Moving on the Wires: Happy New Year + Submissions Call for Poetry Anthology


Happy New Year everyone!

With a new year comes new possibilities! I am moving forward with an idea I had last year for a poetry collection called Baby Suggs and a Purple Butterfly. Originally it was supposed to be a smaller, online poetry collection, but I have decided to expand it into a full-length anthology. And after witnessing the events and stories I have this past weekend concerning black women and women of color in general, I feel this kind of work needs to be in the world. Read below for further details and guidelines:

anthology flyer
Painting by Linda Apple

Baby Suggs and a Purple Butterfly

The focus of this anthology is women of color creating their own sacred texts that reflect their views being at the edges of so-called “civilization,” which usually reads as white, cishetero, WASP, christian, male. What do we sense there that others don’t? Respond to what it means to be in the poetical wilderness, the outer boundaries of dominant cultures, and crafting our own sacred, free, transformative spaces there. 

Submit up to 3 poems, either in Word Doc, Pages or PDF. They can be previously published or unpublished poems. You can submit to any of the four sections of the anthology, which are described in further detail below. In a separate cover letter, let me know which poem is for which section, if the poem has been published before, and include a short bio. The descriptions below are suggestions; you can surprise me with how you interpret each section as well.

Sermons: Poems that are testimonies/words of truth of your experiences. If you were to write your own sermon in the clearing, like Baby Suggs, or sermon on the mount, what would it be? What is the story of your body? What is the story of your scars? What is the story of your triumphs? What is the story of your joy?

Spells: What spells would you create for yourself? What magical wor(l)ds would you create as alternatives to the world we live now? What would be your wor(l)ds of transformation?

Codes: How would you rethink the concept of coding? Think code switching, creating your own computer/digital code language, creating a new language, deciphering or breaking down dominant cultures’ codes/languages, poetic maps, encoded poems (similar to how spirituals were codes to escape to freedom), etc.

Letters: What letters have you wanted to share with the world now, a future world, or an “other” world? What would you leave the world in your time capsule or what instructions would you give about traveling to your time or another time?

Submission Deadline: June 1st

Submit to ShereseFrancis1[at]gmail.com

Currently, I am looking at a couple of presses to submit the manuscript to later this year.

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