Call for Poetry Submissions: A Mood//Kintsugi
The Poetry Mood call for the theme “Kintsugi” will run until 31st March 2019. This is about a philosophy, about how we care for ourselves and remake ourselves in response to trauma.
What is Kintsugi (金継ぎ)?
Kintsugi (金継ぎ) is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with a lacquer that is infused with gold powder. This act of joining broken pieces in a beautiful way and not attempting to disguise damage or scars points to a philosophy that speaks to me.
I have written extensively about trauma that I have experienced. Recently, I was diagnosed with PTSD. Coming to terms with that diagnosis, and feeling that I am somehow damaged and ‘less than’ because of it, is something I am struggling through at the moment. There are pieces of me that are broken, but I am in the midst of repairing them.
It takes courage to repair damage and to focus on healing. I will never again be the tabula rasa I was as a child, before life experience had its way with me. I am forever touched by those in the past that have harmed me. Evidence of that is apparent every time I have an anxiety attack in a crowd, flinch from an intended tender touch or look at the very real scars that are embedded in the topography of my body.
Your Kintsugi (金継ぎ) Mood Board:
Kintsugi (金継ぎ) and Art
I learned about Kintsugi during my art classes several years ago. In honour of that knowledge, I created an abstract painting where I expressed my joy, but also cut through pieces of the canvas to represent traumas. The repair on the canvas was hard. I wielded a hemostat clamped on to a suture needle with less grace than I would have liked. I broke needles, then re-threaded. My struggle continued through layers of paint. Once my stitching was complete, I applied metallic paint over the sutures in a thick layer. This painting was my kintsugi.
“Freedom”- Acrylic & Mixed Media on Canvas, 36×36
With every day that passes, I will never be the same. I am working on ways to bear my scars with acknowledgement and without shame. This is the essence of the art of kintsugi. It illuminates the idea that even the difficult experiences become part of the fabric of our life, and that they can be transformed.
Trauma will not define me.
Kintsugi (金継ぎ) and Self Care
Kintsugi teaches me to be gentler with myself, to have compassion. My cup, though cracked and worn, is still beautiful and worthy of being held with love. This is work that I have to do on my own.
Some days are better, some days are worse. Anyone who has done the hard work that is constant on a path to healing understands this. I have survived the breakage and rendered my scars into fault lines that have worth. These are now veins of gold. In this way, I feel that I can triumph over my past and move into a future of my choosing.
Call for Submissions and Guidelines
The Poetry Mood call for the theme “Kintsugi” will run until 31st March 2019. Keep in mind that you need not use the word “Kintsugi” in any part of your poem. This is about a philosophy; it is about how we care for ourselves and remake ourselves in response to trauma. Think about what light and healing mean to you. You can use the photos in the post to inspire your poetry. Consider the beautiful things about yourself and how you support that in your daily life. These poems will inevitably be about struggle and difficult times, but they will also focus on hope.
It is my hope that this call will be empowering and uplifting, as we share poetry with each other.
Please send no more than five (5) poems in a .doc, .docx or .pdf attachment. Include a short cover letter introducing yourself and a little about the poems you are submitting or how the theme speaks to you. You should also include a paragraph of bio in the third person (Twitter and personal website links welcome) along with an author photo (optional). The subject line should read <Poetry Mood Submission//Kintsugi>. For this call, we will only be able to accept previously unpublished work. Please send all submissions for this call to: [email protected].
For all queries not related to this call for Kintsugi-themed works, please see our general submission guidelines.