Call for submissions to Special Issue of TEXT: ‘Poetry Now’

Across the ages, critics and poets have made pronouncements about the role and function of poetry in the world. Plato banished poetry from the ideal society, though was open to its value if defenders could prove it; Coleridge said that poetry is for ‘pleasure, not truth’. Auden said that ‘poetry makes nothing happen’; Anne Carson says that a poem ‘is an action of the mind captured on a page’. Alison Whittaker says that poetry can be a ‘great tool for organising and for mobilising people’. 

What is poetry now? What purposes does it serve, and for whom? How are poets harnessing poetry’s power globally to address urgent contemporary issues? How is poetry experienced and received among different communities of readers and listeners? And what are the new frontiers for poetry? How does it intersect with other domains, and what are the fruits of these intersections? What are its emerging contexts? How will poetry function in the future? 

This special issue of TEXT seeks to publish scholarly papers and poetry that investigate poetry’s evolving place in the contemporary moment. Papers and poetry are encouraged to explore, but are not limited to the following:

  • Poetry and activism
  • Poetry and aesthetics
  • Poetry and ageing
  • Poetry and the body
  • Poetry and collaboration
  • Poetry and community
  • Poetry as confession
  • Poetry as conversation
  • Poetry and design
  • Poetry and ecologies
  • Poetry and elders 
  • Poetry and the environment
  • Poetry as experiment
  • Poetry and genre
  • Poetry and humour
  • Poetry and identity
  • Poetry as instruction
  • Poetry as manifesto
  • Poetry and medicine
  • Poetry and memory
  • Poetry and music
  • Poetry and the non-human
  • Poetry and older Australians
  • Poetry and politics
  • Poetry as protest
  • Poetry and practice
  • Poetry as process
  • Poetry in public spaces
  • Poetry as record/history
  • Poetry as research
  • Poetry and science
  • Poetry and technology
  • The role of the poet
  • Poetry as witness
  • Poetry and writing lives

Scholarly papers should be between 5,000 and 6,000 words, including references. Up to three poems and/or one poetry sequence of any length per poet, will be considered. Please note, all poetry submissions must be accompanied by an ERA research statement that clearly explains the submission’s aims and significance. 

How to submit your Expression of Interest: 

  • Please submit a 250 word Expression of Interest for scholarly essays (by email to Jessica Wilkinson: with ‘Poetry Now EOI’ as the subject line. In your EOI please outline how your paper or poems explore(s) the theme of ‘Poetry Now’. Also, make sure you include the following information: your full name, institutional affiliation (if any), email address, title of paper/poem, brief biography (50–100 words), and 3 to 5 keywords (at least two of which should clearly relate to the issue’s title). Deadline: October 31st2020.
  • Poetry submissions should be sent in full, accompanied by an ERA research statement, by February 28th 2021.

Enquiries: Jessica Wilkinson, RMIT or Cassandra Atherton, Deakin University or Sarah Holland-Batt, QUT,