Founded in Oxford, England in 1984, Verse is an international journal that publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and visual art. The print edition publishes portfolios of 20-40 pages, while the Verse site publishes book reviews and individual poems. Verse is edited by Brian Henry and Andrew Zawacki.
That’s where I first met my bride. She was standing under a chestnut tree during a summer shower. I stopped my car and offered to give her a lift. She didn’t seem to hear me. I got out of the car and walked up to her. Her skin looked and felt like porcelain. Are you okay? I asked. She blinked her eyes as if coming out of a trance. “I was looking for the white horse,” she said. I drove her to a hospital where the doctor diagnosed her as being my bride. “There’s no doubt about it, she is your bride.” We kissed, and thus the Trans-Canadian Highway was born. Boom-Boom
A man and a woman meet in an alley. They kiss but they don’t really know one another. You smell like violets, he says putting his head on her breast. You’re strong, she says rubbing herself on his thigh. He runs his hands through her hair and pulls her tighter to him: I must have you, he says. Yes, I want to make love to you, she says touching him between his legs. Yes, you must give up your treasure to fructify the crops, he says. Oh yes, I want to fructify very much, she says. The crops, I mean. [originally published in Verse, 1999]
Many are from the Maldives, southwest of India, and must begin collecting shells almost immediately. The larger ones may prefer coconuts. Survivors move from island to island hopping over one another and never looking back. After the typhoons have had their pick, and the birds of prey have finished with theirs, the remaining few must build boats, and in this, of course, they can have no experience, they build their boats of palm of palm leaves and vines. Once the work is completed, they lie down, thoroughly exhausted and confused, and a huge wave washes them out to sea. And that is the last they see of one another. In their dreams Mama and Papa are standing on the shore for what seems like and eternity, and it is almost always the wrong shore. [originally published in Verse, Volume 14.2, 1997]
The Tomaž Šalamun Prize honors the great Slovenian poet who inspired several generations of poets around the world. Because Tomaž was especially supportive of emerging poets, the Tomaž Šalamun Prize is open to poets of any age who have published no more than one full-length poetry collection. (Publishing multiple chapbooks or books in other genres is not a disqualification.) Previous publication is not a requirement for entering the prize. Translations into English are acceptable if the original author is still living and has not published more than one full-length collection. Prose poetry and hybrid forms are also acceptable.
All submissions will be considered for publication in the print edition of Verse, which has been publishing only chapbook-length portfolios since 2009. All finalists will receive offers of publication in Verse. Published portfolios receive $10/page, $250 minimum. The prize winner will receive $1000.
Because the winning portfolio will be published in Verse and because every submission will be considered for both the prize and publication in Verse, everything in the portfolio must be unpublished. Response times to submissions will be 3-4 weeks (longer for finalists).
Entry fee: $15
Deadline: July 15, 2015
Requirements: Do not include your name anywhere on your submission. (Manuscripts will be read blind.) Your name should be listed only in the required fields in Submittable. Your submission must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file.
Contest Process: 1st round: all manuscripts will be read blind, and up to 10 portfolios will be selected as finalists (finalists will be notified at the time of selection) / 2nd round: finalists' manuscripts will be read blind by the judge, who will select the winner To submit, click on the link above or follow the SUBMIT TO VERSE link on the right.