Poetry, to me, has always been about growth, about understanding myself and others through the act of writing feelings and memories and wounds and relationships onto that blank page.
Kaveh Akbar, in Morning Prayer with the Rat King, wrote: "I imagine the sea’s made of actual / tears this would explain the salt think of all / the disconsolate toddlers weeping right now into / the earth the tears must go somewhere."
The tears must go somewhere. This new year, we are launching with a Hurt and Healing Prize. Send us your tears, your wounds poked and prodded and brushed gently. Give us the gift of that special hope poetry alone seems to offer so well: seeing our pain shared in others, in their own mysterious privacy, somehow makes every pain easier to bear. Easier to heal.
Andrés Cerpa is the author of Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy, and The Vault from Alice James Books. A recipient of fellowships from McDowell and Canto Mundo, his work has appeared in Ploughshares, Poem-a-Day, The Kenyon Review, The Rumpus, Puerto Rico en mi Corazón, The Breakbeat Poets Vol 4: LatiNext, The Nation + elsewhere. He holds degrees from the University of Delaware and Rutgers University Newark.
Andrés is currently serving as a mentor at Pocket MFA, with a deadline to join his writing group of December 15th.
This option costs $59 and will provide you with two pages of detailed and actionable feedback on a poem of your choice from the submission, including suggestions for future submissions. The $149 option will provide three letters from three different editors. Our guest editors are paid a significant portion of the fee (at EFA rates) and are all incredibly astute and professional poets.
We do not hold preference for any particular style or topic—we simply seek the best poem we can find. Send us work that is blister, that is color, that strikes hot the urge to live and be. For a sense of what we are looking for, read through our previously published poems or What We Look For. We warmly and sincerely invite all voices, and especially those that have been historically marginalized or under-heard to submit and partner with us.
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