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by Anne Elvey

Poetry Submissions are now closed. Bonny Cassidy is currently reading your submissions for Plumwood Mountain vol 5 no 2 to be published in August 2018
Poets will be notified of the outcome of their submission in early July.

Submissions were open between 15 March 2018 and 30 April 2018.

Pink Mushroom-comp
Pink mushroom, Plumwood Mountain by Anne Edwards


“Make It So”

Once upon a time, language was more widely accepted to enact an outcome in cosmic events and human behaviour. In a rationalist age, however, Michael Taussig puts us on alert:

Agribusiness writing wants to drain the wetlands. Swamps, they used to be called, dank places where bugs multiply. As if by magic the disorder of the world will be straightened out. Rarely if ever with such writing do we get the sense of chaos moving not to order but to an other form of chaos.[1]

Even lyrical charms and curses now seem quaintly hollow; can poetry still harness the power of collective belief?

This issue calls for poems that can change or direct the outcome of decision making that threatens endangered habitats, free access to natural resources, and renewable energy systems.

We are particularly interested in poetic forms of apotropaic magic, which ward off harm and damage—to organisms and ecologies whose rights and survival are endangered by anthropocentric or oppressive power.

As Gerrit Haas writes: ‘apotropaic writing … is jumpy writing that injects systemic nervousness into a generic order; secondly, it highlights and re/deploys the nervous system of our textual practices for its re/medial purposes’. Describing John Kinsella’s counter-pastoral mode, Haas explains that it ‘not only counters a certain kind of poetry on which it feeds, but it is also concerned with the alternative “truths” that it conjures up in the process.’[2] 

Consider, too, how poetry might invert the magic of ‘alternative facts’ used in public relations about environmental issues—and embodied by Donald Trump:

“Fake” and “hoax” are the “abracadabra”s of the Trump world, words recited to make inconvenient facts disappear. In most of life after nursery school, “abracadabra” doesn’t work, because it stops fooling other people. For grownups, as a rule, saying something doesn’t make it so. This is not true of Presidents, however, grownup or not. Presidents are legally empowered to make what comes out of their mouths a reality for other people. This President has realized that he can say literally anything and someone will pop up to explain it, or explain it away.[3]

As well as apotropaic poetry, therefore, we invite poems that turn evasive public communications or ‘agribusiness writing’ inward, and reconstitute them into a counteraction. We want poems that use language to enact reversals and create shields. Poems of knowledge and agility. Like Taussig says: ‘Try to imagine what would happen if we didn’t in daily practice conspire to actively forget what Ferdinand de Saussure called the arbitrariness of the sign. Or try the opposite experiment. Try to imagine living in a world whose signs were “natural.”’[4]

Submissions may take any form of poetry. Works in languages other than English are acceptable, so long as translation is provided with the submission and is fully credited. Deliberately harmful material (i.e. trolling or hexing) will not be accepted. Appropriation of cultural material without an acknowledgement of appropriate protocol will be rejected; we refer to the Australia Council for the Arts’ ‘Protocols for Producing Indigenous Writing’ as the standard guide.

[1] Michael Taussig, ‘The Corn-Wolf: Writing Apotropaic Texts’, Critical Inquiry 37.1 (2010): 26-33 (30).

[2] Gerrit Haas, Fictocritical Strategies: Subverting Textual Practices of Meaning, Other and Self-Formation, transcript, 2017 (115).

[3] Louis Menand, ‘Words of the Year’, The New Yorker, January 8, 2018:

[4] Taussig (33).

Submissions Guidelines (please follow these closely)

In one email, send up to 3 poems in Times New Roman 12pt font, 1.5 spacing with each poem as a separate attachment. Each poem should be no longer than 50 lines or 2 pages (where your poem is in a form such that line length is not relevant). Poems should not be previously published, but simultaneous submissions are allowed. Please let the managing editor know if your poem is accepted elsewhere. Poems should be submitted as .docx, .doc, or .rtf files (send visual poems as both .pdf and .jpg.) to: .

Submissions are read anonymously. Do not include your name or contact details on the poems themselves, and please delete personal information from your electronic file properties. Include email contact details and a brief (50 word) bio in the body of your email.

Plumwood Mountain also publishers book reviews and photo essays.

Book reviews should be 1000 – 2000 words in length. We do not accept unsolicited book reviews. See our Notes for Reviewers, also the list of available books. To read previous reviews visit the Book Reviews page. If you would like to review one of the books listed or would like to suggest a book to review, please contact the managing editor: 

Style for reviews: Times New Roman, left justified, 1.5 spacing, with endnotes, or author-date, and bibliography, following Chicago Manual of Style.

All reviews should be submitted as .docx, .doc, or .rtf files by email to:

For multimedia, photographic essays, sound recordings and visual art, please first discuss the submission process and formatting with the managing editor at

From December 2017 Plumwood Mountain is no longer considering unsolicited scholarly essays or creative prose. From time to time, there may be calls for such genres. Submissions already in process are still being considered.

Copyright of poems, artwork, articles and reviews remains with the contributor.


Funds are not currently available to pay contributors, as all work for the journal is voluntary and the journal works on a gift-economy, on the understanding that ecopoetry is a return on a gift from and with the  wider ecos in which it takes shape. We wish we had funds to honour the labour of contributors and editors in more conventional and daily life sustaining ways.

Plumwood Mountain: An Australian Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics

ISSN 2203-4404

Posted in Uncategorised

An Australian and international
journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics.

Plumwood Mountain Journal is created on the unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to elders past, present and future. We also acknowledge all traditional custodians of the lands this journal reaches.