Founded in early 2012 by Alyse Knorr, M. Mack, and Siwar Masannat, Gazing Grain Press (gazinggrainpress.wordpress.com) is an “inclusive feminist press working to redefine feminist literature and foster dialogues between writers and readers of many identities.” Sponsored by the Fall for the Book literary festival in Washington, D.C., and housed at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, Gazing Grain publishes one title each year as part of its annual poetry and hybrid-prose chapbook contest. The winner receives publication and a trip, including travel and lodging, to read at Fall for the Book, which will take place this year from September 22 to September 27. The first title in the Grazing Grain series, Laura Neuman’s collection of prose poems, The Busy Life, was selected by inaugural judge Brian Teare and published last September. Unlike most publishers with a feminist bent, Gazing Grain stresses inclusivity as its mission, accepting manuscripts from writers of every gender and identity. “In starting our press, we wanted to fill a gap we saw in the current publishing landscape,” says coeditor Masannat. “There are a number of important and excellent women’s and LGBTQ contests in the literary community today, but we found a need for a contest that is open to feminists of every gender and sexuality. We believe that inclusive feminism should make available a space for celebrating poetry that comes from a diversity of identities.” Coeditor Mack adds, “We wanted to identify first as a feminist press (rather than a women’s press, an LGBTQ press, or even a queer press, though we can and do use these identities as well), and we also wanted to make plain that feminism is for everybody. It is our goal to make this style of feminist publishing more visible and welcoming to those writers who have difficulty finding comfortable markets.” The 2013 contest is open for submissions until June 1. Poetry and hybrid-prose manuscripts of fifteen to twenty-five pages may be submitted, along with a sixteen-dollar reading fee, via the online submission manager. Cathy Park Hong, whose most recent collection, Engine Empire, was published by Norton in 2012, will judge. Visit the website for more information and complete submission guidelines.
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