Call for Poems from Connecticut’s Poet Laureate
July 17, 2020 • Features & News

Margaret Gibson, State of Connecticut Poet Laureate, is inviting all poets who live in Connecticut to send poems to be considered for inclusion in an anthology funded by an Academy of American Poets Grant.  The anthology will be published by Grayson Books in Hartford and will be released in time for Earth Day, 2021.

The anthology will be comprised of poems that take as their focus the living world that surrounds us in this time of climate crisis. Such poems are called by various names: climate crisis poetry, eco-poetry, nature poetry, “green” poetry.  We are looking for poems that explore what you experience and respond to in the natural world around you, remembering that the natural world is impacted by human choices and actions. Wherever we live— city, town, village, country, woods, seaside, mountain—is affected by our social and political and spiritual choices.  Pesticide run-off spoils rivers; industrial waste creates brownfields; incinerators get put in poor neighborhoods; as species go extinct, our lives also become endangered.

In a time of crisis, it is crucial to write “love poems to the earth”— poems that praise and respect what it is to live on this earth and that pay attention to specific living beings.  But “Nature” is not all primroses and otters.  It is equally crucial to write poems that warn of the dangers as temperatures and oceans rise, weather patterns change, and cities begin to sink.  Making connections between racial and social injustice and environmental injustice, between ecosystems and social systems, between humans and other living beings—all this is “Nature” poetry.

We welcome poems from poets of every racial and cultural background and experience: we all live on this earth together.

Submissions open August 1, 2020, and conclude on October 10, 2020.  Poems will not be considered outside of this time period.

SEND NO MORE THAN 3 POEMS OF ANY LENGTH, on a single document. You may send previously published poems IF you hold the rights to republish.  Please number the pages and put only your name on the poems themselves.  Electronic submissions only, via Submittable to Grayson Books.  Here’s the link for submission.

Your poems will be read by several readers.  The final judge for the anthology will be Margaret Gibson.  Advisors for the anthology include Marilyn Nelson, Bessy Reyna, David Leff.

The payment will be a copy of the anthology.

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