As the editors for this very special issue, we feel it’s important, as we request poems that explore this theme, to share a bit about our own experiences with addiction and recovery; about our experiences with both the narratives we encounter, and the ones we create, around these subjects.
Hannah Green has been recovering from alcohol and drug addiction since 2020. There are many narratives around addiction, yet at times, she felt like addiction was her only narrative. Writing about her experience opened up a space where she could wriggle in and start telling her own story again.
Conyer Clayton has been sober and in self-led recovery from substance use disorder for nearly six years. Their personal experience was with alcoholism and various other drug use. They also had various eating disorders for a number of years. Writing about addiction has helped them move through the pervading shame and stigma that addiction can carry. Regaining a sense of agency over their narrative and dispelling the sense that popular societal addiction and recovery narratives (which didn't ring true for their experience) are the only ones worth telling, has been an important part of their process.
While these brief introductions will hopefully give a sense of our own relationships with addiction and recovery, we want to see your own, unique, individual experiences represented in this issue. We welcome submissions that engage with personally-lived experiences of addiction and/or recovery, and we also welcome submissions that engage thoughtfully with the lived experiences of people close enough to you for you to feel comfortable exploring them. As with any subject, we would gently encourage you, if submitting work that discusses an addiction and/or recovery experience that is not directly your own, to consider your positionality to addiction and/or recovery as you write and submit.
In seeking poems for this theme, we are particularly interested in intersectionality, such as the intersection of addiction with disability and illness, including mental illness and mental health more broadly; recovery from addiction, including explorations of various recovery communities and support groups, or lack thereof; intergenerational and familial addiction patterns and inheritances; experiences with medical care, positive and negative, including explorations of the inequities in access to care that exist for so many members of marginalized groups, including people who are racialized and who are members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community; how substance use disorder and/or disordered eating can impact day-to-day living both during addiction and throughout recovery; the impact of addiction on interpersonal relationships; explorations of the impact socio-economic privileges and/or the lack thereof can have on addiction care, recovery, and support; and more.
Please consider the above as a non-exhaustive list of suggestions of the types of subjects you might explore in the work you submit. Crucially, if you are someone who lives with addiction, has lived with addiction, and/or is in recovery, we want to read whatever you want to send us; we do not expect or require work that is solely “about” the theme of this issue. If you are in addiction or recovery, we want your poems – about anything. The topic of addiction can be centred or not centred in the work you submit, and we will be equally grateful to get to engage with it. You are you, and you are important, and we want your work.
Deadline to submit: October 1st, 2023
General Submission Guidelines
Any submissions that do not follow correct guidelines or do not include full contact information will not be considered for publication and will not receive a reply. Please read the submission guidelines before sending us your work. Submit your work using the link below.
While the editors are primarily seeking submissions of poems for this themed issue, they will also consider submissions of interviews, essays, and reviews, if they relate well to the theme.
Length of Submissions
- Poetry submissions: no more than 6 pages.
- Interviews: no more than 6-8 pages in length, double-spaced.
- Articles: no more than 3-4 pages, double-spaced.
- Essays: no more than 2-4 pages, double-spaced.
- Reviews should be 600-1000 words, double-spaced. (Between ½ and 2 pages long.)
Note: For submissions of critical writing, including articles, essays, interviews, and reviews, please include a word count in your cover letter. Authors of critical writing should be prepared for editorial suggestions regarding length, tone, and format.
Editorial Aim and Policy
Contemporary Verse 2 is a quarterly literary journal that publishes poetry and critical writing about poetry, including interviews, articles, essays, and reviews. It is our policy to publish new writing by both emerging and established poets. The writing we encourage reflects a diversity representing a range of social and cultural experience along with literary excellence.
Suitability for Publication
CV2 purchases first North American serial print rights and limited, non-exclusive digital rights only. Authors retain full copyright for works published in CV2.
We suggest that writers research literary journals carefully before submitting their work to determine that the journal’s aesthetics match that of their writing. Because of the number of submissions we receive, we are unable to provide individual feedback to everyone who requests it. If you are a new writer, we recommend seeking consultation from an experienced writer. For manuscript consultation services and programs, contact your local or provincial writing organization for assistance.
A sample of CV2 content is published on our website. In addition, back issues of CV2 are available for $5 (+$2 shipping) in our store. Or, check the list of where to buy CV2.
French Language Submissions
CV2 welcomes poetry submissions in French, as well as translation projects, including both French to English and English to French.