Across the Social Distances is a pop-up poetry journal that features “poetry in the time of the virus,” or poems and that respond to the current crises. Previously published poems are okay as long as the poet still has rights. Submissions are accepted and posted on an ongoing basis.
A friend and fellow poet Nate Logan shared his poem “Bingo Card” recently published by Across the Social Distances on social media and I couldn’t wait to find out more about this timely new poetry journal. This is also where I discovered you can create your own washing hands graphic using song lyrics or your own poem/lyrics on https://washyourlyrics.com/. Pretty cool! See my interview with founder and editor Becca Klaver as well as a link to submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Across the Social Distances originally started?
KLAVER: As the U.S. was being shut down and people were starting to spend even more time online, I found myself scrolling social media looking for guidance or connection, but too often feeling jolted by anxiety or information overload. So, I liked the idea of having a dedicated place to go where you could find the coronavirus “news” in a different, hopefully less stressful format — in William Carlos Williams’ version of the news, I suppose.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
KLAVER: Anyone who wants to know what poetry can say about this moment that other forms of writing might not be able to.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
KLAVER: I’m happy that there’s a range of work being submitted, from short lyrics to collages of found text and visual work.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
KLAVER: Across the Social Distances also accepts “microreviews, musings, notes, etc., on books of poetry published, or to be published, in the first half of 2020,” but so far I haven’t received any review submissions. I’d especially love to get some thoughts on books that are weirdly prescient or otherwise seem to have arrived in the world at the right moment.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
KLAVER: So many, but lately I’ve been loving what Gina Myers, Emma Brown Sanders, and Gabriella Torres are doing over at the tiny. I also found a couple of poems in the latest issue of Denver Quarterly (by Ana Bozicevic and Lindsey Webb) to be uncannily speaking to this moment.
HOPKINSON: What is your favorite part of being on staff with Across the Social Distances?
KLAVER: I love that online publishing can serve as an insta-response to current conditions.
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
Please send them in the body of an email to acrossthesocialdistances at gmail dot com.
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Open year round
THEME: poetry in the time of the virus
SUBMISSION FEE: None
SUBMISSION METHOD: Email
FORMS: poems, microreviews, musings, notes, etc.
NOTES: Previously published poems are okay as long as the poet still has rights.