Jun 2, 2012

Call for submissions: Plume

Daniel Lawless, who teaches at St. Petersburg College in Florida, has made a splash with his now more or less new online journal Plume, which purports to publish the "very best of contemporary poetry," at a frequency of 12 poems/poets per issue, one issue per month. He has backed up that claim with a litany of household names (in the poetry world): Meena Alexander, Stephen Dobyns, Brian Henry, Fanny Howe, Richard Kenney, Carl Phillips, D.A. Powell, and Alberto Rios all apear in the latest issue.

Lawless also has a charming way of writing about the project that probably reflects his Francophone influences (Breton? Tzara?). I like the guy, and I like his journal.

Here's an excerpt of the submission guidelines from the Plume website, to give a sense of the style:

The title of our review suggests several elements that in one way or another find kinship in our little adventure: Aside from the fact of its French definition — and not forgetting l’homme de plume – these include
  • in English, the feather with which one adorns oneself or bestows on another, whose topmost barbicels when trailed across a bare forearm or unguarded nape make its owner’s skin crawl and leap with delight;
  • the name of Henri Michaux’s ephemeral and paradoxical prose poem figure;
  • and the glancing blow of surrealism in Breton’s famous reaction upon finding himself in the presence of beauty: “a plume of wind at the temples.”
In brief, Plume is a magazine dedicated to publishing the very best of contemporary poetry. To that end, we will be highly selective, offering twelve poems per monthly issue. A provisional indication of our tastes – “what we are looking for” — may be inferred from the quoted passages (which will change often): a sense of the uncanny, foremost, and of the fineness of language, the huge absences to which it points and partakes of, and the urgency and permanence of its state of departure — the coattails forever –just now—disappearing around the corner. But also a certain reserve, or humility, even when addressing the most humorous or trying circumstances. Whether this demands twenty words or two hundred is up to you. All work will be presented in English, although we very much encourage international contributions, and bilingual editions are on the agenda.

For the full guidelines, go here.

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