Haiku on Mars and (Mildly) Erotic Poetry

Two things caught my eye in the world of poetry this week:

Mars, 2001, with the southern polar ice cap vi...

Firstly, NASA is asking for Haiku to make a trip to the planet Mars. This is a real opportunity to get your poetry to a wider audience!

The spacecraft will launch in November to study the atmosphere on Mars. Three poets will have their haiku put on a DVD that will be placed in the craft. Everyone else that submits a haiku for inclusion will get their name included on the DVD.

“The Going to Mars campaign offers people worldwide a way to make a personal connection to space, space exploration and science in general, and share in our excitement about the MAVEN mission,” said Stephanie Renfrow, lead for the MAVEN Education and Public Outreach program at University of Colorado, Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

There is no entry fee (and no prize other than the honour of sending your work to Mars). Entrants must be 18 or over and all Haiku must be written in English. The deadline for submissions is 1st July 2013. From the 15th of July the public will vote for the three Haiku that will go off to the red planet. The winner will be announced on August 8th 2013.

Full details are available here.

Thanks to Nick Daws for bringing this opportunity to my attention.


Secondly, The Emma Press is now open to submissions for ‘The Emma Press Anthology of (Mildly) Erotic Verse’. This got my attention because I went to a workshop last week on writing erotic e-books. It was quite an eye-opener when we were told about the various different sub-genres in the market – or maybe I’ve just led a sheltered life!

But The Emma Press isn’t looking for anything explicit or hard-core. They say, “The erotic element of the poems can be as apparent or barely-there as you like, but the writing has got to tick all the boxes: metre, pace, form and language.”

It is envisaged that 15 poets will be included in the book and there will be a £25 advance for each poet.

Up to four poems can be submitted and there is no entry fee. But be quick – the deadline is 17th May 2013.

Full details are here.


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  1. #1 by Tracy Fells on May 7, 2013 - 1:46 pm

    I’d read something on the Mars Haiku and thought it was a spoof! But what a sweet idea. May have a go as I love writing haikus. Think any attempts at erotic (even mildly) poetry is more likely to turn out as hilariously funny, so will probably give that one a miss. Fun post Sally 🙂

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on May 7, 2013 - 7:04 pm

      Good Luck with the Haiku, Tracy. It would be great to think of your words whizzing their way into space!

  2. #3 by Wendy Clarke on May 7, 2013 - 5:30 pm

    Thanks, Sally – I love Haiku

  3. #4 by ian smith on May 7, 2013 - 6:30 pm

    Thanks for the notice about the Emma Press anthology. I’m a member of an e-mail mutual crit group which specialises in erotic writing and poetry, and have passed it on to their administrator. It’s the first erotic poetry submission invitation I’ve seen in a while and I suspect the poetry enthusiasts there will be delighted. I’m happy to pass on their website to anyone interested, but only if you ask. It’s not to everyone’s taste!

    • #5 by Sally Jenkins on May 7, 2013 - 7:05 pm

      Thanks, Ian. I’m not sure it would be to my taste. But if anyone else is interested and I’ll contact Ian for you.

  4. #6 by Linda on May 8, 2013 - 2:15 pm

    I like reading poetry but am not very good at writing it. I love the idea of sending a poem to Mars though!

  5. #7 by Julia on May 29, 2013 - 1:32 pm

    I’ve just written my first ever haiku – and have a certificate from MAVEN to prove it!

    • #8 by Sally Jenkins on May 30, 2013 - 6:17 pm

      Well done, Julia! And I didn’t realise they were issuing certificates – that’s brilliant souvenir.

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