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 our online poem-a-day feature, What Rough Beast. 

What Rough Beast is a poem-a-day project launched in response to the Trump presidency and everything it implies for the erosion of freedom and justice. While the series arose in response to the election of Mr. Trump, we avoid poems about Mr. Trump himself, unless the poet can REALLY pull off political satire—but that is rare. 

We seek personal poems that directly or obliquely respond to the resurgence of racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, trans phobia, antisemitism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, anti-immigrant sentiment, anti-refugee sentiment, and the assault on justice—racial, social, economic, and environmental (human rights, civil rights, reproductive rights, voting rights, etc.). 

We value poems that use all the resources of poetry. We do not want poems about Trump per se—definitely not satiric attacks on his hair, hands, etc. Pointed critique is okay when the poet can really pull it off; but again, that is rare, and the poem must above all be a good poem.

In other words—This series is not "about" Trump per se. WE REPEAT: It's not about Trump. 

IMPORTANT: Poems submitted for this series must be previously unpublished. 

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. 

PLEASE NOTE: This is a poem-a-day series, and as we work our way through the Submittable queue, we pick a poem and post it immediately without notifying the author beforehand. You'll get your acceptance email via Submittable within a few minutes of the poem being posted, but not in advance of the poem being posted. Please be sure you are comfortable with that modus operandi when you decided to submit work. 

We look forward to receiving and reading your work. 

We are posting a poem a day for Nov. 1, 2019 to World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, 2019.

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 a 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 poems from any of our previous online series to get a sense of what we are looking for. Submit up to 10 poems or 10 pages of poetry. 

Indolent Books