Archive for the ‘Calls for Submission’ category

Calling all Catalogues (Retail 2011)

January 14, 2011

Hello, steadfast readership.

It’s almost time to start thinking about the annual torrent of “too-much/too-fast” that is the spring poetry publishing season. As I did last year, I’m going to be coming out with something of a annotated group catalogue. A map, if you will, to the chaos and blur of April. Last year I called this project “Retail: 2010“. This year? How about “Retail: 2011”? Sounds good, amirite? I’d like it to be bigger and better this time around.

A lot of presses have obvious, front-page, easy-to-discover catalogues out there in their intersphere. But not all. If you work for a Canadian poetry publisher, and have books coming out sometime between February and June 2011, please get in touch with me with a catalogue or at least a list of titles. My email address is on the Contact page of this blog. Looking forward to hearing from y’all.


Jobbers: Coming Soon(ish) to a Sold-Out Arena Near You

November 2, 2010

Jobbers is coming to an arena near you

I wouldn’t normally post Calls for Submissions with deadlines this many months away, but I don’t normally find ones I like as much as this. The people who do Broken Pencil, and the people who do Ferno House, are coming together to do an anthology of creative work by Canadians on professional wrestling. Regular Vox followers will know me as someone who occasionally writes poems in the voice of Gorilla Monsoon or extolling the birth of Andre the Giant, so you know that this one has my eye. May 1st is the deadline so, even if you don’t like pro. wrestling (and I don’t, at least not now, it’s more of a half-remembered adolescent crush) you have plenty of time to develop a fascination, commit it to paper, and make the due date.

Here’s the call, copied and pasted directly from someone else’s blog. Sorry Rob, journalistic integrity is for people who get paid.


Ladies and Gentlemen this call for submission is scheduled for one fall and it is for inclusion in the most electrifying anthology in the history of CanLit…

In professional wrestling slang, the term “job” describes a losing performance in a wrestling match. It is derived from the euphemism “doing one’s job”, which was employed to protect kayfabe (in other words, the portrayal of events in the wrestling industry as real). As professional wrestling is scripted, inevitably a wrestler will be required to lose to an opponent …

Inspired by Michael Holmes’ 2004 collection of poetry Parts Unknown: Wrestling, Gimmicks and Other Works and Nicholas Sammond’s 2005 collection of essays Steel Chair to the Head: The Pleasure and Pain of Professional Wrestling, comes Jobbers: A Can-Lit Wrestling Reader.

Jobbers wants your best non-fiction, fiction, and poetry that reviles, reflects, or revels in the art of professional wrestling. Capture the steroidal zaniness of the cartoon rock and wrestling mid 1980s or the over-gimmicked dark ages of the early 1990s. Recall with nostalgia the glory days of pre-McMahon black and white regional integrity.

Explore the exhausted locker rooms of your local small-time wrestling league. Write erotic love poems to your favourite bespandexed hero or villain. Give us a “hell yeah” as you investigate the middle-finger-in-the-air screwjobs of the Attitude Era. Give us humour or heartbreak, caustic wit or hyperbolic fandom.

So whether you’re a local hero, heel or not quite sure, send us your best wrasslin’-inspired literature. No limits, no restrictions, and no rules, but remember to do your “job”. Edited by Toronto Literary Tag Team jobbers Spencer Gordon and Nathaniel G. Moore.

Vox’s note: There doesn’t seem to be an email address attached to this thing. You could maybe go to Spencer or Nathaniel’s blog to track them down.

In which the gentlemen of The Afterword sweep into battle aboard another Silver Horse of Relevance

October 8, 2010

Over the last few days, I’ve been tweeting my slowly burning disappointment in CBC’s newest version of “Canada Reads“. It’s basically gone from “The people get to pick the books!” to “The people get to pick the books, but only from among newer (read: still on sale) titles!” to “The people pick new books, but no new books that are poetry or nonfiction!” I hereby bet $200 that one of the five finalist will be a novel written by someone previously featured on an earlier version of the contest. Democracy fail, kids. Democracy fail.

