sharing and honors the many faces of motherhood by publishing work that celebrates the journey as well as the job.” Literary Mama invites submissions to its blog. It also publishes book reviews, creative nonfiction, fiction, literary reflections, photography, poetry, and profiles. Details HERE.
SECOND LIGHT POETRY COMPETITION FOR LONG AND SHORT POEMS BY WOMEN 2020:
JUDGE MYRA SCHNEIDER. Myra Schneider’s latest collections are Lifting the Sky (Ward Wood, 2018) and Persephone in Finsbury Park (SLP, 2016). Writing Our Selves, a writing resource written with John Killick, was published by Continuum Books in 2009.
£300 First Prize for each of Long (no upper limit) and Short (max 50 lines) poems
£150 Second Prize (1 poem from either category)
£75 Third Prize (1 poem from either category)
Winning & Commended Poems published (in full or extract) in ARTEMISpoetry
Winners offered a London reading.
Deadline Thursday 6th August.
Entry: £6 each per long poem. Short poems: £4 each or £9 for 3, £14 for 8. Enter by post (2 copies) or online.
**Members are entitled to one free entry into the competition. Join now to be eligible.** (see About Second Light/Joining)
Myra Schneider: “…I shall be looking for poems which travel, poems in which the form fits the subject matter and the language is alive. This is a time when contemporary issues are very much at the front of everyone’s minds and, very understandably, give rise to strong feelings. On the whole I believe poems dealing with this kind of subject matter work best if the approach is indirect. When I read entries which deal with this type of material I shall be particularly considering whether it has been fully transformed into poetry.”
The results will be posted on the website by 30th September. Once winning poems (or extracts) are published in ARTEMISpoetry, they will be available to read on site.
Mbizo Chirasha, founder and curator of Wombwords Literary Press, announced a Call for Submissions to the June 2020 edition themed Imagining Life After COVID-19.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
IMAGINING LIFE AFTER COVID-19
“The June edition is to be edited by our Poet Laureate and USA Associate to the Womawords Hall of Fame, Jamie Dedes.
“The call is open to women poets from May 20 through June 20.
“Ten poems and poets will be selected from the submissions, which should include a short third-person bio of thirty-to-sixty words and your photograph.
“Submissions to be forwarded to BOTH
Mbizo Chirasha email@example.com
and cc’d Jamie Dedes at firstname.lastname@example.org”
About Womawords Literary Press
Womawords, an international eZine based in Africa, is the heart child of multi-award winning Zimbabwean poet in exile, Mbizo Chirasha. It was established to support women and girls through the publication of activist poetry by women. Current projects are Womawords companion publication, Liberating Voices Journal, and the newly founded Womawords Hall of Fame.
The Womawords Hall of Fame seeks to amplify women’s voices through literary and other arts and comprises representatives from around the globe: writers, poets, editors, and mentors among others.
“The International Human Rights Art Festival (IHRAF) is an iconic art for human rights platform, A haven of freedom voices. This global Human Rights and Arts Culture Activism brand is endowed with creative excellence, artistic diversity, versatility, and organizational prowess. On the 23 April 2020, before this beloved Earth got dressed in night gowns and before owls began to announce their deathly anthems, I sat with Artistic Curator and Producer Thomas Block of IHRAF beside the digital bonfire, somewhere near the fontanel of the internet jungle. Thomas Block brought with him ripe IHRAF berries, a jug of fermented literary gin and an artistic lantern. Mbizo Chirasha wielded a pen, a green-leaf writing pad and of course a poetry waxed voice box. It is encouraging to discuss and archive excellence. Thank you, Thomas Block and the IHRAF Team for the good work and for affording us this great opportunity to enjoy the succulent IHRAF berries.” Mbizo Chirasha, Editor, Brave Voices Press and IHRAF 2019 Fellow
1.) MBIZO CHIRASHA: GIVE US AN OVERVIEW OF THE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ART FESTIVAL.
THOMAS BLOCK: The International Human Rights Art Festival (IHRAF.ORG) provides a forum to international artists whose voices can be overlooked, underrepresented and, in some cases, actively repressed. We offer live performances in all media, a literary magazine, an award, a recording platform, and a yearly International Fellowship. These represent the most important voices safeguarding the ideals of human rights and social justice: those whose only weapon is their passion, commitment and beauty.
