Sunday Submissions: ‘A Blade of Grass,’ New Palestinian Poetry

Novelist, poet, and academic Naomi Foyle is putting together a bilingual anthology of Palestinian poetry for Smokestack Books, and she’s looking for your submissions:

By Belal Khaled.

The dual-language anthology, to be called A Blade of Grass after a quote from an interview with Mahmoud Darwish, will present up to five poems each by 10 to 12 Palestinian poets. The cover design is still in progress, but at right is a banner from Gazan calligraphy artist and photographer Belal Khaled, who is also designing the jacket art.

These poets, Foyle says, should represent “a diverse range of voices, both new and established, from the Occupied Territories, ’48 Palestinians, the diaspora and the refugee community. Some poets and translators will be invited to submit work; others will be selected through this open call.”

From the submission guidelines:

  • Please email between three and ten poems and their translations in a Word document to The original poems may have been previously published in journals, anthologies and single-authored collections. The translations may have been previously published in journals, but not in anthologies or translated single-author collections.
  • All modes of poetry are welcome, including performance poetry, traditional forms and experiments with form and voice. Please note that the editor is a non-Arabic speaker and the quality of the translations will form the ultimate basis of assessment.
  • The Word document should include short biographies, highlights of previous publications, and the email contact details of both the poet and the translator.
  • The total poetry submission (excluding biographies and publication highlights) should not exceed 20 pages.
  • The deadline for submissions is midnight GMT June 10.
  • The final selection will be made by June 30.

Contributing authors will receive an honorarium of up to £50 and a contributor copy. However, they add, “The publisher and editor undertake to apply to other funding bodies to increase the payment to translators to professional rates, and cover the costs of launches in the UK and Palestine; and also to launch a crowd-sourcing campaign with the aim of ensuring payments to poets match those to translators.”