The anthology A Bowl of Bread: Poetry of Community is currently accepting submissions, deadline November 30, 2010.
Clare House of Hospitality. Bloomington, Illinois
(photo credit: Shae Davidson)
A Bowl of Bread: Poetry of Community will explore the ideas of community and hospitality, tracing the ways in which sharing and shared experience draw us out of ourselves and build a deeper, more nuanced society.
Proceeds from A Bowl of Bread will benefit Clare House of Hospitality, a central Illinois Catholic Worker house that offers a food pantry and soup kitchen and works to strengthen community life by encouraging service and nurturing radical openness.
Clare House is currently seeking submissions from a broad range of contributors, including new poets and established authors as well as voices from central Illinois and people from farther afield. The range of perspectives will help create a richer picture of the anthology's central theme.
Anyone interested in contributing should send up to three poems, roughly ten to fifty lines each, along with a biography of up to twenty words.
Please send submissions in the body of an email (no attachments!) before 30 November 2010 to:
To learn more about A Bowl of Bread: Poetry of Community, check out our Q&A with Shae Davidson, Project Director:
Shae, how did this project develop?
The idea for the project first started to take shape while I was reading Poets for Peace, the anthology edited by Timothy Crowley. Inspired by the work of Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh, Crowley had started working with members of the North Carolina Writers' Network to create a collection of "poems for peace," but the project took on broader meaning after the 9/11 attacks. Crowley's collection really made me think of the connection between local social action, community, and creation.
What is your involvement in the project?
I'll be directing the project. My doctoral work in history explored the way shared ideals and notions of community play out in daily life, and helped me put the core idea for the project together. I've published a few collections of poetry and have served as an editor with tinywords. Over the past two years I have been very active in food justice programs in central Illinois, including efforts to make farmers' markets more accessible to lower-income families and finding ways to get more fresh, locally-produced food into emergency food programs. Prior to that, I served as a member of the Creative Synthesis Collaborative, a think that focused on the connection between creativity and community.
Where will the anthology be distributed?
Most of the special events related to the anthology will be held in central Illinois, and the book will be available in stores in the area. You will also be able to find A Bowl of Bread at Amazon.com, and we're hoping that we can make it available through other Catholic Worker communities.
What do you hope this project accomplishes?
Clare House is well known in central Illinois, and residents have been very generous over the years that the house has been open. Hopefully, the anthology helps people think beyond the basic image of a soup kitchen or pantry, though, and leads readers to consider the many ways that the cycle of connection, generosity, and gratitude play out in the community and in their own lives.
If you belong to an organization, such as a Catholic Worker community, like Shae mentions, please contact Shae Davidson to see how you and your organization or group can help distribute the Bowl of Bread anthology so that it can be accessible to a broader audience.
Bags of food ready for distribution to community at Clare House of Hospitality
(photo credit: Shae Davidson)