However, the trio of wise men at The Afterword have just now dropped down from their unlikely perch within the frozen, rotting TomTom corpse that is The National Post to rescue the concept from its originators. They’ve decided to do something called “Canada Reads Poetry“, which is exactly what you think it is. It’d be an honour to be included as a finalist, obviously, but to be honest I think the real fun is in being a panelist. So I, like many others, will dedicate some portion of my coming long weekend to deciding which book I’d like to give some voice to. Should be good. Whatever happens, I (and Vox) will be following along.

Prompts are Hard

May 24, 2010

Does anybody else have performance anxiety about very specific calls for submission? I want to do this Glosas for P.K. Page thing (full call reposted below) but, every time I set myself up to craft a brilliant submission to any of these themed anthologies, I find myself drawing a blank. It likely doesn’t help in this case that the glosa form, though beautiful, is intricately specific in its constraints and can feel, when one is doing it poorly, like filling out a passport application.

Anyway, I’ll keep working on it, but I’m 0 for 2 in recent attempts at even managing to submit anything for themed anthologies that I thought would be worth participating in (the previous duo being Matrix‘s Drinking issue and Ferno/TERU’s sublime little “Dinosaur Porn” antho). But I’ll keep working at it. A Page tribute book, published by her home press, is a worthy cause. It’s somewhat ironic that, as someone who tends to write thematically linked poems when left to his own designs, this kind of assignment is difficult. I guess this is the difference between trying to engage with your own, organically constructed, creative concerns, and going out to meet someone else’s. But it’s good for you, I think, to at least try. And I’m trying. Now, what rhymes with “Byzantine”…?


Call: Glosas for Page Anthology
In remembrance of the late P.K. Page (1916-2010), one of Canada’s most celebrated poets, you are invited to submit to an anthology of glosas in her honour. The glosa form originated in the late to early fifteenth century Spanish courts (Braid 88), but it remained largely unknown in English-speaking Canada until Page took it up, especially in her Hologram (1994) and in one of her last books, Coal and Roses (2009). A short description of the form can be found below.

The form, as Page notes in her introduction to Hologram, is particularly well-suited to homage, and she might have added commemoration. In that spirit, you are invited to submit up to three glosas for possible inclusion in an anthology to be edited by poet, reviewer and critic, Jesse Patrick Ferguson. The anthology is tentatively accepted for publication with The Porcupine’s Quill, a press that has done much to promote Page’s work in recent years (including with the collection The Essential P.K. Page, 2008).

The particulars:
Who/how: Canadian poets are invited to send up to three glosas in either .doc or .rtf format attachments to the following email address: Please include a brief (50-100 word) biography and full contact details in the attached file, as well as in the body of the email.

What: unpublished glosas will be given preference, though published ones will be considered. In the case of published work, please include copyright information, as well as a statement of permission to reprint the glosa. As for subject matter, the glosas need not incorporate lines from Page’s poetry or explicitly address her legacy. Ideally, the finished anthology would contain a diversity of subject matter, including poems that directly engage Page and her work but also poems on unrelated subjects. Experimentation with the form is also acceptable, but glosas that are recognizable as such will be given preference.

Payment: contributors will receive one copy of the published anthology.

Deadline: Canada Day 2010. Only poets whose work is accepted will be notified.

Questions can be directed to me at, but please forward the poems to

Glosa form: (adapted from In Fine Form: The Canadian Book of Form Poetry, eds. Kate Braid and Sandy Shreve, 2005). Stanzas: an opening quatrain from another poet, plus four 10-line stanzas. Metre: no set metre or syllable count [though often approximating the form of the source poem]. Rhyme: lines 6, 9 and 10 of each of the four stanzas are end-rhymed. Repetition: each line of the opening (source) quatrain reappears once, in order, to close each of the other four stanzas (i.e. line 1 of the quatrain is also line 10 of the first stanza, and so on).