Need FREE public domain art for your poetry projects?


The British Library via Flikr now offers a huge variety and multiple albums to browse through of illustrations and art that are completely public domain and free to use! From beautiful typography, to bazaar illustrations, book covers, cycling, architecture, decorative papers, and so much more–the possibilities are endless.

I’m thinking these could be used for as prompts or for broadsides, chapbooks, web sites, etc. So many gorgeous illustrations… the only problem is how to choose!

For more writing tips, poetry, submission calls, etc. follow me:






The Fem has a blog!

Want to get published while supporting an awesome feminist lit mag? The Fem is now taking articles for their new blog! Send them your pitch or finished article…


And we want YOU to submit your work.

What we’re looking for:

  • Rants, thoughts, arguments, critiques, analyses, etc.
  • Responses to published pieces – example, you read a poem about a queer affair between two women married to men, and it made you think about book/story X, which you’re connecting to this personal experience you had
  • Lists/listicles – example, 5 poems you’d really like if you liked poem X, artists you will love if you love empowered black female characters in lit, etc.
  • Fun, humorous, light-hearted pieces (because, yes, feminists have a sense of humor)


  • Pop culture
  • Diversity in lit
  • The lit world
  • Feminist issues + issues of diversity and inclusivity
  • Art
  • Really anything that fits into our philosophy

How to submit blog posts

Submit finished pieces or pitches to thefemlitmag(AT)gmail(DOT)com. Include a third person bio with your email and social media links. Subject line: BLOG POST, name. Note if time…

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Deadline Extended to 5/15/16: STARTING TO RIDE Poetry and Prose Series

This awesome series at Silver Birch Press has been extended! Go check out some of the great work published in their current series and send in your own by May 15!

They are accepting both poetry and short prose.

Silver Birch Press

bike2aNOTE: By popular request, we are extending the deadline for our STARTING TO RIDE Poetry & Prose Series to Sunday, May 15, 2016.

OVERVIEW: Most of us have a story (or stories) about how/when/where/why we learned to ride a bike — or taught someone else how to ride, or have vivid memories about when we first started to ride a bike. We want to hear about your bike-related experiences and invite you to submit your work to our STARTING TO RIDE Poetry and Prose Series. (Non-riders can also participate by explaining why they’ve never learned how to ride a bicycle.)

PROMPT: Tell us about learning to ride a bike, teaching someone else how to ride, or something that happened when you were a novice bicycle rider in a poem (any reasonable length) or prose piece (300 words or fewer). If you’ve never learned to ride, tell us why in…

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NO FEE Submission Call – Reservoir, DEADLINE: May 20, 2016

Reservoir, is a new semi-annual, online literary journal. They publish poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and art. New issues are released in the summer and in the winter.

To read their inaugural issue, click here.

For more info on how to submit to literary magazine and journals, read my Submission Tips here.

Click here and scroll down to read submission guidelines.

DEADLINE: May 20, 2016

FORMS:  poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and art



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PAYING/REPRINTS No Fee Submission Call, [SOFTNESS] Anthology, Deadline: July 15, 2016

Deadline extended to July 15, 2016!

Trish Hopkinson


1110 Dickinson House (Miel Books) is a small, high-quality print journal currently open for themed submissions of poetry and creative nonfiction. The current project theme is [ S O F T N E S S ] and is defined broadly, yet carefully, on their submission page. In short, softness is defined “as a way of being in the world: [ S O F T N E S S ] as ethics, aesthetics, politics, pedagogy, strategy.”

“The editors are seeking text or image-text in all forms—prose, poetry, fragments, hybrid or null forms, incomplete objects, notes—that explores, rests within, arises from, or occupies the space of the [ S O F T ].” They are encouraging “Writers of color, queer writers, trans writers, women writers, writers with disabilities” to send in their work.”

I recommend submitting early. Anthologies tend to fill their pages before the deadline.

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“SHASHIN – KAKU, a new style of Haiku” – guest blog post by Wayne Scott Ray

In developing a new haiku style of poetry, I had to come up with a name. During my investigations into the history of haiku (l) I came across two Japanese words that I have chosen to describe this new style; Shashin, meaning photograph and Kaku, meaning picture (to sketch or draw).

