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Atlantic Vernacular—Call for Poets

sky with quote from poem "côte est" by Jenna Lyn Albert

Travelling Poetry and Craft Exhibition — Call for Poets

A call for poets with ties to Atlantic Canada.
The 2020 theme for Craft NB’s biennial exhibition is Atlantic Vernacular. This multi-genre project presents a rare opportunity for poets to participate in a high-calibre travelling exhibition that seeks to define what contemporary craft and poetry mean on the East Coast.

What counts as Atlantic vernacular? Is there more to us than lobsters, lighthouses and I’se da bye? What regional clichés are ripe for re-examination? What impacts have tourism, the climate crisis or immigration made on Atlantic vernaculars? Of course you may be asking, “What is a ‘vernacular’ anyway?” It’s usually thought of as a kind of local speech or language (Chiac, anyone?), but you can also consider it more generally as a local style or way of being in a particular place.

The Fiddlehead: Atlantic Canada’s International Literary Journal and the City of Fredericton Poet Laureate Jenna Lyn Albert are looking for poets to join this collaborative project with Craft NB. We are looking for poets who have ties to Atlantic Canada and who are willing to create poems in direct response to visual works of art by craftspeople responding to the same theme. The poems created will become part of an inter-genre travelling exhibition.

Take a look at the call that went out to visual artists and "côte est," the poem by Jenna Lyn Albert, on the theme that was offered to the visual artists as a jumping-off point.

Poets who are selected to participate will be given a small selection of visual works to choose from and will have the month of May to write a 20–25-line poem in response to one of the works. We would ideally connect the poets concretely with the visual works, but current circumstances will make this difficult—poets may have to make do with digital images. Each poet will be paid a minimum of $43 (depending on funding, this amount may increase) for their original poem.

Submissions from writers who intend to write in languages other than English are welcome, as are submissions from Indigenous writers, writers of colour, LGBTQAI2S+ writers, writers with disabilities and other equity-seeking writers. Applicants may identify themselves as such if they choose.

To be considered for this project, please submit a 100-word literary biography citing previous publications AND two sample poems (not necessarily on the current theme) to

DEADLINE: April 20, 2020

Successful applicants will be contacted by May 1, 2020. Please direct any questions to Jenna Lyn Albert or Sue Sinclair at the above email address.

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