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Call for Submissions: Imprisonment

April 1, 2011

Submissions are now open for the Imprisonment issue, which will begin to appear on the site on June 1. The editors are Ken Lamberton and Ann E. Michael.

Theme Description

Is a prisoner simply in the lock-up, or locked up in a multitude of ways? Penned, caged, in the slammer, shut off, closed down, barred and gated, captive, detained, committed, incarcerated, in custody, kidnapped, impounded, seized, snagged, pinched, restrained, jailed… English offers hundreds of ways to name kinds of imprisonment — physical, emotional, intellectual, metaphorical — perhaps because something very basic within us rebels against containment, even when it has its benefits. Like the seedling tree that pushes through cliffside rock to reach sunlight, barriers are things we instinctively push against and try to overcome. Perhaps we are all prisoners.

What are the objects, desires, laws, thoughts, that imprison us? Why do we withhold ourselves; what holds us back? Must punishment be linked to constraints; and where are our prisons of the mind, heart, and place? Might there even be times when imprisonment is welcomed? The editors ask writers and artists to engage in an exploration of the idea and the physical experience of containment and to send work to us that surprises and expands the notion of what it means to be a prisoner.

Submission Details

The deadline for submissions is April 30. All submissions should go through our submissions manager. If you’ve submitted to other publications that use the same system, Submishmash, you’ll need to log in with the same username and password. Otherwise, you’ll create a new account as part of the submission process. People without easy access to the internet, such as prisoners, may get someone else to submit on their behalf. For this issue, we may be able to accommodate postal submissions from prisoners as well, but please query first: qarrtsiluni[at]gmail[dot]com.

As always, we consider contributions of nonfiction, poetry, short fiction, photographs, digitized artwork, short films, original musical compositions, spoken word recordings, and collaborative works. The size limits per submission this time are 3 poems, 4 images, 2 prose pieces at 1000 words maximum each, or any combination thereof.

The Editors

Poet, essayist, librettist and occasional radio commentator Ann E. Michael is also Writing Coordinator at DeSales University in eastern Pennsylvania. She is the author of four chapbooks of poetry, most recently The Capable Heart (Foothills Publishing). An avid gardener and an advocate for the arts, she is a past recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship in poetry. With Jessamyn Smyth, she edited qarrtsiluni’s New Classics issue, and we are delighted to have us with us again.

Ken Lamberton went to prison in Arizona in 1987, where he joined the creative writing workshop of poet and author Richard Shelton and began publishing articles and essays about two subjects he knew well: prison and the natural history of the Southwest. During his incarceration, his articles and essays began appearing in national magazines and literary journals such as Alligator Juniper, Puerto Del Sol, the Gettysburg Review, and David Quammen’s anthology The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2000. In January 2000, Mercury House published his first book, Wilderness and Razor Wire: A Naturalist’s Observations from Prison, to critical acclaim. The book won the 2002 John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. After release from prison, he completed an MFA in creative writing at the University of Arizona. The University of Arizona Press has published four of his books, most recently Time of Grace: Thoughts on Nature, Family, and the Politics of Crime and Punishment (2007), which won a Soros Justice Fellowship, and Dry River: Stories of Life, Death, and Redemption on the Santa Cruz. He’s currently the managing editor of the prison journal Walking Rain Review.

Note to readers: the Translation issue is still a month from completion, and will resume serialization here on Monday.

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  1. September 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm
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