Take the Nerve Lantern Challenge

Pyriform Press invites you to take the Nerve Lantern Challenge: Round Robin Hood

This time the Challenge is about collaboration and metamorphosis in the spirit of Exquisite Corpse—with a special emphasis on environmental, social justice, and civil rights activism.

Step One: Submit up to five unpublished poems (10-50 lines each, or 200-500 words if a prose poem) for consideration. Also submit one polyvocal performance text that showcases your best writing for performance. It will not be published in Nerve Lantern but will serve as an example of what you can write and will affect whether one of your poems is accepted. Special consideration will be given to poems that in some way express environmental, social justice, or civil rights activism—e.g. to protest social injustice, call for change to help others or our planet, illuminate personal experience of injustice or oppression, celebrate diversity, etc., as long as the poem does not promote violence or cruelty. Complexity and innovation in form/language are welcome. Submission Deadline: September 1, 2017.

Step Two: If one of your poems is accepted, your poem will be given to another participant in the Challenge to transform into a poets theater piece. You will receive a poem from a different participant. Write a new poets theater piece, inspired by the poem you received and incorporating as many phrases from the poem as you can thoughtfully collage. The poets theater piece must be for more than one voice, the best writing you can muster, and 1-5 pages long. Special kudos for retaining and reinforcing any activist theme. Complexity and innovation in form/language are welcome. Submission Deadline: February 1, 2018 (but the sooner the better).

Step Three: If your performance text is in good order, it will be given to another participant in the Challenge to be performed. You will receive a poets theater piece from a different participant. Get your friends together and perform this piece in a public space (indoors or outdoors). You can add costumes, props, music, movement, etc. to the piece as long as your intent is to honor the text. Have a friend video this performance. The video can be low-tech, as on a smart phone, but feel free to edit the video if you think that’s wise. How to submit the video will be discussed at the time. Special congratulations for harnessing any activist theme in the performance—via how you manifest the text, where you perform it, and which audience you reach. Submission Deadline: June 1, 2018 (but the sooner the better).

Step Four: As long as the editor finds them acceptable, all winning poems, poets theater pieces, and videos of performances will be published on the Pyriform Press website as an online issue of Nerve Lantern. In further appreciation, the editor will give each participant one free copy chosen from available past issues of Nerve Lantern.

Email your submission of poems and an example performance text (Word doc or pdf; include your name, email address, mailing address, bio, and a brief statement of interest) to Ellen Redbird. Find her email link here: www.pyriformpress.com/contact/

Notes: Poetry judges are yet to be determined. The Challenge will only go ahead if we can find at least three participants.

For more info about Nerve Lantern, visit www.pyriformpress.com/nervelantern/

Please share this call for submissions. In the spirit of Robin Hood: The more the merrier!