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Call for Submissions — Magma 76, Resistencia

Closing date: 31st August, 2019

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The submissions window for ‘Resistencia’ is open from 1st July – 31st August 2019.

We welcome poems that have not been previously published, either in print or online.

Up to 4 poems may be sent via Submittable, or by post if you live in the UK. Postal submissions are not acknowledged until a decision is made.

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Write it the way it sounds, Mami always said
when I asked how to spell tos or vaca.
It worked until we came to English
and a cough was not written like it sounded;
a heifer or house or heart, for that matter,
impossible to get right. And so for a while
silence seemed the only way not to be wrong
about the world…to hold out
for what was lost: long days filled
with the eternal waving of the palms.

The voice low over the sad parts, breaking
where it cannot pass easily into description,
the voice breathless with the story of its life,
peaking in disbelief. Ay sí, I tell you
that it works in English, too, this listening
and then this writing out the human voice
so that it spells its quiet heart on paper.
Now settled in translation I hear her saying,
escríbelo como suena, every time I write it
the way it sounds, word for word, line by line.

—Julia Alvarez, ‘The Way It Sounds’

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‘Latinx’ refers to people of Latin American origin or descent living in the diaspora. As the Latinx poet Martín Espada explains in his book ‘El Coro: A chorus”: “Latino literature and poetry is about the tension between double attachments to place, to language, and to identity”. For Espada, it is possible to find in that literature “the open expression of anger and grief”. “There is the music of protest. There is the search for a reflection of one’s face after the mirror is broken. But there is also self-mocking humor, the quiet assertion of dignity and the raucous celebration of survival, not only in the individual but also in the collective sense ”.

For the #76 Magma Issue, ‘Resistencia’, we are seeking poems about disobedience, solidarity, human rights, bilingualism, exile, migration, that are related or linked to Latin America, or to the Latinx experience here in the UK or elsewhere.

We would also love to receive bilingual poems, in Spanglish or with Portuguese words, poems that are inspired, influenced or moved by anything Latino or Latin American.

Here’s an example of a poem by the US Poet Laureate José Felipe Herrera:

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Yet the peach tree
still rises
& falls with fruit & without
birds eat it the sparrows fight
our desert

——–burns with trash & drug
it also breathes & sprouts
vines & maguey

laws pass laws with scientific walls
detention cells husband
—————with the son
—————-the wife &
the daughter who
married a citizen
they stay behind broken slashed

un-powdered in the apartment to
deal out the day
————–& the puzzles
another law then —–another
Mexican
———Indian
—————spirit exile
migration ————-sky
the grass is mowed then blown
by a machine sidewalks are empty
clean & the Red Shouldered Hawk
peers
down — from
an abandoned wooden dome
——————-an empty field

it is all in-between the light
every day ——-this changes a little

yesterday homeless &
w/o papers ————Alberto
left for Denver a Greyhound bus he said
where they don’t check you

walking —-working
under the silver darkness
—–walking ——working
with our mind
our life

—Juan Felipe Herrera, ‘Everyday We Get More Illegal’

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Please send us your poems of anything Latin American, Latino or Latinx. We’d like to see poems that expand and enrich on the experience of ‘Latinidad’, from memorable travels in South America, to your personal explorations of the Spanish, Portuguese, Quechua or any other language spoken in Latin America, to inspirations taken from some of the better known Latin American poets such as Pablo Neruda, Cesar Vallejo, Jorge Luis Borges, Violeta Parra, Claribel Alegría or Gabriela Mistral, to name only a few.

We’d like to see poems that take us on a journey into the many aspects of Latin America, from its singularities and complexities, to its wonders, colours and flavours. Poems that speak of the current political and social situation in the region (Carolyn Forché’s ‘The Colonel’ is a great example of a brilliant political poem based on a bloody Salvadoran dictator, as well as Raúl Zurita’s INRI, a visionary response to the atrocities committed under the dictatorship of Chilean General Augusto Pinochet.)

Check out also poems by some of the most exciting Latinx poets writing today, including Lorna Dee Cervantes, Javier Zamora, Natalie Diaz, Ada Limón or Demetria Martínez, which might give you a wider idea of the current preoccupations and different styles of the ever expanding Latinx experience.

Send us your best poems about everything Latin American, in all its many forms and shapes– y Buena Suerte!

Leo Boix and Nathalie Teitler, editors, Magma 76.

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Wanting to submit to Magma 76? You may submit:

Up to 4 previously unpublished poems in a single Word document.

We are now accepting simultaneous submissions – but please withdraw your submission or contact us if it is accepted for publication somewhere else first.

Go to Submittable for more details.

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