Black Sun Lit (generally) reads submissions year-round, considers only previously unpublished work, and allows simultaneous submissions in the good faith that the writer promptly notifies us if their work has been accepted elsewhere. Multiple submissions are also welcome, though we ask that these be limited to two prose pieces (up to 5,000 words each, submitted separately), five poems (in one file, clearly indicating the beginning of each poem), or two essays (up to 5,000 words each, submitted separately). We are also open to translations, interviews, and/or works of drama, and enjoy debate on any artistic endeavor as it relates to our mission statement.
We request all writers wait until they’ve heard back from us before sending more work (we aim to reply within three months). For past contributors, please wait at least one year (online) or one issue (print) from when your work last appeared before submitting to us again (unless otherwise solicited). If withdrawing only a part of a submission, e.g. a poem, we ask that writers add a note to their submission via Submittable—partial withdrawal notifications delivered by email are likely to get lost in our inbox. Lastly, as of May 20, 2016, we are no longer accepting unsolicited book manuscripts, which include chapbooks, novellas, full-length novels, collections of short stories, books of poetry, etc.
Send queries to: editors [at] blacksunlit [dot] com
silence as a symptom of form
The linger of the last avant-gardes is the survival of their premier violation: the trespassing of generic frames, the grievance against textual patterns of forms. This first lapse would be terminal. Schlegel, Novalis, Hölderlin. Wordsworth, Baudelaire, Rimbaud. Rilke, Stein, Barnes. Ponge, Lispector, Simic. The subversion of genre was a silence—a disengagement with reality shaping language—to perish the power of structural oppression and categorical experience; the synthesis of literary systems an affliction—an impairment—to instrument a resistance to the terrorism of socioeconomic health.
Conscious of the hierarchies it recapitulates, literature today takes, as it was fated, permanent residence where the axes of divided symbolic processes converge, in the intersections of poetry + prose, metonymy + metaphor, the real + the imaginary, the referent + the sign, wealth + poverty, aesthetics + logistics, speaking against + the torment of speech. By calling attention to genre distinctions and the discourses they enforce, a criticism of the exterior world is made apparent, and an anterior one more urgent, more instinctual. If formal restrictions steer our expectations of a text, they do so, as Tzvetan Todorov has put it, to “bring to light the constitutive features of the society to which [it] belongs.” And we all belong to pandemonium.
For this issue of Vestiges, we are looking for the deterioration of the traditions of literary achievement, transgressions of hybridity, the crippling of meaning on behalf of its meandering, the collapse of both functionary and figurative language, conflicts between Jakobson’s “selection and substitution” and “combination and contexture,” vulgar grammars and compositionally deficient (yet somehow intact) syntactical arrangements, and works that resemble a coil or colander. Of special interest is the corruption of wholes by the failure of their parts, and texts that exercise voices and/or narratives that are both master of and conquered by a phenomenal world which remains despairingly constant. Essays on poetics and/or narratology, works in translation, and submissions from poets experimenting with prose are especially welcome.
Submissions will remain open until November 30. To be considered for the issue, submit one piece of poetic prose or lyrical narrative (between 3,500–5,000 words), up to seven prose poems (in one document, indicating the start of each piece), up to ten pages of poetic fragments (aphorisms or isolated lines), or one essay (no word limit).
Thank you for allowing us to review your work. We look forward to reading.
Please use this form to submit interviews, original works of drama, or artwork.