Opportunity Knocks for Women Poets: Calls for Submissions and Competition

The Muses Clio, Euterpe, and Thalia, by Eustache Le Sueur, c. 1652-1655 / Public Domain

“Poems are like dreams: in them you put what you don’t know you know.”  Adrienne Rich, Arts of the Possible: Essays and Conversations


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.



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)

More: Rules & Entry        direct link to payment at poetry p f online shop

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.

Photograph courtesy João Silas, Unsplash

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.



“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 womawordpress@gmail.com
  • and cc’d Jamie Dedes at thepoetbyday@gmail.com”

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.

Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!


For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Mbizo Chirasha Interviews Thomas Block, Founder of International Human Rights Art Festival (IHRAF); IHRAF Call for Entries, Creators of Justice Literary Awards

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



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.


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.


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


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!

© 2020, Mbizo Chirasha, Brave Voices Press




Deadline: June 1, 2020

Please send submissions to: ihrafpublishes@gmail.com with the subject line: “Creators of Justice Literary Award”

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.

Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!


For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, Bruegel the Elder Painting, William Carlos William Poem ; Art Inspiring Poetry: Rattle’s Monthly Ekphrastic Challenge

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, Pieter Bruegel the Elder – 1. Web Gallery of Art 2. The Bridgeman Art Library, Object 3675 / Public Domain

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring

a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry

of the year was
awake tingling

the edge of the sea
with itself

sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings’ wax

off the coast
there was

a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning

© Estate William Carlos Williams

From Collected Poems: 1939-1962, Volume II [recommended] by William Carlos Williams, published by New Directions Publishing Corp. © 1962 by William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams (1883 –1963) was an American poet and physician closely associated with modernism and imagism. In addition to his writing, Williams had a long career as a physician practicing both pediatrics and general medicine. He was affiliated with Passaic General Hospital, where he served as the hospital’s chief of pediatrics from 1924 until his death.


Each month Rattle presents a new piece of visual art to inspire poets and we have one month to write and submit via Submittable. Two poems will be chosen and awarded with digital publication and $100. The deadline for this month is March 31. Details HERE. No submission fee.

PLEASE NOTE: The photograph of Kenneth Borg is the Challenge for March 2020, as you will note if you carefully read the publisher’s directions. I put up William Carlos Williams’ work here as an example of ekphrastic poetry because this may be new to some readers. I didn’t mean to confuse. Always – ALWAYS – follow the publisher’s direction, after reading carefully.

Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!


For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Poetry Society of America Awards Are Open for Entry Through December 23

“If you ask a twenty-one-year-old poet whose poetry he likes, he might say, unblushing, “Nobody’s,” In his youth, he has not yet understood that poets like poetry, and novelists like novels; he himself likes only the role, the thought of himself in a hat.” Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

According to The Poetry Society of America’s site: “The PSA’s Annual Awards are among the most prestigious honors available to poets. They offer emerging and established poets recognition at all stages of their careers, including our student poetry award and book awards for publishers.”

There are four categories Individual Awards, Anna Rabinowitz Prize, Student Poetry Award, and Book Awards for Publishers. Details HERE.

Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

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Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications Poets Advocate for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton