Archives for posts with tag: metamorphosis

kafkaroach Published in 1915, Franz Kafka‘s The Metamorphosis — the story of Gregor Samsa’s transformation into a giant insect —  paved the way for what we consider “modern” literature: introspective, surreal, existential. The novella has been called “one of the few, great poetic works” of the 20th century — and has exerted a major influence on some of the world’s most prominent and lauded authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, Albert Camus, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Philip Roth. Let’s celebrate the 100th anniversary of The Metamorphosis by paying homage to Franz Kafka and his masterpiece with our latest call for submissions — My Metamorphosis Poetry/Flash Fiction Series. 

PROMPT: Tell us about your transformation — real or imagined — in a poem (any reasonable length) or flash fiction piece (200 words or less). For the series, you can also submit found or erasure poems based on Kafka’s The Metamorphosis (English translation). For a free copy of Kafka’s novella, visit Project Gutenberg.

WHAT: Submissions can be original or previously published poems or flash fiction. You retain all rights to your work and give Silver Birch Press permission to publish on social media and in a potential print edition.

WHEN: We’ll feature the poems/flash fiction during the Silver Birch Press MY METAMORPHOSIS Poetry/Flash Fiction Series in August and September (actual dates to be determined, based on number of submissions).

HOW TO SUBMIT: Email one poem or flash fiction to as an MSWord attachment — and in the same file include your name, contact info (including email address), one-paragraph author’s bio (written in third person), and any notes about your creative process or thoughts about your piece. Please put all this information in one MSWord document and title the file with your last name (and only your last name). Write”Kafka” in subject line of email. Please send a photo of yourself — at any age — to accompany the poem, and provide a caption for the photo (when, where). If you’d like, feel free to wear a mask (homemade is fine) in the photo to symbolize your transformation.

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, mailing address, email address).

3. In the same MS Word document, include an author’s bio, written in the third person (e.g., Bill Smith has been writing since age seven…”).

4. In the same MS Word document, include a note about your poem/flash fiction or creative process (this is optional).

5. In the same MS Word document, include a caption for your photo (including where, when and/or date taken).

6. Send a photo of yourself at any age as a SEPARATE jpg attachment (not in the MS Word document). Title the photo with your last name (e.g., Jones.jpg). (In the photo, you can wear a mask to symbolize your transformation.)

7. Email to — and put KAFKA in the subject line.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Monday, August 31, 2015



by Tamara Madison

How I envy
the furry black
yellow striped
that climbs
the lush stems
of the basil plant.
Sheltered within the deep
green redolent canopy
it spends its days
on the fragrant leaves,
that with each
delicious bite
it destroys
its gorgeous habitat.
By the time the leaves
are all reduced
to lacy stubble
it will be time
to find a resting place,
pull a cocoon over itself
and wait for the dawn
of the next life.
How I envy
the furry black
yellow striped
that can destroy
its world
and retreat
to the succor
of a regenerative

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tamara Madison teaches English and French at a public high school in Los Angeles. Raised on a citrus farm in the California desert, Tamara’s life has taken her many places, including Europe and the former Soviet Union, where she spent fifteen months in the 1970s. A swimmer and dog lover, Tamara says, “All I ever wanted to do with my life was write, and I mostly write poetry because it suits my lifestyle; I like the way one can say so much in the economical space of a poem.”

“The Rapture” and other poems by Tamara Madison will appear in the upcoming Silver Birch Press Green Anthology, a collection of poetry, short stories, novel excerpts, essays, interviews, and stage play scenes from authors in the U.S., U.K., and Europe — available on March 15, 2013.


“The butterfly’s attractiveness derives not only from colors and symmetry:  deeper motives contribute to it.  We would not think them so beautiful if they did not fly, or if they flew straight and briskly like bees, or if they stung, or above all if they did not enact the mystery of metamorphosis, which assumes in our eyes the value of a message, a symbol, a sign.” PRIMO LEVI

Photo: Ryan Learoyd, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED