Hematopoiesis is the body's method of creating new blood cells. Our intention is to offer refuge to this process while disrupting dominant conversations on (dis)embodiment.
We come to you with questions: What is written, and being written, in the body and how do we express our physiology? How do we claim bodies through language, in a world that diminishes and erases so many bodies? How, like the continuous process of making new blood, do we create meaning in a world of loss & violence? What exists in the borderlands of body?
Our publication operates by consensus as much as possible, and similarly we would like for this publication to hold space for dialogue. We invite first-time writers, published writers, and anyone who resists categorical definition.
Editor-in-Chief // Brighde Moffat
Poetry Editor // Jody Chan
Creative Nonfiction Editor // Jennifer Patterson
Flash Fiction Editor // Cosi Nayovitz
Issue Four : Pericardium
a double-walled sac enclosing the heart, consisting of an outer fibrous layer and an inner layer of serous membrane.
The pericardium is a first line of defense, though like all our parts, and their sum, not invulnerable. It is the slow way in for both poison and medicine. Too much of anything can kill you, even if you need it to survive.
Patched heart. Porous heart. Our hands either strangle the flow, or feed it. Our hands, an entrance wound.
What is justice when violence is the rule, not the exception. When every system built is on unsteady ground, has broken down, is breaking down. Desirer of justice, the pericardium says a heart must stay enclosed to be safe.
Sometimes there is no far enough away from loss. This half moon of chest is a bursting seam. Pulse coughed up from a hole in the walls of the heart.
Sometimes we need these walls between, and sometimes a wall is just another barrier, and sometimes the needle splits the fabric in two, even as it stitches it back together. Living in the interplay, lubrication for the interaction between love and pain. The way hope and hopelessness sit alongside each other, turn into each other.
A heart alone doesn’t need words. It only needs pumping. To fill and then let go. But a pericardium needs a heart, needs something to hold, even if it’s an unsteady anchor. What are you holding onto? What is holding you here?
Submissions open until December 15, 2018
Thank you for considering submitting to Hema! A few things...
All past issues are available in full online and we encourage writers and artists to familiarize themselves with our past work. If you’ve been featured in previously, we ask you wait an issue before submitting again.
We invite and encourage writers from communities traditionally excluded from or underrepresented in publishing to submit.
Hybrid work is strongly encouraged and can be submitted under the category which you feel is most appropriate. See below for submission specifics according to genre.
Send your submission as a docx file attachment to email@example.com with "Submission: (genre of work you are submitting)" in the title line. Your name and a brief bio should appear in the body of the email, while the submission file itself should be bare of identifying information. Our editors first read through submissions outside of a personal context, and then consider bios during the final phase of selecting work. We do this in order to ensure a more ethical reading practice. Again, do not include your name or any identifying personal information in the body of your submission.
In terms of content, do not send us work that contains gratuitous violence or promotes harm.
We charge no reading fee for submissions, but unfortunately cannot pay contributors at this time. We will respond to all work within two months of submission close. Our editors may offer feedback and/or edits for accepted written work. We ask for first serial rights for our digital issue, and accept no previously published written works.
Questions, as well as pitches for longer work, can be directed towards firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please send 1-5 poems
I seek desire. I seek discovery. I seek intention & relation. I seek poetry that breaks form or invents its own; poetry that knows what it’s trying to say & how it needs to be said. poetry that helps you survive the world we’ve got, or builds a new one, word by word. who are your people? I want poems that conjure the bodies that sit around your kitchen table. I want to smell the food you share, taste the diffusion of rice & mango & onion in the air. I want to know which bodies answer your phone calls or texts when you get hard news. I want the bodies that contradict, the bodies that resist, the bodies that struggle. the bodies you built a home with. the bodies you built a home in. all these bodies in their mess, their beauty, their singular glory. I want poems that want & want & want more, through it all. poems that arrive without shame & leave without a backward glance. I want poems that aren’t meant for everyone; poems that shine love on a community, a place, a moment in time. poems that turn off the lights & draw the curtains & tell the rest of us to wait outside the room, but crack the door open just enough to allow us the silhouette of an embrace, a whispered confession. let me in, or don’t. but first, show me your whole hungry heart.
Please send up to 10 pages of nonfiction
Where in your body does language live? When you close your eyes, when you are at rest and moving too, can you feel words protruding from the pockets in between skin and bone? Where lives the things you can't forget and also struggle to remember? Where lives the discomfort? The righteous anger? The pain? The political fury? The grief? Where lives the joy? Where, oh where, lives the pleasure? Find these places, find yourself in these places and take us there with you.
Welcome non-linearity, welcome the way your brain meanders and darts when it’s racing, when it’s scared, when it finds something that feels like home sometimes. Welcome when you lose your way. Welcome the places where I know this happened but I don’t know when and deeply rooted unforgettable memory strands tangle. Welcome the shapes our bodies make when they are heaving, when they are leaving, when they are taking on new forms. Welcome the wisdom in a wound. Let it be your teacher. Welcome the complication, the disruption of peeling letters out of skins. Welcome the writing that keeps you alive.
I have no love for the rules of writing, no love for the right ways to write that keep us so small, keep us so quiet. No love for the publishing gatekeepers, the good text. You don’t have to be good anymore. Reject form, reject craft. Break into new shapes. Buck the binaries and dominant narratives, the shoulds and nevers. You can be a rule follower or a rule breaker but please, please, give us the words you want to give.
Please send 1 story, 1,000 words or less
Take a moment, unresolved. Remembered, fractured. Give just enough to open a question, a window, a door. Enough to change the way it is seen; the negative space of a story. What wasn’t there? What remains? The distance between word & meaning, the distance between you & me.
I want the periphery of a moment, a story, a body. The periphery of impact.