The IHRAF not only provides these artists visibility, but it highlights the most important issues facing our societies: how to safeguard and expand human rights, social justice, democracy and equality, in all countries around the world. We are especially drawn to artists around the world who promote these ideals through their dedication to truth and beauty.
We use the energy of this art to engage with stakeholders at all levels, including politicians, social leaders, NGOs and activists on the frontline of the struggle for truth and justice.
We have worked with artists and activists from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Morocco, Iran, Uganda, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Gambia, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Haiti, Martinique, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Columbia, Venezuela, Italy, Germany, France, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England, Australia, Sioux Nation, as well as most of the United States.
The IHRAF has presented more than 500 artists in twenty interim events and three week-long Festivals, all in New York City. Additionally, IHRAF has published more than fifty writers on the IHRAF Publishes literary platform. The organization has been covered more than thirty times in press outlets, including the New York Times, NBC TV Live!,Fox 5 Good Morning, Metro-NY, Huffington Post, Crain’s NY Business, New York Observer, Voice of America: Mandarin, AM and many others.
2.) MBIZO CHIRASHA: WHAT DIFFERENTIATES IHRAF FROM OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS, ARTS ACTIVISM, AND FESTIVAL PROJECTS?
THOMAS BLOCK: Founded in 2017 at Dixon Place Theater in New York, the IHRAF is already the largest human rights art festival in the world. While there are nearly fifty human rights film festivals, very few art-activist organizations focus in an ongoing manner on performance of all types, including dance, theatre, music, spoken word, circus and any other method of bringing art and soul to a live audience.
Additionally, we separate ourselves from other arts-activism projects by our engagement with decision makers, from our honorary co-sponsors in the political realm (many United States Senators and Congresspersons), to our work with governmental agencies such as the NYC Commission on Human Rights.
We have also developed and implemented a number of other year-round, international manners of using art in the struggle for human rights and justice. Our “IHRAF Publishes” platform publishes weekly art-activist literary work. Our “Creators of Justice Literary Award” will highlight the best activist writing from around the globe. Our “International Fellow” program highlights the work of a single art-activist every year, as well as introducing the IHRAF to their audience. Lastly, through our Direct Action component, we help artists-at-risk, whose activities have put them in harm’s way with their own, often repressive governments.
Taken together, we offer a unique manner of bringing artists’ voice and social change together. And as we expand our programming, visibility and outreach, we will spread these voices of truth, beauty, sincerity and engagement ever-wider.
3.) MBIZO CHIRASHA: IHRAF PUBLISHS IS FAST GROWING AND SIGNIFICANTLY INFLUENCING THE GROWTH OF ARTS ACTIVITIES. WHAT ARE THE FUTURE PROSPECTS OF IHRAF LITERARY PUBLISHING?
THOMAS BLOCK: This is a very exciting aspect of our work — and we have published more than fifty pieces from around the world. We currently publish work — poetry, essays and short stories — on a weekly basis, as well as inaugurating the Creators of Justice Literary Award, which will offer monetary awards and publishing opportunities to the winners.
We are also working on two anthologies: an online anthology of the best youth writing (under twenty-one), edited and produced by our Youth Fellow, Uma Menon, as well a print anthology of some of the best writing that we have published, from what will then be nearly 100 pieces to choose from.
The literary arts are central to the struggle for human rights, as well as reaching diverse and far-flung audiences. We are excited about the growth of IHRAF Publishes and look forward to offering more initiatives under its banner in the future.
Video: Buwaso Ibrahim Razack – Dear God – Old folk for new poets; Music by Fernando Fidanza for International Human Rights Art Festival
4.) MBIZO CHIRASHA: SUMMARIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CREATORS OF JUSTICE LITERARY AWARD
THOMAS BLOCK: The Creators of Justice Literary Award highlights the best activist literary work from around the world. We look for work based in our signature values of beauty, sincerity, vulnerability and engagement. Words spoken from the mouth never get past the ears, but words spoke from the heart, enter the heart. We provide a voice and transparency for writers who are underrepresented, repressed and sometimes in personal danger due to their unflinching commitment to using their word to support and further Truth. We are honored by the work we have received, and as the Award submission period remains open until June 1, we hope to receive many more beautiful submissions!
