Contest

Ninth Letter Ekphrastic Poetry Contest: Seriality, Sexuality, Semiotics - CLOSED

Fee: $18 for up to three poems responding to Hal Fischer’s photography (includes a one-year subscription to Ninth Letter; international entrants will receive a copy of the issue in which the winning poem appears

Prize: The winner will receive $1,000, have their work published in Ninth Letter, and give a reading at the Hal Fischer Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in November, 2021 (travel expenses covered).

Judge: Eduardo C. Corral

author photo of Eduardo C Corral

Eduardo C. Corral is the son of Mexican immigrants. He’s the author of Guillotine, published by Graywolf Press, and Slow Lightning, which won the 2011 Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition. He's the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. He teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University.

 

 

All entries must respond, in some way, to the work of photographer Hal Fischer. Multiple and simultaneous submissions accepted. All work must be previously unpublished.

Submit via Submittable

Hal Fischer is a gay conceptual photographer and an alumnus of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Beginning August 2021, the Krannert Art Museum is presenting the first full retrospective of Fischer’s work, an exhibit titled Hal Fischer Photographs: Seriality, Sexuality, Semiotics.

From MoMA:

“Fischer’s 1977 series Gay Semiotics…brought these theories to bear on gay culture in San Francisco’s Castro and Haight-Ashbury districts. A “lexicon of attraction,” as the artist has called it, this work classifies styles and types while acknowledging their ambiguity. For instance, images of men with handkerchiefs in their pockets feature text that explains the possible meanings of these items according to the “hanky codes” that gay men used to convey sexual preferences, but which also points out that the men could be carrying them for blowing their noses. Other images in the series consider gay fashion, media stereotypes, and BDSM culture.”

You can browse Hal Fischer’s work on his website: gaysemiotics.com

Or via his monograph, The Gay Seventies

 

What we’re looking for:

Ninth Letter invites the submission of original poems responding to Hal Fischer’s photographs.

If ekphrasis once designated the studious, careful description of a work of art, ekphrastic poetry has since come to embrace a diverse, wild, thrilling departure from mere description. Ekphrastic poems may still describe the artwork that inspires them, but, in addition, they can imagine what lingers beyond the lens, beyond the frame. They can give voice to silent figures and landscapes. They can include the author’s personal history, or their own interaction with the work of art. Ekphrastic poems can zoom in on shadowy corners, or zoom out to provide historical context. They can explore the artwork’s aesthetic and theoretical underpinnings. They can meditate on medium. They can remain faithful to the subjects and figures in the artwork, or they can attempt, instead, to capture its style or tone. And of course they can do so much more, can do what we haven’t even yet imagined—we always love to be surprised.

Read more about the Krannert Art Museum exhibit here: kam.illinois.edu/exhibition/hal-fischer-photographs-seriality-sexuality-semiotics

This contest is made possible by Dr. Tim Dean and the James M. Benson Professorship, and by the Krannert Art Museum.


 

 

Ninth Letter's 2021 Literary Awards - Submissions Open March 6-April 30

 

Ninth Letter is pleased to announce our fifth annual Literary Awards competition! We'll be accepting entries from March 6, 2021 to April 30, 2021 for our Literary Awards in three categories: Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction. The winner selected in each category will receive a $1000 prize and publication in our Fall/Winter 2020-21 issue (vol. 18, no. 2).

The fee for entering each of the three categories will be $18, and all entrants will receive a one-year subscription to Ninth Letter. Your entry fee will cover one submission in one category; you are welcome to send multiple submissions in multiple categories provided a fee is paid for each entry. Electronic submissions may pay by credit card through our secure payment system; submissions sent by USPS should send payment by check or money order made to Ninth Letter.

Please read the following guidelines before submitting your work. Submissions may be made electronically at ninthletteronline.submittable.com/submit

Submissions sent via email will not be considered.

 

Fiction and Creative Nonfiction submissions should be a maximum of 8,000 words.

 

Poetry submissions should include 3-5 poems, no more than 10 pages total in the submission.

