Subprimal Poetry Art was founded in 2013 to provide a community for quality thought provoking poetry and other art. They “believe in poetry and other art that takes the reader / viewer / listener out of the ordinary and into an place altered from that which they normally experience. In an enjoyable, thought-provoking way.”
They accept submissions of poetry, flash fiction, art, and essays about the creative process. All work must be written in English or Spanish.
I wondered how and why this lit mag came to be, so I asked editor Victor David Sandiego a few questions to find out. See my interview with Sandiego and a link to their submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Subprimal Poetry Art.
SANDIEGO: Subprimal Poetry Art is an online journal entering our fourth year of publication. We publish art work, poetry, flash fiction, and essays from writers and artists around the world. Subprimal forms – as B.B.P. Hosmillo, one of our contributors, puts it – a “necessary community.” We have a beautiful, yet simple web site on which to showcase our contributors’ works. Also, as a person who believes that artists and writers ought to be paid, we have recently begun doing exactly that.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Subprimal Poetry Art originally started?
SANDIEGO: As with some works of poetry or fiction, Subprimal began with its title, or rather its name. As a person who is interested in work that taps into deep experiences and expressions of the human condition, expressions that aren’t necessarily confined to a particular place, culture or time, I wanted to go deeper. I wanted to explore that which lies beneath the primal, that is: ambiences and sensations lower, or even further removed from the aboriginal. I wanted to connect with others who are exploring the origins and manifestations of human consciousness.
HOPKINSON: What sets Subprimal Poetry Art apart from other journals?
SANDIEGO: As a musician and writer, I’ve worked with various other people in collaborative efforts that combine musical composition and the spoken word. At Subprimal, we ask authors for an audio (or video) recording of them reading their work. We then start with this reading and from their cadence, tone, and rhythm, create a custom musical composition to complement their delivery.
Recently, we began adding another dimension to the written word using video compositions. As before, we start with the inspiration of the author’s voice, and create an accompanying musical piece. We then augment the sound track with various images and footage to create a compound art form with the goal of underscoring the author’s work and giving the listener/viewer a new way of enjoying it. Videos are hosted on our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVmbzPqohlDpOl-aUVKA4_g. Below is a sample video composition: “A Traveling Soul” by Judah Mhlaba.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
SANDIEGO: We like to present a variety of work, but overall we’re looking for work that causes the reader to think about possibilities and perceptions that exist in the world. Many journals ask for work that evokes feeling, but for us that’s a secondary consideration. We like work that is intelligent, crafted, urgent, lyrical, and compelling. We like work that uses new ways or takes risks with language to show the reader how events of the narrative affect the protagonist. Voices outside of the status quo keep us awake at night.
HOPKINSON: What type of work doesn’t generally work for you?
SANDIEGO: I usually prefer to say what I like rather than what I don’t like, but I’ve come to realize lately that explaining a little bit about what is unlikely to fly may actually be helpful when someone is deciding whether or not to submit. Therefore: Work that only scratches the surface; work that uses what I call thematic cliché, that is themes such as relationship angst or the death of a grandmother; work that tells the reader what’s happening rather than showing; anything that has the word Facebook in it. That’s not to say that some of these elements can’t be present, but they would need to be presented in a unique and compelling way
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite journals?
SANDIEGO: I enjoy Poetry Salzburg Review; they present a wide variety of voices and at times publish a collection of writers from an underrepresented region such as their anthology of Lithuanian poetry. I also enjoy Four Way Review, Ditch Poetry, Vestal Review, and Floodwall among others.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
SANDIEGO: Submissions are handled exclusively via our online submission system at: https://submit.subprimal.com – Before you go there, we ask that you read the submission guidelines at: https://subprimal.com/submission-guidelines
Within the submission guidelines (for those who just love reading about these sort of things), we’ve linked to some related information such as About Reading The Guidelines, and The Amazing Flexibility of Submission.
HOPKINSON: Anything else you’d like to mention?
SANDIEGO: Subprimal has a service in which another publication can post their call for submissions. No charge, just to help spread the word and connect with others. https://subprimal.com/calls.
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
SANDIEGO: We welcome all questions. Our About page at https://subprimal.com/about has contact info. We usually respond to questions within a couple of hours. Sometimes a day or two when traveling.
DEADLINE: September 30, 2016
SUBMISSION FEE: None
PAYMENT: $20 for previously unpublished/$10 for reprints
NOTES: Takes reprints, turn around time averages 31 days according to Duotrope
FORMS: poetry, flash prose, art, essays on the creative process
LANGUAGE: English and Spanish