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Switchback Books is thrilled to announce our 2014 Queer Voices Contest!

hanks to generous funding from the Open Meadows Foundation, Switchback launches our first ever contest for a full-length poetry manuscript by a queer-identified woman writer on January 1, 2014. Update 1/1/14: The 2014 Queer Voices Contest is now open! Find guidelines and submit via Submittable. Over the past seven years, Switchback Books has published nine (soon to be ten!) books by women poets, many of whom are winners of our annual Gatewood Prize. While we are proud of the gaps Switchback Books fills in the broader landscape of the publishing industry, we’ve noticed different gaps appearing. As a result, we feel compelled to more broadly reflect the diverse range of women’s experiences. Switchback Books developed out of a disappointment in the way publishers failed to address inequity in their own catalogs. We’ve developed our 2014 Queer Voices Contest to avoid that same misstep within the world of women’s poetry, and to solidify our feminist mission. In a landscape where a transgender woman can still be denied entrance to a women’s college, it’s increasingly important that feminists actively pursue inclusivity for the good of all women. The Open Meadows Foundation agrees, and with their generous support, we launch the 2014 Queer Voices Contest on New Year’s Day 2014! Switchback Books will publish the prize-winning manuscript and award its author a $1000 honorarium! Groundbreaking poet, performer, and scholar Dawn Lundy Martin will select the winning manuscript.

Dawn Lundy Martin, a writer, professor, and social justice researcher, is the author of A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering (University of Georgia Press 2007), winner of the Cave Canem Prize; DISCIPLINE (Nightboat Books, 2011), which was selected by Fanny Howe for the Nightboat Books Poetry Prize and a finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Lambda Literary Award; Candy, a limited edition letterpress chapbook (Albion Books 2011); and The Morning Hour, selected by C.D. Wright for the 2003 Poetry Society of America’s National Chapbook Fellowship. Her forthcoming book, Life in a Box is a Pretty Life, will be published by Nightboat Books in 2014. Martin has given lectures on race, gender, and poetics at universities across the country, including most recently the Naropa University Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and the University of California at Berkeley. She is a member the experimental black poetry and performance group, the Black Took Collective, and a co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation in New York, a national young feminist organization. She is Associate Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, and also works as a research consultant for foundations and organizations on gender and other social justice issues. We will accept submissions of full length (48–80 pages) manuscripts online only. Stay tuned for more details and the official launch of the contest on January 1, 2014!

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