Call for Submissions

NO FEE Submission call for Kissing Poems + editor interview – Terrapin Books, DEADLINE: Mar. 20, 2019

Terrapin Books is a small press specializing in poetry books owned and operated by Diane Lockward, author of The Crafty Poet II: A Portable Workshop and other poetry craft books. They are currently open to poems for an upcoming anthology of poems about kissing. “Send us your poems about first kisses, last kisses, goodbye kisses, make-out session kisses, desired kisses, unwanted kisses, dangerous kisses, stolen kisses, romantic kisses, familial kisses, spin-the-bottle kisses, hot kisses, cold kisses, metaphorical kisses, etc.”

I wondered how and why this anthology came to be, so I asked press owner Diane Lockward a few questions to find out. See my interview with Lockward and a link to their submission guidelines below.

HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Terrapin Books.

LOCKWARD: Terrapin Books is a small press, founded in 2016, that publishes poetry books exclusively and only full-length books, no chapbooks. We have also published three poetry craft books and two anthologies with a third one in the works.

HOPKINSON: How/why was the kissing poem anthology idea created?

LOCKWARD: The idea came into my head right after I reprinted Hunt Hawkins' wonderful poem "When Sex Was Kissing" in my monthly Poetry Newsletter. The poem was followed by a prompt that I made up based on the poem. The response to both poem and prompt was very enthusiastic; thus, an idea was born. Some months later I discovered that Brian Turner had just published an anthology on the topic of kissing. My heart sunk, thinking he'd beaten me to it. I ordered his book and discovered that his book is prose pieces, so my idea came back to life. Now I think my book might make a nice companion to his.

HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?

LOCKWARD: I envision a broad audience. Poets, of course, but also normal people. Who's not interested in kissing?

Who hasn't kissed or been kissed or at least given a lot of thought to it? I envision a good deal of variety among the poems, the poets, and the readers.

HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?

LOCKWARD: Think of all the variations of kisses--first kisses, hot kisses, cold ones, longed-for kisses, unwanted kisses, kisses between lovers, familial kisses, even candy kisses. I'd like to see poems on a wide variety of kinds of kisses. I'd also like to see a wide variety of tones: happy, sad, dark, dangerous, funny, romantic and whatever the opposite of that is. I'll be happy to read free verse and formal verse. I want to see well-crafted poems.

HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?

LOCKWARD: Poets & Writers, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Cincinnati Review, 32 Poems, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Diode, Tar River Poetry, Southern Poetry Review.

HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?

LOCKWARD: All submissions for the kissing anthology should go through Submittable which can be accessed on the Guidelines page at the Terrapin website. Of course, people should read the guidelines before submitting.

HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?

LOCKWARD: There's a contact form at the website. I respond quickly to all queries. But please read the guidelines and the FAQs first. Most questions will be answered there.

Click here to read submission guidelines.

DEADLINE: March 20, 2019


PAYMENT: Each contributor will receive one contributor's copy.


FORMS: poetry

THEME: poems about kissing


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5 replies »

  1. Thanks, I sent them Ksses last night! Breaking my own rule about sending only one poem at a time, but it’s the only one I have that fits. And it does fit perfectly! I met the publisher of this press at the frost place in the 90s at two different conferences. She has since gone on to make a good name for herself.

    Ethna McKiernan 612 423 6207

  2. On Feb. 15th, I sent 3 KISS poems to Diane Lockward. When I first saw her “call for submissions,” I only had one polished kiss poem on hand — and a 2nd poem that needed work. Her opportunity made me re-work the 2nd poem & also write a 3rd poem on the topic. Obviously, I hope my poetry gets a good reception at Terrapin — but, if not, Diane inspired me to create and to polish.
    That’s the value of a universal theme such as the KISS topic she selected. So, Diane, thank you so much!!

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