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American hero and literary icon Lawrence Ferlinghetti passed away on Monday, February 22, 2021, just a month from his 102nd birthday. Born on March 24, 1919, Ferlinghetti’s life reads like a Dickens novel — orphaned, exiled, and embattled, but visionary, heroic, and inspired. His experiences ranged from service as the Lt. Commander of a submarine during the WWII Normandy Invasion to his career as a publisher, founder of San Francisco’s City Lights Books, defender of free speech, and Beat poet with his million-selling A Coney Island of the Mind. Six years ago, Silver Birch Press featured the series I AM WAITING, an homage to Ferlinghetti’s poem I Am Waiting,” that included 136 authors, and ran from December 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015 (read the series at this link). To celebrate and honor the life and work of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, we will host a new series called I AM STILL WAITING.

PROMPT: We’re all waiting for something. What are you still waiting for? Tell us about it in a poem of any reasonable length. The poem could address something personal, or be crafted as an homage to Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Include the line “I am still waiting” somewhere in your poem. What we like: First-person narrative poems that offer insight into the author’s life, mind, thoughts, feelings. What we don’t like: Didactic poems, sermons, rants, diatribes, and most rhyming poetry (we make exceptions for poetic forms such as villanelles and pantoums). Note: One poem per author, please.

WHAT: Submissions can be original or previously published poems. You retain all rights to your work and give Silver Birch Press permission to publish the piece on social media. We are a nonprofit blog and offer no monetary compensation to contributors—the main benefit to you is that we will publicize your work to our 10,000+ followers. If your poem was previously published, please tell us where/when so we can credit the original publisher.

WHEN: We’ll feature the poems and prose on the Silver Birch Press blog in the I AM STILL WAITING Poetry Series starting in April 2021. We’ll also feature the poetry on Twitter and Facebook.

SUBMISSION CHECKLIST

To help everyone understand our submission requirements, we’ve prepared the following checklist.

1. Send ONE MS Word document TITLED WITH YOUR LAST NAME (e.g. Smith.doc or Jones.docx).

2. In the same MS Word document, include your contact information (name, email address). Also list your home state or country.

3. In the same MS Word document, include a one-paragraph author’s bio, written in the third person. You are encouraged to include links to your books, websites, and social media accounts — we want to help promote you!

4. In the same MS Word document, include a note about your poem/prose or creative process written in the first person (this is optional — but encouraged).

5. Send a photo of yourself as a SEPARATE jpg attachment (not in the MS Word document). Title the photo with your last name (e.g., Jones1.jpg, Jones2.jpg).

6. Email to sbpsubmissions@gmail.com—and put “STILL WAITING” in the subject line.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Wednesday, March 31, 2021