The Common Language Project
THE COMMON LANGUAGE PROJECT
Poetry Competition & Public Reading
“No one sleeps in this room without
the dream of a common language”
Born of a desire to bring the many members of the North Texas poetry community into conversation with each other, The Common Language Project places participants in the same room and turns them loose to dream. United by a list of shared words and confined only by the space of a page, the poems of the project weave a tapestry of radically divergent experiences that sing, simmer and singe. Together, these poems give us a place to come together, somewhere from which we can start, from which we can thrive.
The Common Language Project opens for submission on March 1 and closes on March 31. Submission is open to poets in the North Texas area. Thirty winners will be selected for publication in an online anthology. Ten winners from that group will be invited to give a public reading of their winning poems in the last week of April.
On March 1, thirty keywords (known here as the Common Language) will be unveiled on this web page. For your entry:
- All thirty keywords must be used.
- The keywords may be used in any order but without changes in tense or form (for example, using “lustrous” instead of “luster” would not count toward the thirty keywords).
- The poem must be no more than thirty lines in length.
- Submit your entry as a .doc, .docx, or .txt file using size 12 Times New Roman, Arial, or Helvetica font via email to commonlanguage (at) writersgarret (dot) org.
- Submissions will be presented to our judges anonymously. Please provide your name, the North Texas county in which you reside, and the title of your submission in your email, but please do not include your name anywhere in the text of your submission.
- No multiple submissions. Only the first submission will be accepted.
- You may not re-submit.
Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Common Language:
All thirty of the following words must be used in your submission. You may use the words in any order, but they must be used as they appear, without changes in tense or form.
Fatima-Ayan Malika Hirsi
Fatima-Ayan Malika Hirsi is the founder of Dark Moon Poetry & Arts, a monthly series which spotlights the creative feminine and non-binary energies of North Texas. She can often be found on sidewalks using her typewriter to birth poems for strangers. She has been published in Entropy, The Boiler, Anthropology Now!, Bearing the Mask, and elsewhere. Her work has been featured by WFAA, KERA, the Dallas Morning News, and others. Her chapbook, Moon Woman, is forthcoming from Thoughtcrime Press.
Joe Milazzo is the author of the novel Crepuscule W/ Nellie (Jaded Ibis Press) and two collections of poetry: The Habiliments (Apostrophe Books) and the forthcoming Of All Places In This Place Of All Places. He co-edits the online interdisciplinary arts journal [out of nothing], is a Contributing Editor at Entropy, curates the Other People’s Poetry reading series, and is also the proprietor of Imipolex Press. He has taught creative writing (multiple genres) at Southern Methodist University, the University of Texas at Dallas, Writing Workshops Dallas, and The Writer’s Garret. Joe lives and works in Dallas, TX, where he was born and raised.