I give myself a poet’s right, otherwise I would not dare to speak. The right of poets is to say something and then to say, believe it if you want to, but believe it weeping – Hélène Cixous
TRANSQUEER is a call for you to say something that maybe you haven’t been able to say before. It asks you to find poetry in / between lines, binaries and stultifying categorisations; from the life of flesh, from inside the bleating, many-chambered heart of gender and sexuality. It follows from Joy Ladin’s request that we ‘explore trans identities not as positions to defend but as modes of becoming and thus ways of being human’ (Trans Studies Quarterly, 2016: 640).
Poetry has always shown us where the gaps / gasps lie, where the line does (not) end, how the margin teaches the centre what it is to be always-becoming, always coming-to (writing, the self, the other, each other…). We ask you ‘[to] believe that the world is QUEER, or that oneself is, or both, [and that this] is a window of doubt through which all creative possibility comes into being’ (Mark Doty, The Art of Description: World into Word).
We want transgressive poems, transonic poems, transmontane poems. Transmissible, transitory, transhumanist poems. Poems that transpire. Poems that transact. Poems that transpose. Poems that translate what Mark Doty refers to as ‘that which is not business as usual, not solid identities founded on firm grounds.’ We want poems as transducers, transmuters, transponders. We want to be transported, we want to be transfixed, we want to be queered by your poems. We want poems that queer(y).
We think of gorgeous-sounding words: transalpine, transistor, transmigrate, transfusion, transatlantic, transaminate, transcultural, transmogrify, transcutaneous.
We think of a few lines from Sylvia Plath, ‘Balloons’ – ‘Yellow cathead, blue fish— / Such queer moons we live with / Instead of dead furniture!’ – and of their elegant translucence.
We think of two lines from Tori Amos, ‘Blood Roses’ – ‘You think I’m a queer / I think you’re a queer’ – and of their gaspy / gappy transmission.
Come into being. Send us your gasps, your yells, your manifestos, your moments in the mirror – say something. Send us your work, and ask us to believe it, weeping. The time for TRANSQUEER poetry is here.
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. We will only read submissions sent during our official submission periods.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. We are not able to offer feedback on individual poems.
6. Submissions will only be accepted via Submittable …