issue two, “alchemies”, is live!

Now that the April frenzy is over, we finally had time to… well, what do you do after you get your ducks in a row? Knock them over? Feed them bread crumbs? Whatever it is, we managed to do it this weekend, and muscle through to get Issue Two live. This is our first themed issue, on the subject “Alchemies”, so we weren’t sure what to expect; but the submissions pile was full of pleasant surprises and interpretations on the theme, with settings from the fantastic to the ordinary and styles from the conversational to the ecstatic. We also got visual art submissions, which we were thrilled to see, and hope those will continue in the future.

Please click the “current issue” button at the top of the page to get to the works by, *ahem*, Sylvia Ashby, Susan Chast, Gabrielle Freeman, Nicole Nicholson, Sara Norja, Francine Rubin, Scott T. Starbuck, John Vieira, and Barbara Young. And while you’re clicking up there, you ought to think about clicking “submission guidelines” as well, since we are still reading for the next issue until 10 June! We thank you all for your continued support, and hope that you’ll help us grow this little corner of the blogosphere into something truly special. Cheers and enjoy!

extending the deadline…

Hey all!

In case you’re not aware, Tessa and I have been pretty nuttily doing NaPoWriMo daily challenges for the month of April, she at her blog and I at mine, which means this blog has been a bit quiet. BUT, that doesn’t mean we aren’t reading your submissions and craftily plotting the release of our next issue in about a week.

First of all, we are looking to finish sending responses for what we’ve received already by tomorrow or Saturday. So if you did submit to Alchemies and haven’t heard yet, please stay tuned.

However, the slush pile was also pretty light this time around, and we are still open to additional submissions, beyond our original deadline of this past Sunday. So, let’s say… if you get us something by Monday, 28 April, we are willing to consider it for the second issue. We know a lot of you have been doing daily challenges for the month as well, so if anything you’ve written can connect to our theme — poems, stories, artwork, or other media that relate to transformation, change, harmony and disharmony, actual alchemy, lead, gold, beasts, symbols, or however you want to interpret the theme in a way you think we’ll like — please send it! Monday is definitely the hard deadline, though, as we still expect to get this thing out next weekend, lightweight or not.

We are also accepting submissions for the next unthemed issue, but that’s not the fun one. We know you want to send in for the one about to launch. So what are you waiting for? :)

~ from Joseph

one week later…

Hey everyone,

First, we’ve been thrilled to see the response from the blogosphere to CSHS; thanks very much for your support! We’re proud to have offered some kickass poetry that’s been well-received, and we hope we can continue to do so. Of course, that means we need…

Submissions. Currently, we have need for submissions related to our second issue’s theme, Alchemies. Please check out our post on what the theme entails: really, it’s a lot more flexible than you may think. We welcome short stories, prose poems, and artwork that expresses the theme as well! But there’s only three weeks left to submit, and we haven’t yet filled our plate with as many options as we’d like, so we exhort you to send things in. (With National Poetry Month around the corner, hopefully some of you will be generating fresh work in the next couple weeks that can tie in to the theme…)

And yes, we will be accepting for our unthemed Issue #3 starting Tuesday. But we’d really like to get an Issue #2 in there first. :)  (The theme for Issue #4 will be released before too long as well, we’re sure…)

We appreciate any signal boost you can give us, both to share the fine poetic work that’s already up, and to get your friends, enemies, or frenemies to send us more. Please also keep an eye on this blogspace for treats during National Poetry Month. Reach out and touch us!

first issue is live!

So, we’ve managed to get here at last… the first issue of CSHS is now live! You can get to it via the “current issue” link on the header bar, and it will be the front page for the site for a couple weeks, at least. There is fine work by twelve poets in this issue: Kendall A. Bell, James Brush, Rachel Bunting, John Grey, Corey Mesler, Esther Murer, Kenneth Pobo, Val Dering Rojas, Jeff Schiff, Irene Toh, Barbara Young, and Thomas Zimmerman. Please give them a read!

