Submission to Cordite 101: NO THEME 10

By , and | 20 October 2020


Images courtesy of Jeanine Leane and John Kinsella.

From now, and throughout 2021, we’re celebrating 25 years of publishing. Milestones include the publication of Cordite Poetry Review’s 100th issue in February, Cordite Books’ 40th print title, and the new free digital anthology 40 Poets.

For 25 years we have kept Cordite Poetry Review credible, lively, diverse, ethical and free, while continuing to pay authors, our contributing editors and the guests who help make our publications happen. It is a relentless endeavour, but a necessary one.

Two titans of literary activism, Jeanine Leane and John Kinsella, will be doing us the honour of guest-editing the poetry for issue 101: UNTHEMED 10: their call below doubles as an acknowledgement of our achievements.

Cordite’s first newsprint broadsheets published some of the final poems of renowned authors, as well as many of the first by members the new generation rising up to take their place. More international than ever before, Cordite Poetry Review now includes many writers not yet born when we began. Here we stand – tenacious, upright and still publishing, embarking on our next 25 years.

We cherish the worldwide collaborations we’ve been a part of, and our millions of readers across the world throughout the past 25 years. Although we receive no financial or in-kind support from any university, the strong network we have established with higher education institutions across Australia, and many others overseas, is fundamental to our success.

We’ve always been known, and will remain, simply as Cordite. The world knows who we are and what Cordite means for literature.

Please consider making a DGR tax-free donation.

–Kent MacCarter


We are looking for poetry that enacts and is responsible for what it considers. The crossover between the degradation of human rights and the injustices of capitalism seems to inevitably align with the destruction of the biosphere, and – even if it does not refer directly to these wrongs – we expect a poem to exist with a consciousness of the environment in which it is being written.

For some, crisis is an ongoing state of being, and continuing colonialism and neo-colonialism ensure that past wrongs cannot truly be addressed. Poetry is a way to engage a decolonisation that is imperative if our world is to be respected and its exploitation halted. The many brinks people have been pushed to over millennia by imperialism are reaching an ecological fracture that will be absolute unless addressed.

So, we look for poems that can be on any topic written in any style but are conscious of crises, brinks and redress. We are not talking about polemical verse (though we are not opposed to this per se), but poetry of consciousness – the beauty of the poem is second to the act of confrontation, healing and investigation of culpabilities.

We are calling for poetry that moves beyond a beautiful art form to literature that recognises the capacity and far-reaching impacts of poetry for social justice, community awareness and social and emotional wellbeing. Activism, yes, of course, but with deep belief in the poem having purpose as a dynamic means, and not just as an act of writing.

This being a celebration of the 25th year of a poetry journal that has enabled many activisms and assisted many voices to speak, we are conscious of what has come before across the great diversity, celebration and confrontations of previous Cordite Poetry Review issues, and their committed and believing editors.

This call is also a thank you to all editors and contributors of the past as we look to a future of peaceful and committed resistance to the status quo and the blandness of security in capital and social privilege.

Let us all aid each other in finding ways of speaking out.

–John Kinsella and Jeanine Leane


Submit poems (prose, comics, visual, concrete) or works of micro-fiction (500 words maximum). Read more about submitting to Cordite Poetry Review. Please note:

  1. The guest editor has sovereign selection choice for all poems submitted.
  2. Masthead editors will also contribute to the issue.
  3. We will only read submissions sent during our official submission periods.
  4. Cordite maintains a hybrid submissions policy. This means that the guest editor may invite five (5) Australian and five (5) overseas authors directly to submit to the issue. In addition, the guest-editor will anonymously select an additional 30-35 works from Australian authors and use their discretion to select further overseas works. For each issue, the guest editor does not know the identities of the online contributors (via Submittable) until after the final selections have been made.
  5. Simultaneous submissions or previously published material will not be considered. This includes works published in print and web journals but does not apply to material first published on personal blogs.
  6. Please place up to three (3) poems in one (1) Word, RTF or PDF document (unless specifically noted otherwise for special issues), with no identifying details in the document itself.
  7. We are not able to offer feedback on individual poems.
  8. Submissions will only be accepted via Submittable …

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