GLYPHÖRIA, our new web-based platform for multidisciplinary poetry, will launch in June 2023! Curated by guest editors and modeled around different themes, each issue engages its topic through video, sound and text. We are interested in work that explores new frontiers of poetry and experiments with different poetic forms and media.
Submissions are open until January 1, 2023.
The special issues are:
Translating Language and Sound
Curated by Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch
Performance has often been a second thought for many writers. The focus has often been on the written word, rather than what the work might sound like reading out loud. Spoken word poets, of course, have often cared more about what the poem sounds like performed than what it looks like on the page.
The GLYPHÖRIA special issue, Translating Language and Sound, attempts to merge these two concerns, making both performance and page equally important. This issue wants to think through the ways literary work can function off the page, in the world, in translation, in mutation.
In particular, Translating Language and Sound is looking for submissions of sound poetry, multimedia literature, performed fiction that blurs lines, translations that thinks beyond the written word. I’m looking for playful work, funny work, experimental work that strays beyond traditional poetry and prose to bring the work to new life. Collaborations between writers and sound artists/musicians are extremely welcomed and encouraged.
This issue is trying to expand the definition of translation to move beyond the task of changing the language of the work but rather, to change the experience of the work, the feeling of the work, to expand beyond the single author into a collaborative space. Work in translation is extremely welcome but if you are translating in a traditional sense, try to approach the presentation of the work in new and interesting ways, always thinking about multi-media approaches.
We’re also interested in collecting written poetry that concerns itself with sound, where the lyricism and sound of the words feel like they’re jumping off the page. Please send a written description of your proposed project and examples of your written work as well as examples of your possible collaborators’ sound/video/multi-media work. I’m happy to collaborate with the authors I chose and therefore, the project can be something we figure out together, but please have an idea and plan in mind that we can work towards.
Work by Francophone writers will also be considered.
Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch
Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch is a writer living in Tio’tia:ke. Their work has appeared in The Best Canadian Poetry 2018 anthology, The New Quarterly, Arc Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. They were longlisted for the CBC poetry prize in 2019. Their book, knot body (2020), published by Metatron Press, was shortlisted for the QWF Concordia First Book Award, and their second book, The Good Arabs, published by Metonymy Press in 2021, was granted the honorary mention for poetry by the Arab American Book Awards and won the Grand Prix du Livre de Montreal. They are an acquisitions editor at Metonymy Press. They are currently translating Gabrielle Boulianne-Tremblay’s La fille d’elle-même from the French, forthcoming Fall 2023. With co-editor Samia Marshy, they are editing El Ghourabaa, an anthology of weird and experimental queer and trans writing by Arab and Arabophone writers.
Curated by by Jay Ritchie
In 1969, performance artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles wrote a manifesto for “maintenance art” where she asked the question, “after the revolution, who’s going to pick up the garbage on Monday morning?” Through a series of performance pieces, Ukeles revealed the dirty work that supports art work, arguing that maintenance itself can be art. She documented caring for her newborn child, scrubbed the exterior steps of the Wadsworth Atheneum, and shook the hand of over 8,500 New York Sanitation Department workers, thanking them.
In our digital age, the age of “the algorithm,” augmented reality, and ambient datafication, maintenance is pushed even further into the margins. While 5G allows us to tweet from the mountaintop, we still need to clean, take out the garbage, and care for our loved ones, putting the final nail in the coffin of technology’s promise to reduce necessary labour time and free up time for living. More than anything, digital technology has demanded that we do more and more in less and less time.
For this issue, we’re interested in transmedia poetry that deals with maintenance in the digital era. With maintenance in mind, “digital” does not necessarily mean pixels and AI. We’re looking for the poetics of mains hum, the poiesis of everyday life, affective labour, what you do so that you can do what you do. We’re looking for the sounds, images, and relations beneath surfaces and screens. This is a materialist digital poetics, one that uses digitality to critique capitalism’s tendency to invisibilize technology’s human supports.
A former editor for Metatron Press, Jay Ritchie is the author of the poetry collection Cheer Up, Jay Ritchie (Coach House Books, 2017). He has an MFA in Poetry from UMass Amherst, where he won the Daniel and Merrily Glosband MFA Fellowship in Poetry, the Skolfield/Goeckel Award for Poetry, and the Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award for Fiction. He was the managing editor for Vallum: contemporary poetry magazine, as well as the manager for Vallum’s outreach program, and his work, has appeared in The Dalhousie Review, EVENT, Powder Keg, The Puritan, Spork, Peach Mag, glitterMOB, on CBC Radio, at the Newmarket National 10-minute Play Festival, and as part of a digital installation at the PHI Centre. His poetry manuscript Collective Reciprocity was a finalist for Wendy’s Subway 2021 Open Reading Book Prize, judged by John Keene. Currently he is pursuing a PhD in English at McGill University on a SSHRC CGS Doctoral Scholarship, where his research examines how text and performance intersect in contemporary poetic practices. His current research project uses Bernadette Mayer’s Memory, a conceptual art installation, performance piece, and book, to reframe central debates around text and performance by virtue of poetic practices not often explored by performance theory, and to bring controversies around the objecthood of texts into understandings of labour in the post-1970s shift to deindustrialization. He lives in Tio’tia:ke/Montreal.
The Spirit is a Bone
Curated by Ali Pinkney
Poet Ali Pinkney poaches philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s speculation “the spirit is a bone” from his 1807 The Phenomenology of Spirit for the title and theme of her issue with Metatron’s GLYPHÖRIA.
Metatron calls upon poets, poet-academics, poet-artists, poet-dancers, poet-musicians, poet-philosophers, and maybe-poets for artistic works that freely unravel, studiously respond to and/or bastardize Hegel’s pronouncement on materialism in this thematized virtual exhibit of multidisciplinary art. In its liberally interpretive doing, this anti-permanence issue will produce a poetics of immateriality through an interplay of meditations on possibilities of and limitations to transcendence of the material world.
We solicit any art that harnesses ideas of anti-containment, ascension, arrival, collapse, death, decay, destruction, dissociation, disintegration, ephemerality, escape, floatation, forgetting, &c.
The vision takes cues from bodily and urban architectures as the poetics for the poetry of materiality. Send us x-ray images of your own bones, examine ballet as an art of skeletal positions, hear blueprints for buildings from construction sites and city planning documents ‘express’ “scaffolding” as “world bone”: a near-permanence, a futuristic concretion, man-made creation’s first, but organic man-in-decay’s last mattering.
We invoke the moth-edible, the rusted, the threadbare, flaked paint, barns burnt, the psychedelic, projection, memory. The sound of radio, its tangible tower, broadcasting airwaves, satellites. We summon interpretations of “heaven” in all its non/possibilities. Sloughed flesh prisons in submission to the pluralistic matrix. Atmosphere, fragrance, smoke, sky.
Analogue/ephemeral mediums like gelatin silver processing, tape and film, and the human voice will be privileged.
Ali Pinkney is a literary writer based on Tkaron:to/Toronto where she is a graduate student and teaching assistant with the Department of English in the Field of Creative Writing at the University of Toronto. At U of T, she edits for the literary journal Echolocation, co-runs the Creative Writing Working Group, and will teach a workshop about Anorexia and Hunger Poetics through Decent Exposures at Hart House. Her research novel, tentatively titled Osedax, is being written under the supervision of Hoa Nguyen with the support of a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship and an Avie Bennett Award. Ali holds a BA in English and Creative Writing and an MA in English Literature from Concordia University in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal where she held her year’s Steinberg Scholarship, David McKeen award, and a fellowship with the Faculty of Arts and Science. A Romantic scholar, her first master’s thesis focused on Percy Shelley’s idiosyncratic use of extended/accumulative similes through the figuration of wingèd thought. Ali is most known as a presence in the Montréal literary community, having published her first work Tampion with Metatron Press when the press started in 2014. Her long-anticipated novella Roadkill Croque Monsieur will be released soon. She is a member of Filip Marinovich’s Shakespearean Motley College based in New York and co-runs the poetry & performance carnival Calliope! with Marie Ségolène. Ali has guest edited for Bad Nudes Magazine, was a long-time poetry editor at Soliloquies Anthology, and served as a judge on the Metatron Prize in 2021.
Curated by Brad Casey
We’re living in a time where political and social systems are collapsing, climate catastrophe is accelerating, it’s harder to imagine a future that is worth living for. But somehow we’re all still here, grasping at life, because we have faith in something beyond us. Whether that be God, love, art, family, community, social systems, spiritual practices, a deeper connection to another, or to ourselves, this work recognizes that everything is falling apart but there’s something, through the difficulties of living, that keeps one living. That keeps one moving forward. There’s something, somewhere, in which to have faith.
I’m looking for work that acknowledges doom, despair, and difficulty and continues. I’m looking for work that finds the will to live despite greater forces pushing against life. The work I’m looking for and the artists I’m looking to work with have a connection to something ethereal, beautiful, and alive. I’m looking for faith.
Brad Casey is the author of The Idiot on Fire (Metatron, 2016) and The Handsome Man (Book*hug, 2020). He is the host of the podcast Metacösm. He currently lives in Montreal.
