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Call for Ekphrastic Submissions: The Switcheroo! (deadline 4/5/22)

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WANTED: Ekphrastic Responses to artist Millian Pham Lien Giang‘s cyanotype, IN HER IT IS IN HER
DEADLINE: April 5, 2022
SUBMITTABLE LINK (use “Switcheroo” tab)

cyanotype with house in center surrounded by leaves and flowers and the block capititals spelling "in her it is"
IN HER IT IS IN HER, 2021, Cyanotype on cotton, 8×5 x 11″, Sacred Cloth Series

Broadsided Press is seeking submissions of poetry and short prose that respond to this cyanotype by artist Millian Pham Lien Giang. The winning entry will be published on May 1, 2022 as a Broadsided collaboration to enliven the doors, utility poles, bus stops, and walls of the world. Submission guidelines and details follow.

This the 19th Broadsided Press “Switcheroo.” What is The Switcheroo?  Every spring, we like to turn the tables and invite writers to respond to art we post (most of our publications are created the opposite way).

Broadsided artists were invited to submit up to three pieces of work for the Switcheroo. We then asked Meghan Keane, the 2021 Switcheroo artist, to review the submissions and choose one she thought would be generative for writers and would work in Broadsided’s unique format. Of her decision, Keane had this to say:

It is an honor to select this year’s Switcheroo. I entered into thinking about this opportunity from the framework of: what sort of work hasn’t been published yet? What artwork would potentially elicit the most wide-ranging or unique poems? What might poets get excited about in 2022? Upon opening the email, nothing immediately struck me as “the one,” so I was forced to sit with them; the submissions were all beautiful worlds in their own right.

The piece I landed on as this year’s Switcheroo is IN HER IT IS IN HER. It was the submission piece I fought with the most, but arrived squarely in appreciation and favor. After deciding to work backwards in my selection via the process of elimination, IN HER IT IS IN HER was the one piece I immediately dismissed as a non-contender. And then felt stuck. This was the only piece I repeatedly came back to and felt challenged by; its gravitational quality stood out. Spending time with it pushed me through a 180-degree NO YES process (a switch, of all ironies), acknowledging how powerfully distinct it would be within the Switcheroo collection: there are no other Switcheroo artworks that incorporate text or words; this piece uses cyanotype, a photographic / light-based image-making technology, which, likewise, we haven’t seen in a Switcheroo before; and most Broadsided Press publications involve visibly hand-made 2D or 3D pieces, with a few photographic exceptions, very few are as strikingly graphic design conventions leaning.

As we are living in a collective space of upheaval, unknowing, and new paradigms in 2022—perhaps the only common aspects of experience given the staggering disparities co-present thanks to “imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy,” to quote the matchless bell hooks—the unexpected yet unfazed qualities of this piece feel appropriate for the times. I am drawn to the crisp, modern, graphic whole (despite initial hesitations for the exact same reasons) juxtaposed with solar system light modulating on real flower petals. I trust the poets will be able to tease out themes and imagery more subtle and less immediately apparent than I have. Ultimately, there is something exciting to me about presenting poets with a highly original art piece that offers up both a visual as well as words with which to potentially interact. I greatly look forward to seeing what this piece inspires for submissions.

—Meghan Keane, Brooklyn, NY

Poems should be UNDER 20 lines.  Prose should be UNDER 300 words.  Entries should be sent via Submittable under the “Switcheroo” tab. Further guidelines can be found there.

Curious to know what we’re looking for?  See past Switcheroo examples.

We’ve favored responses that are not literal interpretations but instead instead amplify some emotional aspect of the visual art. As both image and text will appear together in the final publication, we seek writing in conversation with the art such that a new piece is created by the two together.

PS: We are are also open for non-Switcheroo submissions.  See our guidelines.  If selected, a Broadsided artist will respond to your work.  See what you inspire!

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