Still time to submit your creative work for the next edition of About Place Journal: The More-Than-Human World. We seek poetry, audio/visual artwork, fiction, essays, creative nonfiction and other prose. Submissions due August 1, 2023.
The More-Than-Human World
For most of history, we as humans have used plants and animals just as we saw fit, and how we’ve used them in art and literature is no exception. We’ve parceled them out as metaphors for our own emotions, and with little regard to their individual realities, we’ve either anthropomorphized them into a cartoon-like replicas of ourselves or else depicted them as two-dimensional props, as background figures denied their own sentience and emotion.
But what if we decenter ourselves and write instead to get a sense of a more-than-human being, each entirely complex and individual, real and breathing now? What if we don’t just write about them but for them, seeking to accurately depict their struggles and joys by fostering a literature (and even literacy) of non-human beings?
In the upcoming Fall issue of About Place, co-editors Nickole Brown and Erin Coughlin Hollowell aim to collect poems, stories, essays, and visual art galvanized by this challenge. We know we may never get the words right—not exactly—but we believe much can be learned if we allow our art to serve in stewardship to bring awareness to life beyond our human realm. As Robin Wall Kimmerer writes, “Maybe now, in this time when the myth of human exceptionalism has proven illusory, we will listen to intelligences other than our own, to kin. To get there, we may all need a new language to help us honor and be open to the beings who will teach us.”
About the Journal
Black Earth Institute is a progressive think-tank dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society. Until recent times, art expressed grander values than commerce and celebrity. Delphic oracle, Celtic bard, African griot, aboriginal orator: all used word and movement, color and craft, to bring wisdom from the spiritual realm to their communities. All expressed connection between humanity and something beyond humanity, through their art.
About Place Journal from the Black Earth Institute is published twice a year, in spring and fall. A new Call for Submissions is posted twice a year. Please review the current call and follow any specific genres called for in the upcoming issue.