A Gathering of Poems

Poetry Open Call
With Forests in Our Mouths
Zine #1 — Autumn 2024
We are looking for Queer poems that will be translated into Damiá, a Queer constructed language, and published in a zine in the second half of 2024. The zine is part of With Forests in Our Mouths, a two-year constellation artwork exploring Queer Utopias which includes live performance, exhibitions, films, and publications. We aim to produce a series of four zines over the two years of the project and the poems will feature in the first one. We hope to publish it, online and in print with a limited print run, in autumn 2024. 

The selected poems will be translated into Damiá, a Queer constructed language that is a central part of our artistic practice. We have already made a film and a play in the language, as well as an EP of original songs and a number of books and zines. The poems will be published in both Damiá and the original language. Translation will be undertaken by Aslan in dialogue with the selected poets. You can find out more about Damiá here: www.queertongue.com and www.oncewewereislands.com/Queer-Tongues

Each poet whose work is selected for inclusion in the publication will be paid a modest one-off fee of 50€ and will receive a copy of the printed zine.

We welcome poems in all languages. If you write in a minority or less commonly used language, we will need to contact you to understand the contents of your poem. In this case, you are welcome to include a translation with your submission, though this is not a requirement.

Please note that while there is no upper or lower wordcount for the poems, there is a physical constraint of space in the printed zine. This means that very long poems are less likely to be selected, regardless of their quality.

Submission is free. Copyright for your work will remain yours. We are looking for poems that have not already been published, but we understand that it is very difficult to publish poetry, so we are entirely happy if you make simultaneous submissions — all we ask is that you let us know if your poem is selected for publication elsewhere.

  • Please send us up to three poems that respond to the theme Queer Utopias to info@oncewewereislands.com as a single PDF, or word document with a short paragraph about yourself.

  • Deadline for submission is 6pm EET, 1st June 2024.

  • You’ll hear back from us in mid-June. We will contact you whether your poem has been selected or not.