Anthology Seeks Visions of American Midwest in Poems, Micro-Stories


Middle West Press LLC
, an independent micro-publisher based in Central Iowa, has issued a call for human-generated poems and micro-prose (300 words max.) engaging with themes of environmentalism, climate change, technology, and more through a lens of Midwestern experience.
The working title of this project is Midwest Futures: Poems from Tomorrow's Heartland.
Deadline for submissions is Jul. 1, 2024. Publication is projected for Spring/Summer 2025.
Submit via Submittable here at this link.
This is explicitly a speculative poetry (and related micro-flash-prose) market. We are interested not only in the gritty and grounded, but also near-future science-fiction-infused visions of the possible. For inspirations and vibes, see also movements such “Solarpunk,” “Eco-modernism” and “Climate Fiction” (“Cli-Fi”), as well as these potential exemplars of eco-poetry and other writing:
While we envision the Middle West as a renewing, evolving, and complicated place, but we are also not blind to the social and environmental challenges we face.
We want to illuminate real-world problems specific to the region, including but not limited to climate change, racism, water quality, aging populations, rural/urban divide, and healthcare deserts. We want to imaginatively celebrate new possibilities, solutions, and futures.
As with previous Middle West Projects, we hope to publish work that intersects in some way with the people, places, nature, and history of the terrains and cultures we inhabit, especially works stemming from the lived experiences of women, youth, poets of color, poets who identify as LGBTQ+, military veterans, and other marginalized voices.
Our informal rule-of-thumb is that the modern U.S. states carved from the Louisiana Purchase, and/or states located west of the Ohio River and east of the Missouri River, safely define our intellectual playground. The Middle West is a moveable feast, however. We recognize that the “Middle West” includes themes, characters, and geographies that cannot be contained by mere borders. In fact, the Middle West may be most apparent in places where it is not—or when viewed and experienced by geographic “outsiders.”
Editors of the project write:
Our intent with this project is to have fun, but also to illuminate, interrogate, and challenge (via the still-human domain of poetry!!!) the ways people think about place, people, and culture. We are looking for terrain-shifting, mind's-eye-bending, firmament-rending expressions of new and future realities. Be provocative. Be poignant. Be human. Even if you write like a Giant Robot Tractor.
Ideally, many of the works submitted will engage questions such as:
  • How could we change the ways we build, grow, live, work, and travel on the land? What would be the results?
  • How could we change the ways we interact with and honor the land (and our predecessors, ancestors, and neighbors), toward visions of a "new" Midwest?
In creating and crafting their own original concepts and works, contributors might consider various modes of commenting, observing, or even inhabiting technologies, histories, mythologies, or Midwestern stories depicted in popular culture. Consider, for example:
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:
  • Deadline for submissions is Jul. 1, 2024. Notifications will be sent not later than Nov. 4, 2024. Target publication date for this project is Spring/Summer 2025.
  • Submit from 1 to 3 poems in the same file (.DOC or .DOCX).
  • Work generated using ChatGPT and similar computer-assisted word "AI" will NOT be accepted. Human-generated poems only, please.
  • New and original work is preferred. Please note in cover letter whether specific works have previously been published elsewhere.
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please notify the editors via Submittable if one of more poems becomes unavailable during the consideration period.
  • Publisher requests non-exclusive, worldwide, English-language print and e-book anthology rights.
  • Contributors will receive one complimentary print or digital (where postal delivery is not available) contributor's copy.

 

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