The first line is made up of up to two words of no more than three syllables or two feet (2), a foot is one breath-stress producing either one or two syllables. The rhythm of Japanese poetry is based on the beat of stress rather than on the number of syllables (3). The only restrictions placed on the first line are that it must let the reader know exactly what it is you want to talk about and it must be connected to the second line in continuity of thought.


The structure of the second line is made up of up to six syllables or three feet and acts as an ending thought to the first line and must show no contrast. The object of the first and second lines is to `paint a picture’ that will leave a very strong impression on the mind of the reader. A `photograph’ that says everything. Subjective, maudlin ideas and rhyme are not accepted.

Use of non-traditional haiku themes is encouraged, however, traditional seasonal themes with provocative content are acceptable. The overall feelings and ideas embodied in the first two, 2 – 3 beat, lines must be clear and concise with no hidden images.

The third line, as in the haiku, is the contrast line with less syllables than in the second line, two to three feet (five syllables). Shashin-kaku must make a clear statement about life and the world around us.

The best method of dealing with the writing of Shashin-kaku haiku is to compare it with the traditional and modern haiku of Japan as well as with the modern haiku style. Traditionally, the Japanese haiku style in English consists of a 5-7-5 syllable or 3-4-3 beat (4) poem with a seasonal word or theme. The haiku form in any language is a triplet verse of 3-4-3 beats. Fundamentally, haiku is not syllabic poetry (5). It is the haiku in the Japanese language that the syllables are counted and not necessarily the English translations. Haiku as a verse form is more than four hundred years old with its origin in the haikai, a light hearted linked verse consisting of 36, 50 or 100 verses composed by a team of poets. The opening verse, called the hokku, was in three lines of 5-7-5 syllables with the second verse a 7-7 syllable couplet. (6)



The old pond
a frog jumps in
sound of water

Modern Japanese haiku dates from the time of Shiki, circa 1896, when he and his followers broke with traditional haiku thought and strove to appeal directly to emotion and abhor wordiness, leaning towards a diffuse style, as well as detaching themselves from any lineage of classical haiku masters, creating a new haiku. They respected the poem more than the poet. (7)



cold day in spring
bumping into this and that
a blind dog walking (8)

Haiku in present day Japan still has a seasonal theme as with the modern form yet distinguishes itself from traditional form. North America has no haiku tradition. Most ‘modern’ writings are based on what has already been written and translated. Haiku in Canada today, has a much more free style form where content and structure are concerned. The seasonal theme can be found in most of the Canadian haiku but there is no set beat, or 5-7-5 syllabic structure. Jones, in his book The Brave Never Write Poetry (Coach House Press, Toronto 1985), found himself in 1982 “in a direction out of my current sense of emptiness [in] zen. That autumn I found myself in the role of secretary of the Haiku Society of Canada and organizing a massive reading at Harbourfront . . . Rather than encouraging me, this brought about my complete disillusionment with haiku. Everywhere the subject matter was foreign to that of contemporary North American existence . . . I lashed out at the audience: Do you really want to hear this crap?” (9a)



Eating candy floss . . .
Until we come to the crushed
cat in the road

Cold, evening wind:
I give a wino
my last cigarette (9)


these clouds reveal
too much moon (10)


just changed,
he lay on my belly
the warm swell of pee (11)

The following samples of poems will introduce you to all the other, left over, haikuish, short poems which do not fit into the standard haiku form. These Shashin-kaku follow the structure set down in the beginning of this essay. I have included samples of haiku by various poets that I feel fit into this style.

is not for any man
missing my son

three girls
under an umbrella
acid rain

(For Jones)
In a dream
they become one
moth and flame

Outside Tobique
Nation Drumming Circle
Japanese tourist
Wayne Scott Ray

among headstones
in the cemetery
a condom
– Herb Barrett (12)