The International Human Rights Art Festival announces the creation of this new literary award, celebrating poetry, short stories and essays which use the written word to celebrate justice.
This ideal may be imagined in any manner in which the writer sees fit, however, it must be based in our signature values of beauty, sincerity, vulnerability and engagement. We do not publish work or engage with artists whose work is based in anger, or stems from an “us v. them” mentality. We feel strongly that all human conflict is representative of human spiritual immaturity — and no group of people, ethnicity or religion are immune from human spiritual immaturity.
There are three monetary prizes in each category: Poetry, Short Story and Essay. Each writer may make one submission in each category (total of 3 submission per writer). Awards are as follows:
First Prize: $150
Second Prize: $100
Third Prize: $50
Honorable Mention: 5 writers will have their work published on IHRAF Publishes
All winners and honorable mention writers will be considered for our IHRAF Publishes Anthology 2019-2020, which will be collected and published in summer 2021.
“Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door.” Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
THE 2020 VOICES OF LINCOLN POETRY CONTEST: Alan Lowe, coordinator of the 16th Annual Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest, invites readers to submit up to three poems on theme. This is a contest sponsored by the Friends of the Lincoln Library, Lincoln, California, USA.
This competition is NOT restricted to residents of Lincoln.
It is open internationally.
The deadline for entry is: Saturday, July 18, 2020.
There is no submission fee.
Alan reports five thematic categories:
What Do I See When I Look In The Mirror?
I See You In My Dreams
You Should Have Seen What I Saw Today
I See A World With Many Opportunities
See If I Can Make You Laugh
Poets may submit a maximum of three poems, no more than one in each of three of the five contest categories.
Everyone is encouraged to enter the contest.
Young Poets, eighteen-years or under, are encouraged to submit poems and will compete in a special “Young Poets” category.
Last year the contest attracted 86 poets from 41 cities in thirteen states and three countries: the United States, England, and India. Poets submitted 190 poems. 37 young poets submitted 89 poems.
The top three winners in each category will be invited to read their poems on Sunday, October 11, 2020 at a Voices of Lincoln Event. Winners will also be presented with a commemorative chapbook of the winning poems.
This year the Friends of the Lincoln Library aim to reach an even greater audience of poets.The “Rules and Entry Form” can be downloaded HERE or HERE or by contacting Alan directing at email@example.com.
THE BeZINE CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
Call for submissions of feature articles, fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, art and photography, music videos, and documentary videos on diverse environmental topics including but not limited to: degradation, protection, greenhouse gasses, weather/climate change, justice, and agriculture, famine and hunger. This call is open through May 15.
While The BeZine does not pay for content, neither do we charge submission or subscription fees.
Work that is not properly submitted will not be considered.
Prose, poetry (up to three poems), and links to videos: submit in the body of the email.
Please: no odd, unusual, eccentric layouts
Photographs or artwork: submit as an attachment
DO NOT send PDFs or a document with both narrative and illustrations combined.
By submitting work to firstname.lastname@example.org, you are confirming that you own and hold the rights to the work and that you grant us the right to publish on the blog or in the Zine if your submission is accepted. Submissions via Facebook or other social networking or in the comments section, will not be reviewed or accepted.
Please include a brief bio in the email. No photographs.
ART & PHOTOGRAPHY: We are looking for something special to be the header for The Table of Contents Page.
SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS are okay but please let us know immediately if availability changes.
Among the guidelines: our core team, our guest contributors, and our readership are international and diverse. No works that advocate hate or violence, promote misunderstanding, or that demean others are acceptable. Please read our Complete Submission Guidelines.
“‘Reading the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy was a poem that slowly got under our skin and into the bloodstream. It takes on big subjects, cunningly manipulating the impersonal and toneless phrasing of bureaucracy as the poem’s speaker tries to come to terms with evil. This daring poem, literally breath-taking in its execution, is in the form of a single sentence – so perfectly engineered the reader barely notices it. But nonetheless we feel the powerful effect, as it keeps our attention pinned to the poem’s terrible reality without release.” Maurice Riordan
Susannah Hart has been chosen as the winner of the prestigious National Poetry Competition, with her poem Reading the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.
