Guidelines for All Submissions:
- We accept submissions through Submittable, our online submissions manager. We no longer accept submissions by mail. We do not accept submissions by e-mail.
- Do not put your name or any other identifying information on the document that holds the poems you submit. Do not include your name in the file name for your submission. We follow a “blind” reading system: our editors read all poetry submissions without knowing who wrote the poems.
- Use Times New Roman 12 pt. for the text of your submission. Single space your poems; double space between stanzas.
- Place all poems for one submission in a single document—one poem per page.
- We welcome the expression of diverse voices, diverse cultures—including poems partly or entirely in Spanish. Please include an English translation of a poem written in a language other than English.
- No previously published poems — print or online, including poems posted on personal websites or social network websites. If a poem can be found searching Google, we consider it published.
- No simultaneous submissions. Our production schedule is too tight to accommodate poems submitted elsewhere
Submissions Deadline: November 30, 2015
Submissions Window: October 15, 2015–January 15, 2016
Poetry of the American Southwest, No. 2, Persona Poems
Submission period: July 1 – November 30, 2015
Editors Scott Wiggerman and Cindy Huyser are looking for well-crafted poems written in personae associated with the Southwest region of the United States — poems that demonstrate a strong connection to the land, history, and/or culture of the region. Personae can be famous, infamous, or relatively unknown; historical figures or characters from documented myth or folklore, living or dead. No stereotypes or bland generalizations, please! We are looking for a wide spectrum that reflects the rich heritage of the Southwest: Buffalo Soldiers, pioneers, tribal chiefs, artists, midwives, vaqueros, homesteaders, women who passed as men, ranchers, explorers, miners, lawmen, outlaws, entrepreneurs, rabbis, preachers, curanderas, figures from Native American myths. . . .
While there is room for the well-known—Geronimo, O’Keeffe, La Llorona, Esteban, Kit Carson, etc.—we would very much like to see poems in the personae of lesser-known figures such as Chester Nez, Bill Pickett, Willie Velasquez, Kitty Leroy, Hoodoo Brown, LaDonna Harris, Henry Trust, and Jacob de Cordova. Surprise us! Sing to us in the voices of those forgotten in the stubble of history.
Only poems written in a persona will be considered. The speaker should clearly not be the poet-author. Think of the persona poem as one which reveals the character of the speaker, allowing the reader to empathize with him or her. For additional information on the persona poem, including sample poems, click here >>
A Note from Scott Wiggerman:
Cindy Huyser and I are reading submissions as they come in. We have sent out a number of acceptances and rejections.
Based on our progress, we offer a few tips for future submitters. All of the accepted poems have several things in common: 1) a specific speaker or speakers over a general type (e.g., homesteader), 2) syntax and details redolent of the speaker’s era and experience, 3) vibrant voices that indicate the poet has researched the subject of the persona. The rejected poems fail to grab us for several reasons, including: 1) poems not written in persona, 2) settings other than the Southwest (defined below), 3) poems that read too much like prose, and—most often—4) inauthentic generalizations and/or stereotypes. Please keep these tips in mind and use them to your advantage!
How Dos Gatos Press Defines the Southwest:
For our purposes, the Southwest includes all of New Mexico and Arizona, as well as Texas west of the Balcones Fault Line, western Oklahoma, southwestern Kansas, southern Colorado and Utah, and the desert portions of southern California. When we think of the Southwest, we think of climate and landscape. The climate is arid, with low annual rainfall, the landscape marked by cacti and other drought-tolerant plants.
We exclude East Texas, which has more in common with the landscape and climate of the Deep South, as well as coastal Texas, which is part of the Gulf Coast, stretching from Brownsville to the Keys. It is difficult to draw an exact line. Goliad, Texas, for example, is well east of the Balcones Fault Line, but the missions at Goliad, with their links to missions stretching westward to southern California, are quintessentially Southwestern. The King Ranch, too, lies east of the Balcones Fault Line, but its history, its culture, its topography link it to the Southwest. Houston, by contrast, is definitively a Gulf Coast city.
Guidelines for Southwestern Persona Poems:
- Follow Guidelines for All Submissions at the top of this page.
- Submit 1-3 original, unpublished poems, in a single document, each poem on a separate page.
- Poems must be no longer than 65 lines — including spaces and title. We welcome prose poems of 500 words or less.
- With each poem, provide a one- to three-sentence contextual note that identifies its speaker. We may use this note in the anthology itself.
- Include a 60- to 100-word bio written in third person, providing specific information about your writing life and your previous publishing credits.
- Acceptance for publication conveys First North American Serial Rights, first-print publication rights, and the right to post work accepted for publication on the Dos Gatos Press website. Rights revert to the author upon publication. Payment is one contributor’s copy of the anthology.
Texas Poetry Calendar 2017
Submission period: October 15, 2015 – January 15, 2016
Guidelines for the Texas Poetry Calendar:
- Follow Guidelines for All Submissions at the top of this page.
- Submit 1–3 poems in a single document, each poem on a separate page. Do not submit more than one time.
- 35-line limit per poem, including title and spaces.
- We highly recommend that you submit at least one short poem — 10 lines or less, including title and spaces. We welcome haiku, tanka, and other short forms.
- We prefer poems with a Texas connection.
- We strongly prefer titled poems — except for haiku.
- Include a bio of 60–100 words providing specific information about your writing life and your previous publishing credits.
- Acceptance for publication conveys First North American Serial Rights, first-print publication rights, and the right to post work accepted for publication on the Dos Gatos Press website. Rights revert to the author upon publication. Payment is one contributor’s copy of the calendar.