Here’s your chance to share experiences about sexual harassment and abuse. This anthology is open to everyone regardless of sex, but all poems must be written in haiku (no five seven five please unless you’re one of the few who has mastered the 17-syllable form), senryu, tanka, tanka prose, haibun or cherita forms. No exceptions. Submit no more than five published or unpublished poems at one time. Please do not send in attachment form. If poems are published, please send credits.
Poems must be high caliber, well crafted. Anonymous poems and pen names okay, if that is the only way you’ll consider sharing. I’m looking for honest experiences, not cleverness. If feelings are vague, chances are the poems will be, too. I have received numerous submissions that talk about feelings and while emotion is the tether cord of a poem, there’s nothing like imagery and specifics to bring the experience alive. Please write in the present tense . I cannot write your story for you; if you’re having a difficult time sharing, perhaps a writer-friend can assist. While your experience needs to be true to your remembrance, the poem also needs to take into consideration that writing is an art form.
I receive submissions from men although it seems more difficult for males to come forward. With all the people coming forth in the media to report sexual misconduct, it seems to be giving writers a bit more courage to tell their stories. We’re making history–we’re part of a cleansing whose time has come. There has been male/male abuse as well as female/female abuse–it’s not just about males hurting females…females hurt men, too, even as little children. And while certain people have written saying they’re worried so many men will lose their jobs, that trials are necessary, I say to them: wake up. Touching someone’s breast or hurting them with sexual slurs is abuse. As long as we live, we never forget being spoken to as though we were someone’s property and that pat on the fanny that men used to get away with, e.g., George Bush, Sr., that has got to stop.
Deadline: December 30, 2017
Submit to : email@example.com (In subject line, write ME TOO)
I will help to lightly edit your poems and make suggestions which you may or may not want to accept. If you’re not quite sure about your work, have a friend you respect take a look and give feedback. It’s a good idea to let your poems sit for a week or two or more as they marinate. If your poems are accepted, I ‘ll contact you about a short bio. Chase Gagnon and Lori Minor have agreed to publish the book.
Just as a reminder, some of the greatest writers encourage us to tell our darkest secrets–that’s why they’re there, not to be taken to our graves where they can do no good.