Mantis: A Journal of Poetry, Criticism, and Translation is looking for original poetry and poetry in translation. An annual publication on all issues poetic, Mantis is housed at the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages at Stanford University. It seeks work from talented poets, translators, and critics. Our scope is both local and international, and we've run features on the poetry of Greek Austerity, the Seattle-based poetry collaborative Re Drum, contemporary Hebrew Poetry as well as Red State Poetry. We regularly review contemporary poetry and poetry translations. All issues include new poetry in English.  

In our upcoming issue, in addition to our regular sections featuring new poetry and poetry translation, there will be two special sections, one on "Poetry & Protest" and another on gestures, which will consist of poetry, translations, essays, reviews, prose-poetry and hybrid writing.  Please refer to the submission categories for more information.

Our recent contributors have included Anne Boyer, Alice Notley, Alicia Ostriker, Bernadette Meyer, Javier Etchevarren (Uruguay), Camila Charry Noreiga (Colombia), Andrea Cote-Botero (Colombia), Ken-ichi Saso (Japan), Sonata Paliulté (Lithuania), as well as new poetry from Macedonia by Afrodita Nikolova, Toni Popov, Svonko Taneski and more!

Past contributors included Ben Doller, Yoko Tawada (Japanese), John Felstiner, G.C. Waldrep, T.R. Hummer, Nonna Slepakova (Russian), Kim Simonsen (Faroese), H. L. Hix, Natalie Shapero, Ghassan Zaqtan (Palenstian), Lyn Hejinian, Fady Joudah, Li Hao (Chinese), and Michael Goldman.

Submissions for 2019 are open! Specific questions can be addressed to either our Poetry Editors, Shoshana Olidort and Armen Davoudian (mantispoetry@gmail.com), or our Translations Editors, Melih Levi and Luis Rodríguez Rincón (mantistranslations@gmail.com).

Please do not send material that has been previously published.  Please send only one submission per category per issue. 

The submission portal will close on October 20, 2018.

“Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence.” ~ Audre Lorde

In our current political milieu, it sometimes seems as if language itself is under assault, with words being twisted to form “alternative facts” in order to justify the unjustifiable. Our feature on Poetry & Protest seeks to consider how poetry can speak truth to power, while also asking what is at stake when poetry is politicized.

For this feature, Mantis welcomes submissions of poems that reflect on protest and those that, as the poet Kwame Dawes put it, are “engaged in using language to effect some kind of political change or transformation."

Send up to five poems, totaling no more than ten pages. Please do not send material that has been previously published. 

Mantis is soliciting new poetry, translations, and short essays about gestures

What is a gesture? What constitutes a gesture? A dictionary definition is “a movement of the body, hands, arms, or head to express an idea or feeling.” Since gestures are bodily expressions of an idea or feeling, it can be tempting to make associations between gestures and identity. Certain gestures might be more readily associated with specific groups or identities, and thus serve as ‘markers.’ But gestures are also often performative; they allow one to inhabit a certain identity temporarily.

In Cruising Utopia, José Esteban Muñoz writes: “Concentrating on gesture atomizes movement. These atomized and particular movements tell tales of historical becoming. Gestures transmit ephemeral knowledge of lost queer histories and possibilities within a phobic majoritarian public culture.” 

Isolating gestures from bodies can be complex because this process requires deciding where the gesture begins and where it ends. And therein lies both the political problem and potential in thinking about gestures. Just as we are selective when we quote from another’s language and incorporate it into our own, so we are when we  isolate a gesture and use it to make larger claims about identity. But as Muñoz explains, gestures can also be a powerful form of resistance; they can help trace, actuate and sustain marginalized histories.

How do you, as a poet, translator, writer, scholar think about gestures in your own work? Do you think about language or certain speech acts as gestures? Or translation itself as a gesture? Are all political acts inherently a gesture? While we are eager to receive poems describing gestures, we look forward to reading poems and essay that think about gestural qualities of language and translation.

Guidelines for submission: Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please do us the courtesy of promptly informing us if your work is accepted elsewhere.  

Poetry & Prose Poetry

Please send us five to seven pages of your finest poetry as a single file. This may include a short sequence or an excerpt from a longer poem. If we’re keen on a longer piece, we’ll query you to send more. If you wish, you can add a short commentary on how you think about gestures and how they inform your work.

Translation

Please submit your translations (with the original) as a single file. We'd also appreciate a brief note introducing the poet you're translating and a commentary on the role gestures play in the poems. This can appear in your cover letter or within your submission itself. This should help us contextualize the poet in question and would--we imagine--become the basis for the short introductions that we run with our translated poems. It is your responsibility to secure the rights to the work you are translating. Prior to publication all translations are reviewed by readers proficient in the translated language.

Essays, Hybrid Forms, Cross-Genre Writing 

We are looking for essays and short thought-pieces on the subject. This is a pretty open-ended invitation, and some possible forms include literary criticism, reviews, philosophical reflection, hybrid experiments, and conversation scripts. Please limit your work to 2000 words.

We are looking forward to reading your work!

Mantis is interested in the best new poetry—across a range of aesthetics, subject matters, and locales—that is currently being written. We value evocative imagery, syntactical play, a well-tuned ear, and an engagement with a poem’s shape or form. We embrace the unique, the startling, and the well crafted, however it’s achieved.

With this in mind, please send up to five poems, totaling no more than ten pages. This may include a short sequence or an excerpt from a longer poem. If we’re keen on a longer piece, we’ll query you to send more. This cycle, we are keen on new poetry that engages with politics. Please do not send material that has been previously published.  

You can expect to hear from us within three to four months. Simultaneous submissions are welcomed, though we expect that you’ll note this in your cover letter, and notify us if you contract your work elsewhere. Unless otherwise noted, we ask that you wait four months before resubmitting additional work. 

Please direct questions to mantispoetry@gmail.com

Mantis is interested in publishing translations that will expose our readers to compelling and unfamiliar poems. We tend to choose translations of contemporary poets. When we do publish work by poets of the past, it's usually because we find it under-appreciated or neglected in English. All languages will be considered--we've featured work from Tamil, Italian, Danish, and Farsi--and all translations appear side-by-side with the original. 

Please submit your translations (with the original) as a single file. We'd also appreciate a brief note introducing the poet you're translating. This can appear in your cover letter or within your submission itself. This should help us contextualize the poet in question and would--we imagine--become the basis for the short introductions that we run with our translated poems. 

Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please do us the courtesy of promptly informing us if your translations are accepted elsewhere. It is your responsibility to secure the rights to the work you are translating. Prior to publication all translations are reviewed by readers proficient in the translated language.

Please direct questions to: mantistranslations@gmail.com

Mantis is soliciting poetry reviews and criticism. We publish ~2000 word reviews of contemporary poetry in English or in translation, and other critical pieces treating issues in contemporary poetry and poetics. These include surveys of trends in contemporary poetry, interviews, theoretically oriented reflections, etc. You can submit your piece directly or a short abstract. Specific questions can be addressed to our Reviews Editor, Armen Davoudian (armend@stanford.edu)
Mantis