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

What Rough Beast features poems in response to the Trump administration. The series has 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 new Trump administration poses dire risks to racial justice, civil rights, voting rights, organized labor, economic justice, women's right, abortion rights, LGBTQ rights, public education, climate change, nuclear proliferation, international diplomacy, and more; (3) this shit is scary.

All of that being said, Indolent Books and the What Rough Beast series 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."

IMPORTANT: Poems submitted for this series must be new, previously unpublished, and should ideally have been written consciously and deliberately to address the topic of the series.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.

We are posting a poem a day from Nov. 1, 2017 to World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, 2017. Submissions by poets living with HIV are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED but poets do not have to be HIV-positive to submit. Any beautiful poem will be considered but we will give preference to poems that relate to HIV and AIDS in some way: HIV testing, HIV treatment, HIV prevention, HIV shame, HIV stigma, living with HIV, living in fear of HIV, being on ART, being on PrEP, using condoms, not using condoms, being the HIV-negative partner of an HIV-positive person, etc. STRONGLY INTERESTED in poems about HIV and AIDS as social justice issues: the racialization of HIV, the criminalization of HIV, transphobia and HIV, HIV shaming, HIV stigma, etc.

All that being said, we prefer poems of music and imagination over poems of strict biography and narrative. Check out the pieces already posted to get a sense of what we are looking for. Submit up to 10 poems or 10 pages of poetry.
Indolent Books has reopened submissions for poems for The HIV Here & Now Print Poetry Anthology (forthcoming in 2017). Poems may address long-term survival, recent infection, racialization of HIV, criminalization of HIV, globalization of HIV, and living with HIV risk, among other topics.

Personal experience is fair game, but we prefer poems that follow Emily Dickinson's craft advice: "Tell all the truth but tell it slant." Us the resources of poetry: metaphor and imagery, or to echo Gregory Orr's four temperaments, story, structure, music, and imagination.

The poet does not have to be HIV-positive or have AIDS. The poems, however, must have a connection to HIV or AIDS on some level, be it direct or indirect, literal or metaphorical.

The HIV Here & Now Print Poetry Anthology, in development since spring 2015, draws poems from the online poem-a-day countdown to 35 years of AIDS that ended on June 5, 2016 and from the online poem-a-day countdown leading up to World AIDS Day 206.

This Call for Submission reopens now so that we keep the anthology as fresh and current as possible as we continue to refine the manuscript, and so that we can continue to include a wider array of more diverse and inclusive new voices addressing the full range of possibilities for relationship to HIV in 2017: positive, negative, being at risk, using condoms, being on PrEP, barebacking, being in a serodiscordant relationship, being LGBTQ, being QTPOC, being genderqueer or gender nonconforming, being straight, injecting drugs, being in any kind of relationship with people or are infected, affected, or at risk: partner, friend, family.

Work can be previously published in a journal, book, or online. Acknowledgment will be given to the journal, book, or website where any previously published piece originally appeared.

DEADLINE: Submissions are open until we say they are closed.
WHAT TO SUBMIT: Up to 10 poems or up to 10 pages of poetry. Work may have been previously published in a journal, book, anthology, or other form. Please indicate in your submission where any previously published work appeared. We will research and pursue any necessary permissions during the development process.
HOW TO SUBMIT: Submit on Submittable. If you do not have a Submittable account you may create one for free during the submission process. Please submit a Word document. Not a PDF. Word. With minimal formatting. PDFs and Word docs with lots of formatting make it harder to create the manuscript.