Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Call for Submissions: Poems for Poemales

Press Release

The farm.stand collective is looking for poetry submissions about foods produced and/or consumed in the El Paso/Juarez region for a collaborative poetry/visual art performance called “Poemales” to be held at the 2010 Humanities and Education Research (HERA) Conference in downtown El Paso on March 13, 2010. The poems collected from this call for submissions will be wrapped in corn husks to produce “poemales,” locally produced poems that conference attendees can “consume.” In turn, the farm.stand collective will host a writing workshop, allowing conference attendees to create their own “poemal,” which will be sent back to those persons who initially submitted a poem.

We are asking those who submit poems for our performance to consider several factors in relation to a particular food — where it comes from, how it was produced, the labor required to produce it, and their relationship to it (sensual, historical, nostalgic, familial, cultural, etc.). In considering these factors, we encourage participants to rely not simply on what they think they know about the food, but to also ask questions that reveal what is normally obscured in the production and distribution of foods. Research into local foods can involve speaking to a produce manager, reading articles on how a certain vegetable is grown, tracking the history of a food (from its place of origin to the writer’s plate), investigating methods of cultivation, interviewing a farm worker, or watching a local cook prepare a food. This information-gathering would then lead to the creation of a poem. The purpose for this is to reveal the many ways that food is part of — and subject to — social, economic, environmental, cultural and political networks and power structures, which involve and affect us all.

We encourage poems in Spanish and English, as well as visual poems. When preparing your digital submission, consider that your poem will be printed on a paper no longer than 9" and no wider than 7". Please format accordingly. All poems should be sent by email as attachments. (Original art work may be scanned and sent as an email attachment.) Please include your name, address, and email with your submission.
Submissions: Send poems to Rosa Alcalá at, and visual work to Christine Foerster at Click here to learn more about Christine Foerster.

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