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Tab Journal

TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics welcomes submissions of poems and other writing about or related to poetry. Please read the guidelines before submitting. We read year-round. take a look at what we've published at tabjournal.org. And follow Tab Journal on Twitter @TABJournal

Tab Journal does not consider previously published work, work by individuals with current our recent affiliation with Chapman University (e.g., faculty, students, staff), or work that has nothing to do with poetry. Otherwise, send us your poems, scholarly or creative essays about poetry, interviews, art-poetry hybrids, and so on.

Please use the form appropriate for the type of work you're submitting. If you don’t happen to see the submission forms here, that means Tab Journal is temporarily closed to submissions while we catch up with what’s in our queue. 

Tab Journal wants to see your Book-Spine Poems for Pandemic Times to feature in our September issue.

Deadline: June 15, 2020

For this special project on book-spine pandemic poems, we seek work that is composed and formed by stacking books so that each title serves as a line in the poem. The subject or theme of the poem should be related to the global pandemic and the ways it affects our lives. As such, these poems will become a curated archive of our bookshelves during this historical moment as well as found-and-constructed literary and visual art using specific constraints across iterations.

In recent weeks, you may have seen some book-spine poems for pandemic times on social media, but this sort of project isn’t new. In 2013, New York-based artist Nina Kathchadourian published a collection of photographs book spines called Sorted Books. In the book’s introduction, Brian Dillon writes, “it is as though the books have convened of their own accord like plants or insects—following secret or, in the case of more explicitly comic or narrative groupings, not-so-secret attractions.” We at Tab Journal have long been interested in this sort project that explores the relationship between text and image, various constraints that writers and artists choose or face, and ways “that books are objects designed to be handled.” 

Here’s an example of a book-spine poem for pandemic times by Tab Journal Editor Anna Leahy: https://twitter.com/TabJournal/status/1257056658083045376

To submit a book-spine poem, please include:

  1. a photograph of the book stack
  2. the typed text of the poem

What to keep in mind as you prepare your book-spine poem for submission:

  • Avoid clutter in the background of the photograph.
  • The photograph should be high enough resolution (at least 300dpi at 100% scale) that it doesn’t get blurry when viewed at 4” x 6” size.
  • While the book titles are key, you might consider the typeface and spine color as well, or you may want to experiment with options if you have hardbacks with paper covers. Remember, for this project, image is text, and text is image.
  • The typed poem should maintain the line breaks established by the stack of books. However, feel free to consider punctuation, stanza breaks, and indents.
  • The text of poems published in Tab Journal will use our usual typeface family, Verdana, which includes italics and bold.
  • For this project only, it’s okay if the photograph (with or without typed text) has appeared on social media. However, the work you submit here must not have been published or distributed beyond your personal social media.
  • The limit for each book-spine submission (and submitter in this category) is two poems. If you submit two poems, upload each as a separate image file and submit one file that includes the typed/text versions of both poems.

Because we are not currently able to pay contributors, we do not charge a submission fee. We consider simultaneous submissions, but expect writers contact us immediately through Submittable messaging to withdraw part of your submission or to withdraw your submission entirely if the work is accepted elsewhere.

Chapman University (the institutional home of Tab Journal) shall have rights to publish electronically work accepted for this special feature. Publication rights revert to the author upon publication in Tab Journal, but we do retain permission to republish and to submit to other outlets such as the Pushcart Prizes. In addition, we require poets to provide an audio file or give Tab Journal permission to make a recording of the accepted poem(s).

If you want to submit something other than a Book-Spine Poem for Pandemic Times, please use the appropriate form, not this one.

Tab Journal would be happy to consider your poems for publication.

Submit 3-5 unpublished poems of any length in a single file. Your name and identifying information should not appear in the file name or inside the file. Word documents are preferred, but RTF and PDF are okay and sometimes better for retaining formatting if you are working with visual forms. 

Because we are not currently able to pay contributors, we do not charge a submission fee. We consider simultaneous submissions, but expect writers contact us immediately through Submittable messaging to withdraw part of your submission or to withdraw your submission entirely if the work is accepted elsewhere.

Chapman University (the institutional home of Tab Journal) shall have First North American Serial Rights to publish accepted work electronically and/or in print. Publication rights revert to the author upon publication in Tab Journal, but we do retain permission to republish and to submit to other outlets such as the Pushcart Prizes. In addition, we require poets to provide an audio file or give Tab Journal permission to make a recording of the accepted poem(s).

If you want to submit something other than poems, please use the appropriate form, not this one.

Tab Journal is a poetry-oriented journal and welcomes essays that have something to do with poetry. We cannot consider essays that don't connect with poetry. The following categories tend to be the sort of prose that interests the editorial team and our readership, but we are open to considering a wide variety of work that explores poetry.

Short Essays: Submit an essay of up to 500-3500 words on aesthetics, the writing process, pedagogy, publishing, or other topics related to poetry and poetics.

Long Essays: Submit a scholarly essay of 4000-8000 words on aesthetics, on theory, or of a literary-critical bent. Please cite as appropriate, using MLA style.

Your name and identifying information should not appear in the file name or inside the file. Word documents are preferred, but RTF and PDF are okay and sometimes better for retaining formatting if you are working with visual forms. 

Because we are not currently able to pay contributors, we do not charge a submission fee. We consider simultaneous submissions, but expect writers to withdraw your submission immediately if it is accepted elsewhere.

Chapman University (the institutional home of Tab Journal) shall have First North American Serial Rights to publish accepted work electronically and/or in print. Publication rights revert to the author upon publication in Tab Journal, but we do retain permission to republish and to submit to other outlets such as the Pushcart Prizes.

If you want to submit something other than a scholarly or creative essay related to poetry, please use the appropriate form, not this one. We do not currently accept book reviews by individuals not on staff with Tab Journal.

Tab Journal welcomes submissions of all things related to poetry. We'd be happy to look at your interview with a poet, your poetry-artwork hybrid, an orchestrated conversation about some aspect of poetry, or other interesting stuff that might fit our project's vision.

Your name and identifying information should not appear in the file name or inside the file. Word documents are preferred, but RTF and PDF are okay and sometimes better for retaining formatting if you are working with visual forms.  Any images in artwork or art-poetry hybrid work must be high resolution (300 dpi at 100% scale).

Because we are not currently able to pay contributors, we do not charge a submission fee. We consider simultaneous submissions, but expect writers to withdraw your submission immediately if it is accepted elsewhere.

Chapman University (the institutional home of Tab Journal) shall have First North American Serial Rights to publish accepted Work electronically and/or in print. Publication rights revert to the author upon publication in Tab Journal, but we do retain permission to republish and to submit to other outlets such as the Pushcart Prizes.

If you want to submit poems or a scholarly or creative essay related to poetry, please use the appropriate form, not this one. We do not currently accept book reviews by individuals not on staff with Tab Journal.

TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics