Backwards and Forwards — theme for January

The Roman God Janus inspires our New Year poetry submissions theme. Janus is a two-faced deity associated with beginnings, endings, gates, transitions, duality, doorways, passages, and frames.

Submissions are welcome from all poets relating to the annual calendar renewal and the rituals associated with reviewing the past and anticipating the future.

Poems published to date for this theme are here.

Our January prompt relates to Janus the Roman god of beginnings, transitions, time, duality, gateways, and endings. He is the inspiration for New Year by Imogen Osborne, winner of our New Voices First Pamphlet Award.

In her introduction to the book, Imogen writes:
Marking the New Year in some form is possibly the most universally acknowledged ritual on the planet. . . I believe that New Year is renewing all the time, and is a place we can always return to, should we so wish.

The title poem — New Year — starts:

Until the stone cools,
becoming heavier as light drops from its centre

until the sound of water rises
higher than the lines that marked the ancient floods

until the quiet of your voice has hushed its way
out of existence, through
a chapel packed tight with stones

until you turn, hair blowing like a painting . . .

Click to read the whole poem.

Submitting your poem on this theme

You can respond to Imogen’s comments or poem, riff about Janus, and his role, or explore New Year and January in any way you choose. We’re looking for poems that grab our attention, that pull our heart strings, leave us open-mouthed or holding our breath, make us think, make us laugh, or are strikingly original. In short, poems that make us want to share them with wildfire words readers.

Submission is free. Poems can be in any format. You may submit one file containing up to 3 poems, each no longer than 40 lines including stanza breaks. Do, please, supply a mini-biog of 50 words max to be published alongside your poem. You may also submit an audio recording, made on your phone, laptop, or tablet. If we choose to publish your poem, we will also publish your bio and consider your recording for publication. Submissions will be accepted up to 11.59pm on 31 January.

You will receive automatic acknowledgement of your submission within minutes of when you upload it using the form below. We aim to choose and publish successful submissions within 4 weeks of receipt, so please check back to this feature. All poets we publish are searchable on any page of wildfire words.

Submitted poems must be totally your own original work, in English, and unpublished in print or online, including your own website. If they are published on wildfire words ezine, it will be on a non-exclusive basis for at least one year. The copyright remains yours for all poems, bios and audio recordings you submit for publication.

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