Deadline for “catch a fire” submissions for issue 11:

july 31, 2012

rose, swimmer, conch, pearl, indigo

Poems: Send 3-6 original poems and a bio of no more than 60 words to No attachments, please. Paste the poems and the bio into the body of your email. If your poem requires special formatting, let us know that. If we like your work enough to consider it, we may ask you to send an attachment.

Spoken Word: Send one poem in audio or video format and a bio of no more than 50 words to

Prose Fiction/Creative Non-Fiction: Send one piece of no more than 5000 words and a bio of no more than 50 words to  Word attachments accepted.

catch a fire: Send up to 3 poems or a piece of flash fiction 300 words or less inspired by our issue-specific word prompts (you can find them at the top of this page) in the body of an email to

Simultaneous submissions are welcome. Let us know the minute your work is accepted elsewhere.

Poems posted on blogs or online workshops are welcome, especially if they benefitted from their earlier showing.

Previously published poems may be considered, provided you let us know where and when they were published.

What we’re looking for: Pieces that excite. Pieces that move us, that make us laugh, or cry, or stop and say wow. Writing that presents familiar things in a fresh way, that makes old packages new. Poems that suggest you have some passing acquaintance with the greats of our region, or with the greats of the world. Stories that dance. Confessions that sing. Writing that tests the boundaries of our language, that shows its beauty. Poems that make us think; stories that make us go ooh.

What we don’t want: Stuff we’ve seen before, in countless different forms, that doesn’t bring anything new to the page. Stuff that was done better by e. e. cummings, T. S. Eliot, Susan Wallace, Maya Angelou, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes, or Gwendolyn Brooks. Stuff that really should have stayed on the pages of your journal. Stuff that isn’t ready. Stuff that makes us go eeuw.

Our region is a region of wonder, of celebration. It’s the region of Lord Kitchener and the Mighty Sparrow and Mikey Smith, of Kamau Brathwaite and Lorna Goodison and Derek Walcott, of Harris and Lovelace, Lamming and Kincaid. Our writers wrestle with the languages they inherit: European flesh on African and Asian bones. Our world surprises us with its vitality. Seeds tossed on our soils grow into big trees. We want your best trees.

Here are some resources to help you grow your trees.

We reserve the right to publish or not, as we see fit. We don’t owe you an explanation, but if we like your work we just might give you one.




Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s