Shan-zi haiku

Andreas Gripp (London, Ontario) has a new style: “Shan-zi is an eastern-inspired form I came up with at a time when I was writing lots of haiku (as well as Tanka and Sijo). I guess I was searching for something that allowed a little more “breathing room,” so to speak, while maintaining structure and meditative qualities inherent in Japanese and Korean verse. I don’t quite remember how the 4-5 5-4 4-4-5 scheme won out exactly — perhaps it was merely the sound and flow of the first one which I’d written and that it appeared to me at the time to be ideal with regards to what I was endeavouring to do which was expand on the haiku (even allowing for it to be titled) without it becoming too long. I released a chapbook of Shan-zi in 2007 — the first poem in it is an example of the form itself”:

Backyard in June

In the garden,
butterfly and moth
Petals undisturbed
by quiet flight

Tender breezes
and my breathing
embrace the silence


Joge uta haiku

The following longer poems are composed of a main prose poem of twelve lines which begins and ends with a Shashin-kaku Haiku of the same theme. I call this style Joge uta (upper and lower poem).



music blares
and in the restaurant
a blind boy

I see you now
do you see my sounds
my vibration’s
my music
quarter in the slot
play me
music plays me
plays you
my music box mouth
has no eyes
I feel your smile
feel mine

dark sounds
penetrate dark spaces
inside smile

– Wayne Scott Ray


his wife sits
weeping softly as he speaks
they both hurt

morphine drips
thin anaesthesia
through veins
as my friend’s
brittle bones
he tells his life
drifting in and out
on tides of pain
there is
no more time

eyes close
pain will end too soon
eternal sleep

– Miki Mesiab

1. Ueda, M. (1978), Modern Japanese Haiku, University of Toronto
2. Okazaki, T. (1986), New Cicada Haiku, v. 3 N. 2 p25-28
3. ibid.
4. ibid.
5. ibid.
6a.Hass, R. (1994), The Essential Haiku. p. 3-7.
6. Ueda, M. (1978), Modern Japanese Haiku, p 3-23 &
7. ibid.
8. ibid. p 54, p 94
9a. Jones (1985), The Brave Never Write Poetry, Coach House Press, p.83
9. Jones (1984), Two Cops Kissing, HMS Press.
10. Faiers,C. (1986), Foot Through The Ceiling, AYA Press
11. Hryciuk, M. (1985), This Is Hilarious, Unfinished Monument Press
12. Tidepool 4 and 5 (1987-88), Hamilton Haiku Press

Do you have something say about poetry? An essay on being a poet, tips for poets, or poetry you love? is now accepting pitches for guest blog posts. 

Contact me here if you are interested! 

Wayne Scott RayWayne (Scott) Ray was born in Alabama  and spent most of his first fifteen years on Ernest Harmon Air Force Base in Stephenville, Newfoundland until moving to Woodstock, Ontario in 1965. Wayne is the founder of HMS Press publishing, co-founder of the Canadian Poetry Association (CPA) (1985-88 Toronto & 1992-1995 London). He was the recipient of the Editors Prize for ‘Best Poet Published in 1989’ from Canadian Author and Bookman. He helped establish the London Arts Council and was the President of the London New Arts Festival in 1999. Wayne has eighteen books and chapbooks of poetry, fiction and non-fiction published as well as credits in anthologies, periodicals, journals and newspapers across Canada between 1983 and 2016.

You can email Wayne (Scott) Ray at

31 Contemporary Poets You Need To Read by Sarah Galo of Buzzfeed #NaPoMo

Trish Hopkinson

31poetsThis article by Sarah Galo boasts a superb and wonderfully diverse lineup of poets making their mark today. Support these poets by going to their web sites, requesting their books at your local library, purchasing their books at a local independent bookstore, (or sadly, if there’s not one), purchase from an online independent book seller.

If you like this post, please share with your writerly friends and/or follow my blog or like my Facebook page.

To find a local independent bookseller in your area:

The Fearless Independents

Search for local, physical indie bookstores or if there’s not one nearby, you can search for online booksellers as well.

To find an independent book seller, check out one of these great sites:

SocialbriteBetter book buying: 10 socially conscious online bookstores

A list with specific descriptions of socially conscious online bookstores, additional online book resources, and other independent bookstore resources.

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