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At Dominican Writers we seek to publish creatively, artistic works that promote the diversity of Domincan writers. We wish to publish original pieces including but not limited to poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. The work submitted cannot be work that has been published on the Internet including social media, personal blogs, or any other news resources.
Please pay attention to our guidelines before submitting your work. The authors retain the copyrights of their work. We accept work in English, Spanish & Spanglish.
ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS THE ENTIRE MONTH OF JUNE
We seek essays that investigate contemporary elegy within the black diaspora. We are especially interested in essays that discuss the black writers’ responses to personal and public deaths. One could look at the contemporary poem of mourning as a challenge to the elegy in its past form, as a commemoration of diasporic challenges (including police brutality), and/or as a vehicle for addressing concerns with citizenship and belonging. One could look to the poetry of Terrance Hayes, Tyehimba Jess, Mahogany Browne, Nikky Finney, Jericho Brown, Aracelis Girmay, Evie Shockley, Danez Smith, Claudia Rankine, Fred Moten, Warsan Shire, and Dominique Christina, among many others; one could also look to elegiac prose by authors such as Jesmyn Ward, Edwidge Danticat, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, to name a few.
What is an Elegy?
An elegy (pronounced ELL-eh-jee) is a poem of mourning. Written in a somber style, it reflects seriously on death and on the person who has passed. Elegies are written for a specific person, usually someone the author knew well, although sometimes people write elegies for long-dead heroes. The emotional effect is usually greatest, however, when the elegy is written from a personal experience of loss.
How to Write an Elegy:
Pick a subject. For the best elegy, it should be someone you knew and loved, but is now gone. You can also write about someone you didn’t know, like a dead artist or historical figure, but the emotional connection probably won’t be as strong.
Think about the person’s qualities, both good and bad. What was their personality like? What was their outlook on the world? What did you have in common with the person? In what ways were you different?
Write with emotion. A true elegy is written with emotions of sadness, loss, and reflection. In writing one, though, you should just write whatever feelings you genuinely have toward the person you’re writing about. Even if the result is not a normal elegy in terms of its emotional tone, it’s better to be authentic about your emotions.
When to use an Elegy:
An elegy is a poem, so it belongs solely to creative writing. There’s no reason to write an elegy in an essay. Aside from poetry, though, elegy can have applications in other artistic fields. Music is an obvious example: many of the elegies in this article are songs, and this is a very common topic to write a song about. You can also express your emotions about the dead in essay form. Even though it wouldn’t technically be an elegy (since it’s not written in verse), such a work of art could still be elegiac (elegy-like) and very powerful
Creative submissions (1 elegiac poem, short prose pieces) OR 500-700 word essay
Can submit in either English, Spanish, or Spanglish
MUST Include full name, short Bio and social media handle with your submission.
NOTE that we are centering black voices, please do not submit if you do not identify as African descent.
What we are looking for:
We invite contemporary creative writers to submit. We are especially interested in poems or short creative prose pieces that grapple with Black Lives Matter themes, such as racial bias within the criminal justice system, police killings of black men, women, and children, and the surveillance of black communities. Putting these critical and creative works in conversation, Revisiting the Elegy will explore how mourning feeds our political awareness in this dystopian time, as black writers attempt to see, hear, and say something to the bodies of the dead as well as to living readers.
This call for submission was inspired by Dr. Tiffany Austin's 2018 call for submission. Tiffany currently teaches rhetorical and creative writing at the University of The Bahamas. Her research interests center on African Diaspora studies, including African American, Caribbean, Afro-Latino(a) and African literature. Austin has published poetry in African American Review, Callaloo, Obsidian, pluck!, Valley Voices, and Sycorax’s Daughters, a speculative literature anthology. Her photo essay “A South in Sound” was recently published in TriQuarterly, and her essay “The Gendered Blues in Sonia Sanchez’s Morning Haiku” also appears in the edited collection Sonia Sanchez’s Poetic Spirit through Haiku (2017).