Let it Fly: Hair Poems is the working title of an anthology in the works, focused on the theme of hair. Kate Sontag, published poet and co-editor of After Confession: Poetry As Autobiography (Graywolf) is seeking poetry on the subject of hair. Note that some anthologies are created first and then pitched to presses for publication. This is one of those. The editor is passionate about the topic and motivated to make this anthology something amazing!
I was curious how and why the idea for this anthology began, so I asked editor/creator Kate Sontag a few questions to find out. See my interview with Sontag and submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Let it Fly.
SONTAG: Since 2018 is the 50th anniversary of Hair, which opened on Broadway in 1968, this seems like the perfect time to gather hair poems of every style. I've had the idea on the back burner and been collecting hair poems for years, but after recently attending a poetry conference where many people seemed to love the idea, I decided to go with it and see what happens. Hair has always been a deeply rooted issue for me personally (as it is for so many of us) and I'm interested in exploring the poetry of hair as it has evolved through the ages and across cultures, from ancient haiku to the Moderns, but with a primarily contemporary focus. My plan is to approach publishers in the fall, as soon as I have a sufficiently coiffed ms to offer them.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
SONTAG: I’m interested in casting as wide a (hair)net as possible. Poems can be published & unpublished, by any gender, about any sort of hair, in any poetic style, on any theme related to hair. Think human, animal, insect. Think personal, political, historical, generational, cultural, ethnic, mythic, aesthetic, scientific, medical, gain and loss, other?. Think serious, humorous, formal, free verse, prose poem, poems in translation.
I'm sort of swamped with light verse as well as poems that are less hair-centric than I would like even though I will likely include a section called something like "Hair Passing Through" for those poems that are simply too good to pass up and in which the mention of hair empowers the poem in some way or would feel bald without it.
So far, there is a strong female presence in what I’ve received; so I’d love to get more poems by men, of all ages. There’s also a strong human presence. Would love more poems that involve the natural world. (Please no overly light verse or prose memoir.)
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
SONTAG: Please put "Hair Poetry" in subject heading and cut & paste poem(s) into body of email as well as in a single attachment with name and contact info at top of first page. Also *welcome* are any suggestions of poems about hair by other poets past and present. Send to email@example.com.
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
SONTAG: Via the same email above: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Send up to four poems and a brief bio via email
- "Hair Poetry" in the email subject heading
- Cut & paste poem(s) into body of email as well as in a single attachment with name and contact info at top of first page.
- Also *welcome* are any suggestions of poems about hair by other poets past and present. Send to email@example.com.
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: August 31, 2018
THEME: Poems can be published & unpublished, by any gender, about any sort of hair, in any poetic style, on any theme related to hair.
SUBMISSION FEE: None