Call for poetry submissions
Los Angeles, CA
Hello from Los Angeles, where I’m living for the entire month of February. More on that later, but first I’d like to do a call for Los Angeles-based poetry, much like I did for essays in Philadelphia last year.
One of the reasons I hesitated to start a newsletter is because I’m constantly aware of how much people dread more emails. Open up Twitter and you are guaranteed to see someone complaining about their inbox or doing some variation of the Hope this email finds you well meme. When you share a link to something you’ve published online, people can choose to click it or not, but an email, well, it feels more invasive. Unsubscribe will forever be one of the harshest comebacks.
I’m going to date myself here, but I do remember a time when email was exciting. I’m talking about the days of AOL dial-up, when you’d have to wait for the dialing, then wait again through the white noise dubstep sequence that was a modem connecting with another modem. It was a truly awful squawking and hissing sound, but all worth it for the potential rush of dopamine you’d get at the end: You’ve got mail! I remember once getting this chain-letter and manically forwarding it to every email address I could find. Yeah, I was essentially spamming people, lol, but I just couldn’t get over the thrill of inputting someone’s email address in the TO: field, and knowing they’d get this electronic message instantly.
That excitement was certainly tied to the newness of the technology. It was the medium, not the message, so I don’t think I could ever have that excitement for emails in that same way again. Internet nostalgia is fun, and something I think about a lot (LiveJournal forever), but I don’t think we’re ever going back. The best hope is to take those feelings and apply them as best we can to whatever algorithm-driven, anxiety-ridden place the internet is now, or will continue to be.
What type of writing cannot be made into a marketable commodity, or exists outside of late-stage capitalism? Well, no writing probably. But I do think poetry at its best can mess with capitalist expectations. Poetry can be sprawling, evasive, slow, and weird. If emails are always asking you for something, then poems are asking questions that don’t expect an immediate reply. The questions might not even have an answer. And re: I hope this email finds you well, poems rarely start with any expectation that you’ll be found well. Most poets are not doing well. They would not dare assume you are either.
Hence, this call for poetry for Nomadic.
Guidelines: Please email a poem to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with a bio by March 6. I’m keeping the same inbox as previous submission calls, but disregard the pitches part of the email address. To be clear, you’re not pitching a poem. Just send or attach the full poem.
The poem can be about anything you want, in any style or length you want. It does not have to be about Los Angeles, but hey, if you drop a local reference in a line, or something about the city that’s influenced the overall vibe of the poem, all the better.
I’ll try to get back to everyone as soon as I can, and ultimately select someone’s poem to be emailed in this newsletter. Rate: $150.
Requirements: ✨Only one✨ You must currently live in the Los Angeles area. You could have lived there all your life, or moved there last week. LA suburbs are okay too, especially if you spend a lot of time in the city itself.
That’s about it. Please send any questions to the same email listed above. I look forward to reading your poems.
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