Ends on May 15, 2019

Reclamation and Restoration
A Folio Redefining the Conversation About the South

Poetry and Nonfiction

March 15 - May 15 2019

Please review editor Diamond Forde's list of Recommended Reading on our site!


The South has gotten a bad rap in the American imagination. Racisthickbackwoods—these perpetuated narratives erase the survival of so many communities here. The South plays villain for all of America’s vices so that folks outside the South can avert their gazes, roll their eyes, and reassure themselves, “We’re bad but not that bad.”

Well, the South ain’t havin’ it no more.

While this folio aims to redefine the reductive narratives used to discuss the South, it is not reactionary. It is not interested in portraying a “New South.” Instead, this folio seeks out representations of the South as it has always been, the South that has always existed outside of the pejorative fetishizing that shapes Southern narratives. 

The American South is more than magnolia trees and honeysuckle summers—although we have those, too. For many living in the South, each day is a process of reclamation and restoration. For some, it is a reminder that folktales are our only written histories. For others, it means rewriting revisionist histories on the plaques outside our state capitols. While some of us are concerned with the politics of refusing to lay our hairdos at the altar of humidity, some of us are living next door to men whose yard signs uphold the politics of our erasure.

Existing in the South is work, and it is high time that work receives recognition.

The South is expansive, but if you are writing about or living in any of these states, we want work from you: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. 

We welcome poetry and nonfiction from any and all marginalized voices, including womxn, non-binary folks, Disabled people, people of color, and/or LGBTQIA folks. 

Nonfiction can include creative nonfiction, poetic essays, personal essays, and more. We request that whichever genre you choose deals with reclamation and/or restoration. We understand these concepts might differ depending on your community or relationship to the South, so we encourage you to define reclamation and restoration however you like. Perhaps reclamation is trying to piece together a family history erased by slavery. Perhaps restoration is trying to restore inner peace after Thanksgiving dinner with the family. Perhaps restoration is placing queer narratives of joy back into a canon that fetishizes trauma. Feel encouraged to show us the expansive ways Southerners are forced to reclaim/restore each day.

Finally, while your work does not need to address the South as a direct topic, the location or relationship of the South in your work should be irrefutable.

Deadline / details: Please limit 3-5 poems per poetry submission, and up to 8,000 words per nonfiction submission. Submitters may submit both poetry and nonfiction for consideration, but please upload up to one submission per genre in separate submissions. Submissions will close at 11:59 pm ET on Wednesday May 15, 2019.

We strongly encourage potential submitters to read editor Diamond Forde's list of Recommended Reading on our site!