Heymarket Books Anthology

Upcoming AAPI spoken word, slam, and poetry of oral traditions

Open call for Asian Pacific Islander poets, spoken word poets, slam poets, and poets who consider themselves part of various oral traditions, to be published by Haymarket Books in 2024.

This anthology (title pending) seeks to celebrate poetry from the space where Asia, the Pacific, and “America” meet. This project seeks to interrogate what we mean when we say “AAPI poetry,” lean into the complexities of solidarity-building, and highlight what connects our stories. Gathering prominent spoken word artists of the 80s and 90s with contemporary voices in literary publishing, this collection makes a case for the importance of the oral tradition in accountings of Asian/Pacific American literary histories and futures. We seek an aesthetically, demographically, and politically diverse range of poetic work, with an ultimate commitment to fighting—and imagining beyond—imperialism across our diasporas. The editorial team of this anthology are Franny Choi, Terisa Siagatonu, No’u Revilla, and Bao Phi.

Please submit up to three poems for consideration through the online portal Submittable by July 1, 2022. Poets will be represented in the anthology by one poem only, to be selected by the editorial team. Each poem can be up to a maximum of two pages, 12 point font.

Haymarket Books

Some Questions You May Have:

What do we mean when we say Asian American/Pacific Islander/AAPI?
Poets who identify as Asian American, Pacific Islander, or AAPI will be individuals whose ancestral lineage originates from the regions of Asia and Oceania, in contrast to non-AAPI people whose groups have settled, occupied, and/or colonized the region more recently (language source: NDN Collective). For example: being born in, living in, and/or growing up in Hawai’i does not necessarily constitute an ethnic Hawaiian identity: being Kanaka ‘Ōiwi whose ancestors were the original inhabitants of the Kingdom of Hawai’i does.  

Will this anthology truly be an inclusive project? Historically: AAPI initiatives claim to be representative of the Asian/Pacific Islander community, yet such initiatives routinely erase and marginalize Pacific Islander (as well as non-East Asian) community members. How does this anthology intend on addressing these issues?
We acknowledge that terms such as API, APIA, and AAPI have historically been used in problematic ways that tokenize and flatten PI people/voices. As a curatorial team, we are dedicated to being intentional about creating meaningful space for Pacific Islander artists. We invite, rather than run from, our hard conversations. We are also here for our joy and worldbuilding. Whether through poems by individual writers, collaborative poems, or transcripts of interviews between Indigenous poets of Oceania, we hope this anthology will help facilitate and chronicle our conversations as they grow.

If you have an idea for a conversation or collaborative piece that you’d like to include, please send a pitch (500 words or less) to submissions@haymarketbooks.org, including the names and bios of participating writers.

Do I need to submit unpublished poems?
Poems can be published or unpublished. If previously published, please let us know where it first appeared.

Do I retain the right to my work?
Contributors retain rights to their poems. As is the agreement common to many poetry journals, first serial rights for the first year.

Will I get paid for my poem?
Each contributor will receive a small honorarium for their work.

Which poems of mine do you want, and can I edit them from how they originally appeared/were performed?
You can edit your work however you like prior to submitting them. Please send up to three poems, from which the curatorial team may select up to one.

What if I live outside the U.S.?
While this is primarily a US-based anthology, we recognize that many AAPI poets are from/live in U.S.-occupied territories, island nations, and beyond. We welcome and encourage submissions from these poets as well.



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