Summer 2023 Folio – The Possibility Is Here
“Well, it is here. The possibility is here. Not there. Next to me. And I am next to you.” – from June Jordan’s response to the moon landing, published in the New York Times in 1969
The Possibility Is Here is a project attempting to, in some way, break the division the state tries to build physically, emotionally, and mentally between incarcerated and non-incarcerated people, acknowledging that this division is not only a logistical barrier but one that lives in our hearts and minds.
When we write or create art collaboratively across prison walls, we exercise our ability to dream together with the very people the state has attempted to isolate us from. Buoyed by kinship, conversation, and relationships, we can collectively create worlds that acknowledge brutal realities while laying bare, too, the watershed of love that exists despite. This project is one tributary in the wide river of people working against dehumanization and carceralism, and we are overjoyed to be a part of this movement. We open this project from a place of love and all its riparian possibility.
When does the submission period close?
October 31, 2022.
Is there a submission fee?
No, we have waived submission fees for this feature.
Where can I send submissions?
We strongly encourage sending us your work through Submittable, but we recognize this is often impossible for incarcerated writers.
If sending by mail, address your envelope to:
Indiana University English Dept.
Ballantine Hall 440
1020 E Kirkwood Ave
Bloomington, IN 47405-7104
Include a brief cover letter letting us know that you are submitting your work to the Summer 2023 feature, and include a statement about the nature of your collaboration. You may also include any contextual or explanatory notes about the piece you are submitting (for example, if you are working within non-western literary traditions, you may include notes on special craft and/or cultural considerations) that you deem necessary for editors to fully attend to your work. Please try to limit your cover letter to 100 words. You may optionally include a short biographical statement for each collaborator.
All mailed submissions should include a self-addressed envelope (we will take care of postage). **Please also include guidelines for how best to contact you and your collaborator(s), or where we might access that information.**
What do you mean by “incarcerated”?
Anyone being held in a state facility against their will. This includes political prisoners, people in county jails, people in immigration detention centers, people in military prisons, people on death row, people in maximum security prisons, etc. This could also include undocumented people who are in sanctuary, who essentially can’t leave the building for fear of arrest by ICE.
We’d also consider collaborations between folks who have recently been released from incarceration, accounting for the mental and emotional isolation that persists even after re-entry.
What qualifies as collaboration?
We can get really creative here! Here are some examples of what collaboration might look like:
- One person creates a visual art piece and the other writes an ekphrastic poem in response to the art piece
- Several people co-write a poem while on the phone or in a workshop together
- Two people co-write an essay by having one person write a paragraph, then email or physically mail it to the other person, who then adds another paragraph and sends it back, etc.
- Two people come up with a writing prompt and a list of poetic constraints that they both respond to/write within, and then collaborate on meshing the two pieces together
- One person develops a list of lyric/poetic questions, which the other person answers. Together, the questions and answers form an experimental poem or essay
If you are at all interested in this project, our editors are happy to help you figure out what your collaboration might look like, especially if you are working with certain constraints that might make collaboration logistically difficult. Send us an email at email@example.com.
What are you looking for in a poem/story/essay?
You can find all genre editors’ aesthetic statements on our website, here. In general for this project, we are looking for pieces that expand our sense of what is possible through collaboration and collectivity, pieces that find creative ways to break down state-enforced silos, pieces that challenge readers toward empathy, pieces that question state systems of power and control (and they don’t need to have answers to those questions!), pieces that uncover or create beauty, tenderness, and truth that resist state violence and isolation.
We can guarantee that every piece submitted to us will be carefully and thoughtfully read.
What kind of support do you offer to incarcerated artists?
Indiana Review pays all contributors (rates can be found here, but essentially we pay $25.00 for any piece under five pages. Pieces over five pages long receive $25.00 + $5.00 per additional page).
Genre editors are also all willing to work closely on revision with all artists accepted for publication.
Each contributor to Indiana Review also receives two print copies of the magazine issue in which their work appears.
If there is some other kind of support that would make this collaboration more feasible, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.