Judges Mona Arshi, Helen Mort and Maurice Riordan selected the winning poem from 16,659 poems entered into the competition from 6,979 poets in 87 countries, including entries from every EU member state. All of the poems were read anonymously by the judges.
Told in a single long sentence that intensifies the momentum and the sense of building desperation, Reading the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy uses the dispassionate language of bureaucracy and policy to counterbalance the cruelty and descriptions of acts of violence in the poem.
Judge Maurice Riordan said of the poem: “Reading the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy was a poem that slowly got under our skin and into the bloodstream. It takes on big subjects, cunningly manipulating the impersonal and toneless phrasing of bureaucracy as the poem’s speaker tries to come to terms with evil. This daring poem, literally breath-taking in its execution, is in the form of a single sentence – so perfectly engineered the reader barely notices it. But nonetheless we feel the powerful effect, as it keeps our attention pinned to the poem’s terrible reality without release.”
Susannah Hart’s win follows on from her acclaimed debut collection, Out of True, which won the Live Canon First Collection Prize in 2018. Susannah’s poems have been widely published in magazines and online, including Smiths Knoll, Magma, The North, The Rialto and Poetry London.
Susannah said of the win: “It’s a mixture of disbelief and delight. I’m genuinely astonished that I’ve won. I enter the competition almost every year and have been longlisted a couple of times, but you never enter expecting to actually win. I feel very honoured to join the list of winners. For personal reasons, it’s also great to have this particular poem recognised. I’ve been a primary school governor for many years and I think this is the only poem that has arisen directly from that experience, so it feels very special to have that part of my life acknowledged. I remember telling my governor colleagues that I had written a poem about the Safeguarding policy and I think they thought I was joking.”
About the poem, Susannah said: “The poem’s original draft came quite quickly. I did in fact go for a walk after reading the policy, feeling very upset by what it contained – what it needed to contain – and I found myself thinking about ‘all the horrible things that someone somewhere is always doing to someone else’. And then when I looked at the draft of the poem I realised I could make more of the bureaucratic language that was already in there, so I looked again at the wording of the policy and lifted some more phrases from it.”
Since it began in 1978 the National Poetry Competition has been an important milestone in the careers of many of today’s leading poets, with previous winners including Helen Dunmore, Ruth Padel, Philip Gross, Carol Ann Duffy, Jo Shapcott and Tony Harrison.
Internationally praised and recognised, the National Poetry Competition continues to see an increase in entries year-on- year (2019 saw an 18 per cent increase in poems and a 17 per cent increase in entrants compared with 2018). Awarding a total of £9,400 prize money annually, the competition recognises individual poems previously unpublished, in an anonymised judging process. The judges only discover the identity of the winner after making their final decision.
Nine other winners were also named in the National Poetry Competition, including Ann Pelletier-Topping for her poem Granddaughter Moves In (Second Prize, £2,000), Natalie Linh Bolderston for Middle Name with Diacritics (Third Prize, £1,000) and seven commended poets (£200 each): Joe Dunthorne for Due to a series of ill judgements on my part; Charlotte Knight for MOONDADDY; Mark Pajak for Reset; Rosie Shepperd for Letter from Kermanshah; Louisa Adjoa Parker for Kindness; Cheryl Moskowitz for Hotel Grief; and Gerald Smith for Where Dedushka Comes From. All the winning poems will be published on The Poetry Society’s website. The top three poems are also published in the Spring 2020 issue of the leading poetry magazine, The Poetry Review.
First Prize for Reading the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
SUSANNA HART‘s poems have been widely published in magazines and online, including Smiths Knoll, Magma, The North, The Rialto and Poetry London. She has won several prizes for her work and her debut collection Out of True won the Live Canon First Collection Prize in 2018. Susannah is on the board of Magma. She works as a freelance copywriter and is a long-serving governor at her local primary school. She lives in London with her husband and two sons.