Indolent Books is a small independent press founded in 2015 and operating in Brooklyn, N.Y. We publish print books and sometimes run online poetry features on the Indolent Books website or on project-based websites such as the HIV Here & Now project.Our poetic values include diversity, inclusion, innovation, provocation, and risk.

The HIV Here & Now project will be posting an HIV/AIDS-related poem every day of April (National Poetry Month).

This online poetry series is inspired by Maureen Thorson, the founder of NaPoWriMo (National Poetry WRITING Month), an annual project in which poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April.

We call our implementation of this project Na(HIV)PoWriMo—National HIV Poetry Writing Month.

You may submit up to 10 poems or 10 pages of poetry for consideration. We will, however, do our best to post a poem a day by a different poet. These poems should ideally be NEWLY WRITTEN DURING THE MONTH OF APRIL, because this series is all about writing poetry during National Poetry Month. 

Since we can only post one poem per day on HH&N, we encourage you to post MORE of your own poems elsewhere—on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, your own blog, etc.

In addition, we will be including a DAILY PROMPT along with each day's poem. You do not have to use the prompt, but you are welcome to if it will help you write. WE REPEAT: To quote Maureen Thorson, the doyenne of NaPoWriMo, "The prompts we post each day are totally optional. Use ‘em if you like ‘em; ignore ‘em if you don’t."

You can find a running list of prompts for 2018 here.

If you have any questions, email founding editor of HIV Here & Now and founding director of Indolent Arts, Michael Broder: michael@indolentarts.org. 

PROMPT FOR APRIL 1, 2019:

Write a poem about the impact HIV/AIDS had on you when you were growing up. This can be from the perspective of an older person who came of age during the early years of AIDS, or from that of a younger person who grew up with AIDS in the news. 

Indolent Books is seeking poems for its online poem-a-day feature, What Rough Beast. 

What Rough Beast is a poem-a-day project featuring poems in response to our current national political climate. While the series was launched in response to the election of Mr. Trump, we tend to avoid poems about Mr. Trump himself, unless the poet can REALLY pull off the necessary tone and register of political satire.

That being said, the series does have a political premise: (1) Donald J. Trump was unfit even to seek the nomination, and by all appearances is unfit to serve as president of the United States; (2) the Trump administration poses dire risks to our democratic institutions and our national security, as well as to racial justice, economic justice, civil rights, voting rights, womena's rights,  abortion rights, LGBTQ rights, organized labor, public education, the climate and environment, nuclear proliferation, international diplomacy, and more; (3) this shit is scary. 


We value poetry that uses all the resources of poetry. We do not want poems about Trump per se—definitely not childish attacks on his hair, hands, or anything of that sort. We do not want poems that lament how awful it is that Trump got elected. WE DO WANT POEMS about the political issues, the national mood, etc. Not every poem needs to be a pointed critique. Pointed critique is allowed, but the poem must always above all be a good poem, using the resources of poetry, such as metaphor, imagery, form, and to borrow the four temperaments of Gregory Orr, story, structure, music, and imagination. A rant is not a poem—unless it is. It's all in the craft. Please be crafty, and in the timeless words of Emily Dickinson, "Tell all the truth but tell it slant." 

In other words—This series is not "about" Trump per se. It's about life during the Trump administration. It's about white supremacy, racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, anti-semitism, Islamophobia, anti-immigrant sentiment, anti-refugee sentiment, nationalism, populism, isolationism, rolling back environmental protections, rolling back civil rights, voting rights, and affirmative action, making our society, culture, and polity meaner and smaller rather than larger and more gracious. It's about pain, suffering, fear, and sorrow. WE REPEAT: It's not about Trump.

IMPORTANT: Poems submitted for this series must be new, previously unpublished, and should ideally have been written consciously and deliberately to address the topic of the series. A great poem that happens to fit the theme is not totally out of the question, but we believe the series will be stronger if it is made up of poems written specifically for the series. 

SUBMIT up to 10 poems or 10 pages of poetry in a Word file. NOT PDF. Word.

INCLUDE a brief bio that includes in the following order: Any books published; any journals in which poems have appeared; any anthologies in which poems have appeared; a few other personal or professional details of your choice. 

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