Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Broadsided Submission Call Deadline October 15 2008

Empire by Helen Beckman Kaplan (watercolor)


Broadsided invites you to submit poetry and prose in response to the art posted on our website ( and attached to this email. Deadline: October 15, 2008. The selected writing will be published at on November 1, 2008.

Responses need not be literal—you may take off in any tangent the work suggests. However, the art and writing must, together, work to create a greater piece. Poems must be 30 lines or shorter; prose pieces under 300 words. We accept submissions only in the BODY of emails (no attachments) sent to "" -- for complete guidelines and to see examples of past Switcheroos, visit

Why is it called The Switcheroo? Let us explain:

At Broadsided, a virtual, on-the-streets press that harnesses the tradition of the broadside, we have a group of artists who create visual responses to writing the editors have selected for publication. Each month, we post on our website an original visual/literary collaboration that anyone can download, print, and post -- a gang of Vectors around the country print and post the broadsides in local bus stops, coffee shops, offices, etc. In The Switcheroo, we turn the tables, asking a curator to select a piece of visual art and then soliciting written responses from writers.

This time, artist Elizabeth Terhune has chosen a watercolor by artist Helen Beckman Kaplan entitled "Empire." Helen Beckman Kaplan is a painter from Brooklyn who was educated at Rhode Island School of Design, Tyler School of Art, Indiana University and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has been a resident at Yaddo and Millay Colony, and has exhibited her work in New York at AC Project Room and Edward Thorp Gallery.

Of "Empire," Elizabeth Terhune has this to say:

Helen Beckman Kaplan's watercolor painting, "Empire," of a rather strange bird in an unusual—if not sad—landscape was selected for the Switcheroo because it repeatedly drew my attention even after many viewings. It kept pulling at me.

The bird embodies complex emotions. It is a quizzical creature in a landscape that appears a bit of a shambles, part balustrade, part fog, part rock face. There is an after-the-flood quality that is offset by the quirkiness of the piece. It is simultaneously peaceful while also being unsettling.

The overwhelming feeling is one of remoteness, and it is within this remoteness that I thought a poem might be found.

I like what can't be answered about this image. There is a Rorschach quality of swirling forms within the atmosphere that the bird contemplates. "Memory is a strange Bell—Jubilee, and Knell." I came across that line from one of Emily Dickinson's letters in Richard B. Sewall's wonderful biography of Emily Dickinson. It made me think of this watercolor and then that other American literary treasure, Edgar Allan Poe and his . . . raven.


We look forward to reading the responses that come in -- please feel free to post, forward, and pass along this announcement by any means you see fit.

The Editors

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