And remember that we are currently accepting submissions for our second issue, with the theme Alchemies (due in on 20 April), and will begin accepting submissions for our third (unthemed) issue on 1 April. Click on the “submission guidelines” link on the header bar for more information. Thanks to everyone who’s been supporting us in getting the journal off the ground, and we hope you enjoy it/follow us/spread the word!

one week left…!

Just a friendly reminder that we have one week remaining in the submissions period for the first issue; hope you’ll consider sending something in! And remember that after that, the submissions period for our first themed issue, Alchemies, will be running through late April; you’re welcome to submit to both.

Check out our submission guidelines and lob something our way. We’d love to read it!

announcing theme: alchemies

So, as some of you may have noticed, we have the submission period listed for our second issue, Alchemies. As mentioned before, we’ll be alternating between unthemed and themed, so you have a bit more time for this one. When sending your submissions, if you intend to submit to a themed issue, please include that in your email! Otherwise, we’ll assume that you’re aiming for the next unthemed one.

We did the plural of alchemy because we figured it opened the door a little wider to interpretation. On its own, the term signifies quite a bit, but it’s still intimately tied to the idea of an arcane proto-scientific process. You could go in lots of directions with the medieval concept alone: the search for eternal life, the drive for wealth, the combination of mysticism, religion, and observations of the natural world, etc. But taken as a metaphor, it becomes a broader signifier of change, transformation, and even growth, in ways that are not necessarily painless or comprehensible. “Transformation” seemed too facile, and “change” seemed too broad; we want to see the pangs and rough edges of change. Think of the melting-down and confusion of substances that the messy diversity of alchemy truly encompasses; consider the motivations and chance discoveries along the way.

You can interpret that as you will: whether you want to go literal, and take some photos of old alembics and crucibles/write a story about the old hunt for the philosophers’ stone, or play out your line a little bit and write a sestina about modern struggles using the language of alchemy (and there is some beautiful such language out there), we’re open to ideas that meet our brief. As always, we want to see work that holds our interest, and particularly in the case of themes, takes the theme in unexpected directions (which still resonate and sing). And the reading period will be running for another two months, so there’s plenty of time for you to mess around with some ideas; at this point, we’re still pretty focused on Issue #1, but soon enough we’ll be thinking about the next.

Speaking of Issue #1: you’ve got sixteen days left! Send us your work!

the first wave begins to crest

Happy Thursday! We’re pretty excited to see that the submissions are already rolling in at a steady clip, poetry and prose alike; 22 days to go! Please have a look at our guidelines and consider something in if you haven’t yet…

Nicole raised a good question in the comments: will we consider work that has previously appeared on a blog? The answer is yes, but. We would prefer to see some or all of the following: a) the work removed or password-protected on the blog; b) a more polished version of the original piece in your submission; c) notation in your blog of where to find the published piece. We understand the idea of blogs as a forum for developing ideas in a semi-public way, and the importance of having a record of your work’s progress over time; but we hope that you give CSHS its due by treating the version here as the “most finished, most public” version. (At least, until you publish it somewhere else, someday, perhaps.)

It’s also a good time to give two shout-outs to other blog types that have given a signal boost to our project here. First, special thanks to We Write Poems and their new offshoot, Red Wolf Journal, for their support; go check them out and consider sending to two journals at once! (Maybe different poems though. You know how editors like to chat.) And thanks also to Margo Roby, who has very kindly given us a write-up on her site. If you haven’t been to see it, you should: it’s the veritable clearinghouse for blogs, prompt sites, news, and tidbits poetic that all cyberspace writers should be familiar with.

Quick edit: forgot to mention that there has been a bit of confusion about what the address to submit to actually is. If the submission guidelines are bit too arcane, the address is “cshsquarterly”. Then there’s an at-sign. Then there’s “gmail”. Then comes the punctuation mark and “com” that you’d expect. We’re being so crafty with this to deter bots however little we can.

Other questions are welcome! We’ll answer as promptly as possible, between reading what people have sent in.