“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.
This year, we invite you into ritual. What repetitions anchor you into the day? What sacred rites mark your milestones? A candle lit, a coin tossed, a sacrifice to assuage the enraged elements; grand or granular, our lives are framed in ritual. Share with us the secrets of your everyday, map the pilgrimage you’re planning to take, bring us into the sacred space and perform your wonders.
Submissions are open to anyone. Thirty winners will be selected for publication in the Common Language Project 2021 anthology, which will be available for free download. A limited number of hard copies will also be printed. Winners will also be invited to share their work virtually at a reading to take place in early May.
- Submissions are now closed.
- 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" or "smile" instead of "smiling" would not count toward the thirty keywords). Changes in capitalization are fine.
- The poem must be no more than thirty lines of text in length (excludes title).
- Submissions will be presented to our judges anonymously. Please do not include your name anywhere in the text of your submission document.
- The Common Language Project is open to all ages, and we hope all ages of readers and writers will participate in the contest and read the anthology. Work with extreme language, violence or adult content will not be considered.
- In the text of your email, please provide:
- your name as you would like it to appear upon publication
- a short bio (>100 words)
- the city, county and state in which you live
- the title of your submission
- Submit your entry as a .doc, .docx, or .txt file using size 12 Times New Roman, Arial, or Helvetica font via email to commonlanguage@writersgarret.
- No multiple submissions. Only the first submission will be accepted.
- You may not re-submit without invitation.
30 Winners Receive
- Publication in the Common Language Project 2021 anthology, and 1 contributor copy
- $50 cash prize
- Invitation to read their work at a virtual reading in early May (Date TBD)
THE WINNERS OF
THE COMMON LANGUAGE PROJECT: RITUAL
Margaret Allyson “Hard Winter”
Gillian Barth “Waiting For Toxicology”
Lorlee Bartos “Garden Ritual”
Sara Becker “Surely Some Second Coming, part II”
Monica Berry “Visiting”
Eve Castle “Omega”
P.W. Covington “Oxidized”
dès Anges Cruser “Reclamation”
Hollis Davis “An Unspooling”
Marcia Davis “Daydream”
Patricia de Villiers “Come With Me”
Britain Eggleston “Orison”
Alan Gann “Considering a Still Life by Cezanne”
Christine Horstman “The Long Haul”
Ann Howells “Coyote Sings an Old Song”
Felecia Hunter-Burnett “My Soul Ritual”
Paul Koniecki “Liminal Wheel Wound Spatial and Unspooling”
Debra Levy “Cold Cream, Cup, Collage”
Kari Lynch “I Read Your Horoscope Every Morning”
James Mendur “Labyrinth”
Joe Milazzo “Spleen”
Rylee Moore “Reclamation After Chaos”
Mark Noble “Faith”
Anne Perry “Liminal Blossoming”
Gayle Reaves-King “Old Home Week”
Valentina Saldaña “My Own Private Ceremony”
Artie Turner “Morning Rites”
Dinah Waranch “Spiritual Punctuation”
Robert Wynne “Mise en Place”
Troy Yamaguchi “Electricity Company”
The words of The Common Language Project 2021:
Logen Cure is a queer poet and professor. She's an editor for Voicemail Poems. She curates Inner Moonlight, a monthly podcast reading series for The Wild Detectives in Dallas. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her debut full-length poetry collection, Welcome to Midland, is forthcoming from Deep Vellum Publishing. She lives in Texas with her wife and daughter.
Priscilla Rice is a Pleasant-Grove based poet, storyteller and actor. She’s performed in shows by Cara Mia Theatre, Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Dallas Children’s Theater, and Artstillery. Priscilla is also an interpreter in the education field, as well as a traffic reporter/producer for KRLD radio. She co-founded "Verse & Rhythm" with B. Randall and Rafael Tamayo, and is a member of Tejana Cosmica, an experimental poetry collective. Priscilla has a passion for arts advocacy and is currently on the Arts and Culture Advisory Commission, representing District 5.
Christopher Stephen Soden received his MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) in January 2005 from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He has written film and theatre critique for The Fort Worth Ally, EdgeDallas, John Garcia’s The Column, Examiner.com and sharpcritic.com. He has been a dedicated and energetic contributor to the literary community of Dallas, and his poetry has appeared in numerous venues including: The Cortland Review, Rattle, G & L Review, The Texas Observer, Borderlands, Assaracus, and Ganymede Poets. His short plays have been staged at Bishop Arts Theatre Center, The MAC and Nouveau 47. Christopher also teaches and lectures on craft, theory, genre and explication. His poetry and critique collections: Closer and Delicate Tiger. Ferocious Snowflake. are available through Amazon.