A Call for Participants
Some of you will be seeing this post in your blog tracker after having just had to face a similar announcement on your Facebook or Twitter. For this I apologize. What we at Vox Pop, and the Torontoist Book Page, lack in getting things done early, we more than make up for in overdoing them at the last second.
In search of a fun and engaging project for National Poetry Month, the folks at The Torontoist asked me to think about what I might want to do as part of my occasional poetry coverage, what with April fast approaching. After some long walks in the proverbial snow, I decided on a theme: optimism. Optimism as a naive joy, as a specific choice, and as a stubbornly revolutionary force in the face of some bad times for Canadian poets (arts cuts, magazine cuts, a certain growing apathy, institutional indifference, etc). Optimism is the thing I’d most like to see people talking about. And who better to talk about it than the preternaturally optimistic, the most devoutly optimistic social grouping, the young people.
So, on that note, what The Torontoist would like to do is…
The Torontoist’s Book Page and Vox Populism Present:
THE OPTIMISMS PROJECT: A National Poetry Month Thing
-we’d like to cobble together 30 or so poets, all under the age of 30, and give them some space (100-150 words) to express, in whatever way they choose, what makes them feel optimistic about the future of poetry in Canada. The word Optimism is pluralized in the project title for a reason; we hope to have diverse, surprising, and even contradictory hopes expressed in the same space. Submissions could be prose, poetry, general, specific, practical, fantastical, whatever. Again: diversity, and surprise, are our hopes. We’re “optimistic” that we’ll get some of both.
-each day in April we will feature the optimism of a separate poet, published on The Torontoist’s Book Page with a photo, a short (25 word max) bio, and any internet linkups they may desire.
-in terms of eligibility, it’s wide open (published, unpublished, “novice”, etc), and will run under something approximating a first-come, first-serve basis. If we have to double up, we may. I’m thinking a birth year of 1980, or later. But we’re flexible. University Teachers: I’m relying on you for leads. High School Teachers: You too. Young, established (or establishing poets): Submit yourselves. Everyone else: I have a hunch you might know someone who’d be a great fit.
-If you could please forward this Call for Submissions as widely as possible, I’d be grateful. April approacheth quickly. Submissions should be e-mailed, as soon as humanly possible, to email@example.com. Though it’s the “Torontoist” book page, we hope to have submissions from all over the country.
Anyway, if you’ve survived your multiplatform spamming, and still feel somewhat affectionate towards me, please consider who in your life might be a good fit for this project (Note: It might be you…) and forward accordingly. Time is something of the essence.
Jacob McArthur Mooney,