Curated by Klara du Plessis
The Poetic Systems special issue of GLYPHÖRIA evokes the resistant practice of recognizing and working against institutional systems, equally as it highlights interconnection as heightened by the creative impetus of poetries in all forms. Systems expand into ecosystems, and organic communities that foreground reciprocity, interchange, and collaboration. This issue as a whole can further be understood as a system. It places various forms of engagement with poetry in relation to one another. Unfurling print poems beside sound poems beside video poems offers support across media, in terms of mutual connection, complement, and distinctiveness. Individual artists might build systems into their modes of making, while sound and video poetry need a high degree of technological mediation and processing, a network of doing that leads towards an output (and beyond). This issue spotlights systems of collaboration, whether in the collective process of creating an artwork or through translation and linguistic cohabitation in Text.
In particular, this issue is looking for submissions of print poems and sound poems interpreting the theme of Poetic Systems. Print poems might thematize the keywords. Alternatively, they could include multi-part works that create links in their formal structure or processes of creation that go beyond the setting of words to paper or screen—if so, please add a brief process note of two or three sentences maximum to introduce this method. Sound poems could include sonic compositions that foreground language as abstraction or audio recordings of readings, performance poetry, or spoken word. Generally, this issue welcomes contributions that gesture beyond the expected and inhabits poetry as a relationship between the individual and the communal.
Klara du Plessis
Klara du Plessis (she/her) is a poet, scholar, and literary curator. Her debut translingual poetry collection, Ekke, won the 2019 Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and her book-length narrative poem, Hell Light Flesh, is currently being adapted and produced as a mono-opera film called Light, with composer Jimmie LeBlanc and director Michael Mori. Previous editorial experience includes working as assistant editor for Vallum: Contemporary Poetry and editor-in-chief of carte blanche, the Quebec Writers’ Federation’s literary journal. Klara is currently a FRQSC- funded, final-year PhD candidate at Concordia University, affiliated with the SpokenWeb research network. As an interdisciplinary project straddling English Literature, Curatorial Studies, and Performance, her doctoral work aims to schematize different modes of literary event curation and to think critically about the often neglected labour that goes into shaping poetry reading series, whether live or in the audio archive. Her research focuses on twentieth-century and contemporary Canadian poetry, and she develops a research-creation component called Deep Curation, an approach that places poets’ work in deliberate dialogue with each other and heightens the curator’s agency toward the poetic product. In this capacity, she has worked with an amazing array of poets, most recently, Alexei Perry Cox and Kama La Mackerel, producing a performance, We’ve Weave, in residence at Studio303, during Summer 2022. Klara has a collaborative book of poetry with Khashayar Mohammadi forthcoming with Palimpsest Press and a collection of literary essays with Gaspereau Press, both in Fall 2023. She lives in Tio’tia:ke / Montreal.
River of Time
Curated by Alasdair Rees
Dip a finger into the River of Time, —
It comes back
– Frank Bidart
The phrases river of time and timestream allow us to conceive of the abstract 4th physical dimension in a way that our minds can grasp. Happenings float along with the current, show themselves briefly before our eyes in the present, and drift downstream into the past. Or, we are passengers carried on the flow from past to future, clinging to the present as our vessel. Either way, this image contains unknowables which only amplify time’s mysteries. Is time the water that makes up the river, or is it the force that drives its currents? What does the river of time empty into, and what is it fed by? Where can time’s branching tributaries take us?
Seeking: your poetry, sound poetry, and video poetry on the topics of time and temporariness, rivers and their significance to personal histories, memory, change and constancy, the human body of water, and liquid futures.
Bleeding out your days
In the river of time
Time moves both ways
– Joanna Newsom
Alasdair Rees lives in Saskatoon where he teaches French at the University of Saskatchewan. From 2019 to 2020, he served as Saskatchewan’s first Youth Poet Laureate. His writing has been longlisted for the Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize and the Grouse Grind Lit Prize, and has been published by Moebius, Ancrages, GUTS, and Urbania. Poems selected by Alasdair while he was the poetry editor of Grain magazine went on to win a Pushcart Prize and be named as a finalist for a National Magazine Award. His work has been broadcast nationally on Radio-Canada and featured at Caraquet’s Festival Acadien de la Poésie, Edmonton’s The Works Festival, Montreal’s Journée du poème à porter, and OutSaskatoon’s Winter Pride Festival. 2021 saw the release of Alasdair’s debut, a collection of poems titled Mon écologie, which appeared in June, and FR: Arts et Culture, a first-of-its-kind publication on french-speaking artists outside of Quebec co-edited by Alasdair and published by AGAVF, which was launched in September. He is currently working on his sophomore book with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.