Call for submissions—Embodied Belonging: Towards an Ecopoetic Lyric
The submissions window for ‘Embodied Belonging: Towards an Ecopoetic Lyric’ is open from 30 June to 11 August. We welcome poetry that has not been previously published, either in print or online. Up to 3 poems may be sent via Submittable.
What is generally understood by the term ‘lyric poetry’? The prominent lyric theorist Jonathan Culler, proposes that lyric poetry is seen as the expression of a single consciousness in figurative language and usually takes the form of a short poem voicing personal feeling.[i] If that is the case, what might an ‘ecopoetic lyric’ look like? Tom Bristow, writing on the ‘Anthropocene lyric’, believes that ecopoetry should distance itself from anthropomorphic descriptions of nature and integrate conceptions of humanity’s impacts on the planet.[ii]
For this edition we ask: how can we draw upon the properties of lyricism to enact an ecocentric form of poetry? Can lyric poetry promote connection between human and more-than-human worlds in a form of networked and embodied belonging? And, in what ways can lyric poetry, a subjective form of poetic expression, raise awareness of anthropogenic devastations upon ecologies?
Lyric poetry evokes a sense of musicality via the aural nature of language. Like a song, lyric poetry, particularly as it is housed within the contemporary poetic line, works with the breath. The line length denotes a pause in the performance of the lyric poem and holds the reader in an abeyance of breath. The qualities of voice, breath and sound, suggests that lyric has a relationship to the speaking, listening and feeling human body. An ecopoetic lyric attuned to the corporeality of the feeling, sensing body could offer a replication of how we experience and live within the environment and perhaps, writing which captures a bodily immersion in nature via the sensuality of language has the potential to activate connection between the reader and the more-than-human world.
Lyric poetry also expresses movement through time. Whether it is performed through spoken word or accessed via the page, the process of reader reception imbues the poem with a sense of temporality. It inaugurates the audience into the act of reading, which creates an aesthetic experience. Lyric articulates via the effects of language and image, a moment in time and the moment of reading.
The sensual effects of language can be employed to engage and connect readers to the natural world. Artistic artefacts can generate the enjoyment and connection that arises from time in nature. There are qualities of lyric poetry which perhaps can harness this idea of pleasure within poetic human experiences of the more-than-human world and redefine human orientations to that world.
Further, how do we understand the idea of the self, speaking through the lyric poem? The deep-ecologist thinker, Arne Naess discusses the possibility for an ecological self, one that is relational and open to otherness.[iii] His notion of an ecological self aims to open the boundaries of human consciousness to include environmental systems. Could the speaker of a lyrical ecopoetic enact an ecological self? Or, is it possible for an ecopoetic lyric to explore and enlarge the concept of an inner consciousness to encompass an expansive, inclusive environmental consciousness: the voices of plants, animals, ecosystems and planetary systems?
The sensual and emotive effects of language, the act of reading and reception upon the senses and the body, the unfolding effects of time, expansive ideas of subjectivity; these are all powerful effects within lyric that can be harnessed to foster eco-aware connections.
We invite writers to submit poetry that explores how lyric can become generative and performative within exchanges of intersubjectivity between environment, poet, text and reader. We are equally interested in innovative poetry which radically explores concepts of subjectivity to test the limits of lyric poetry. We invite poetry submissions that address the complex operations of ecopoetic lyricism, that contain poetic expressions of ecological being, and that elicit consciousness orientated towards deep-ecological care and sustainability.
This call for submissions has been prepared by Sophie Finlay, Poet and Visual Artist on behalf of Plumwood Mountain journal.
[i] Jonathan Culler, “Reading Lyric”, Yale French Studies: The Lesson of Paul de Man, no. 69 (1985): 98-106.
[ii] Tom Bristow, The Anthropocene Lyric (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), 15.
[iii] Arne Naess, Self-Realization: An Ecological Approach to Being in the World, (Murdoch: Murdoch University, 1984), 5.
- You may submit up to 3 previously unpublished poems in a single Word document in Times New Roman, with 1.5 spacing.
- Poems may be no longer than 50 lines.
- Submissions are read anonymously, so please do not include your name in the Word document.
- We accept simultaneous submissions and ask that you withdraw your submission if your poem is accepted elsewhere.
- We will notify poets within 4 weeks of the submission closing date.
Please see our books currently available for review and guidelines for reviewers. We welcome reviews from new and emerging critics and reviewers. If you would like to review a book for Plumwood Mountain, please contact Sophie Finlay, Reviews Editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also publish scholarly and creative essays on ecopoetics and intersecting disciplines attending to the Anthropocene, or raising awareness of ecological loss. Essays can be sent any time unless otherwise noted. Essays should be 2,000-5,000 words in length and referenced in MLA style. If you would like to submit an essay, please contact email@example.com.
We are currently able to pay poetry contributors $50 (GST inclusive) per poem. Contributors are also welcome to donate payments back to the journal. Funding received in the future will ensure contributors are paid for reviews, interviews and essays.
Copyright of poems, artwork, articles and reviews remains with the contributor.
Plumwood Mountain: An Australian and International Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics