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Taking Submissions: Eye to the Telescope #49
June 15, 2023
Deadline: June 15th, 2023
Payment: US 4¢/word rounded up to nearest dollar; minimum US $4, maximum $25
Theme: speculative poems based on the theme of trauma
Eye to the Telescope 49, Trauma, will be edited by Tony Daly.
TRAUMA: All humans go through trauma, physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, etc. Sometimes it feels as though traumatic experiences are a constant torrent drowning us, wrecking us, scarring us.
Poetry is often used as a way of processing one’s emotions following a traumatic experience—a distillation of emotion into a few well-chosen words. The writing can be cathartic. Reading others’ pain can show us a way through our own, or simply allow us to understand another may share our nightmares. Making the pain speculative can provide a distance that allows the writer and reader to see a traumatic experience from a different angle, recognize a light or a hope they never were unable to see.
I am interested in poems that enter the screams, give voice to the pain, but don’t take the easy way out by wallowing in despair. Show me hope beyond trauma so that another on the path may follow your light out. Send me poems on the last survivor of an alien race, healing by preserving their peoples’ culture; soldiers freeing their PTSD-ravaged minds with an inhibitor chip; the priest who finds a way to contact God via a spaceship he built or a hallucinogenic tincture made by a witch because his wife passed.
Let your imaginations go wild in the speculative, but ground your trauma in the human experience. And remember that only speculative poetry will be accepted. For a better understanding of what “speculative” encompasses, please refer to “What is Speculative Poetry?” below.
- Use the form at bit.ly/SFPAettt49 to submit.
- Please submit 1–3 unpublished poems in English (ideally, attached as .docx or .txt) and include a short bio. Translations from other languages are acceptable with the permission of the original poet (unless public domain).
- Inquiries only to [email protected] with “ETTT” in the subject line.
- Deadline: June 15. The issue will appear on July 15, 2023.
Payment and rights
- Accepted poems will be paid for at the following rate: US 4¢/word rounded up to nearest dollar; minimum US $4, maximum $25. Payment is on publication.
- The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association normally uses PayPal to pay poets, but can also send checks.
- Eye to the Telescope is an online publication. Therefore, First Electronic Rights (for original unpublished poems) are being sought.
Who can submit?
Anyone writing speculative poetry.
What is Speculative Poetry?
Speculative poetry is poetry which falls within the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and supernatural horror, plus some related genres such as magic realism, metafiction, and fabulation. It is not easy to give precise definitions, partly because many of these genres are framed in term of fiction rather than poetry.
A good starting point is “About Science Fiction Poetry” by Suzette Haden Elgin, the founder of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Despite its title, this article is applicable to all forms of speculative poetry.
Tim Jones, editor of Issue 2, had a go at defining science fiction poetry on his blog, in two parts (These blog posts date from 2009, and the Voyagers anthology has since been published. These posts do refer specifically to science fiction poetry, rather than the broader field of speculative poetry.):
What Is the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA)?
As the SFPA says on its website at sfpoetry.com, “The Science Fiction Poetry Association was founded in 1978 to bring together poets and readers interested in science fiction poetry. What is sf poetry? You know what they say about definitions—everybody has one. To be sure, it is poetry (we’ll leave that definition to you), but it’s poetry with some element of speculation—usually science fiction, fantasy, or horror. Some folks include surrealism, some straight science.”
See the SFPA site for lots more information—and please consider joining.
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Stuart Conover is a father, husband, published author, blogger, geek, entrepreneur, horror fanatic, and runs a few websites including Horror Tree!