All entries should include a cover letter with author's name, contact information and title(s) of work submitted. You may include this cover letter information in the “comments” section of the submission form, or you may include it as the first page of your submission document. Neither the author's name nor any identifying information should appear on the manuscript itself beyond the cover letter.

Works submitted to the contest may be simultaneously submitted elsewhere; please indicate on your cover letter if this is the case, and please remove the submission from consideration immediately upon acceptance elsewhere.

 

 

 

Current and former employees of Ninth Letter, current and former students and faculty of the creative writing program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and current and former students of our guests judges are not eligible to enter these contests.

 

Ninth Letter 2022 Literary Awards

Ninth Letter is pleased to announce our ninth annual Literary Awards call for submissions! We'll be accepting entries from March 8, 2022 to April 30, 2022 for our Literary Awards in three categories: Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction. The winning manuscript selected in each category will receive publication in our Fall/Winter 2022-23 issue (vol. 19 no. 2) and a publication rate of $1000. Our publication fee purchases first North American print rights only; all other rights are retained by the author.

The fee for entering each of the three categories will be $18, and all U.S. entrants will receive a one-year subscription to Ninth Letter. All international entrants will receive a copy of our Fall/Winter 2022-23 edition. Your entry fee will cover one submission in one category; you are welcome to send multiple submissions in multiple categories provided a fee is paid for each entry. Electronic submissions may pay online through Submittable; submissions sent by USPS should send payment by check or money order made to Ninth Letter.

Submissions sent via email will not be considered.

Fiction and Creative Nonfiction submissions should be a maximum of 8,000 words.

Poetry submissions should include 3-5 poems, no more than 10 pages total in the submission

All entries should include a cover letter with author's name, contact information and title(s) of work submitted. You may include this cover letter information in the “comments” section of the submission form, or you may include it as the first page of your submission document. Neither the author's name nor any identifying information should appear on the manuscript itself beyond the cover letter.

Works submitted to the contest may be simultaneously submitted elsewhere; please indicate on your cover letter if this is the case, and please remove the submission from consideration immediately upon acceptance elsewhere.

Guest judges for this year's awards are Anthony Cody (poetry), Alex McElroy (fiction), and Emily Pittinos (creative nonfiction).

 

Anthony Cody is the author of Borderland Apocrypha (Omnidawn, 2020). His debut won a 2021 American Book Award and a 2020 Southwest Book Award, as well as being a finalist for the National Book Award, PEN/America Jean Stein Award, L.A. Times Book Award, among others. His poetry has appeared in Poets.Org: Poem-A-Day Series, Gulf Coast, Ninth Letter, MAGMA Poetry (UK), among others. He is a CantoMundo fellow from Fresno, CA with lineage in the Bracero Program and Dust Bowl. Anthony collaborates with Juan Felipe Herrera’s Laureate Lab Visual Wordist Studio, and serves as a poetry editor for Noemi Press and Omnidawn.

 

 

 

 

Isle McElroy is a nonbinary writer based in Brooklyn. Their debut novel, THE ATMOSPHERIANS, was a NY Times Editors' Choice. Other writing appears in The Guardian, NY Times, New York Times Magazine, The Cut, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. Isle was named one of The Strand's 30 Writers to Watch and has received fellowships from The Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, The Tin House Summer Workshop, The Sewanee Writers Conference, The Inprint Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, and The National Parks Service.

(photo credit: Grace Rivera)

 

 

 

 

Emily Pittinos is a Great Lakes essayist and poet currently living in Boise, ID. A Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing at Boise State University, Pittinos has received a 2022 Literature Fellowship from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, as well as support from Vermont Studio Center, the Alexa Rose Foundation, and Washington University in St. Louis, where she served as the Senior Fellow in Poetry. Her recent prose appears, or will soon appear, in Mississippi Review, New England Review, and elsewhere. Her debut poetry collection, The Last Unkillable Thing (University of Iowa Press, Spring 2021), is a winner of the 2020 Iowa Poetry Prize. Her book of essays, Animal, Roadkill, Ashes, Gone, is forthcoming from Bull City Press

 

 

 

 

 


 

This project is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council

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