Call for submissions of poetry and film: Magma 71

The British literary magazine Magma Poetry is now soliciting work for Magma 71 — The Film Issue, guest-edited by Cheryl Moskowitz and Stav Poleg, who are looking for both poems about films and film-poems themselves. There’s also an opportunity for poets to get their lyrical film-scripts turned into films.

As usual with traditional literary magazines, they’re insisting that the poems be complete virgins to publication, which I suppose means that the videos, too, must not have been shared anywhere before, not even on YouTube or Vimeo. But if that forces filmmakers and video artists to create brand new work, and possibly initiate new collaborations with poets in the process, so much the better! Here’s the call.

Closing date: 31st January, 2018

The submissions window for ‘Film’ is open from October 1st 2017 until January 31st 2018.

We welcome poems that have not been previously published, either in print or online. Poems may be sent via Submittable, or by post if you live in the UK. Postal submissions are not acknowledged until a decision is made.


“My poetry seems to be something I make up as I go along. Certain movies strike me that way — going in and out of one’s dreams.” From “John Ashbery goes to the movies”

Whether it’s a film you always go back to, a director you follow, a cinema that holds a particular story for you, or a poem that simply reads like a short film, Magma 71 is set out to celebrate the poetry of cinema.

Take us with you to the movies. Send us your takes on Neorealism and Nouvelle Vague, Hollywood Golden Age or the cinema of today. Or perhaps you’d like to create your own film script, presented to us in the form of a poem. Send us your films noirs, your indies and your blockbusters. In short, make us believe in films that don’t exist and send us to watch the films that do. Show us the ways poetry and film are connected and explore with us whether it is even possible for contemporary poets to write without the cinema screen at the back of their mind.

We are also calling for submissions of film-poems. We are particularly interested in collaborative work between poets and filmmakers. The poems, as always, should not have been previously published, either in print or online. The chosen film-poems will be screened at Magma events, showcased on the Magma website, and the poem texts published in the magazine. We are interested in collaborations that challenge and converse with each other’s form rather than simply echo it. In other words, if there’s a moon in the poem, we probably don’t need to see it represented as a moon in the film.

Look out for regular updates during the reading/viewing period on the Magma website where we’ll be posting examples of recent film poems we’ve loved and discussing the boundaries between film poems and music video clips, from Beyoncé’s 2016 visual album Lemonade all the way back to Bob Dylan’s 1965 Subterranean Homesick Blues.

We look forward to going to the cinema with you!

Cheryl Moskowitz and Stav Poleg, Editors, Magma 71


Magma Poetry in Collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and the Festival of Creative Learning

We are thrilled to announce our first collaboration for Magma 71.

More details here


Wanting to submit to the Film Issue?  You may submit:

Up to 4 poems in a single Word document

Up to 2 film-poems— each no longer than 2.5 minutes. (If your film is longer, please submit the first 2.5 minutes of it)

Note that if you submit film poems, you must submit the poem texts as well.

Go to Submittable for more details.

If you click the link for the collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, there’s news of an additional contest for poets:

During the Call for Submissions for Magma 71, we will choose a number of poems to be handed over to the University of Edinburgh filmmakers to create film-poems, using the written poem as a starting point. The film-poems will be featured on the Magma Poetry website as well as on the Festival of Creative Learning website.

The complete films will be showcased during the Festival of Creative Learning event or the Festival Pop-Up event in 2018, and at the magazine launch in London. The poets will be invited to read at the events.

If you would like your poems to be considered for this project, you will need to submit your poems no later than November 1st 2017. (Note that the closing date for the general Magma 71 Call for Submissions is January 31st 2018).

Cheryl Moskowitz and Stav Poleg, Editors, Magma 71

Pretty cool.

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