Revisiting Closet Poets

deadline for submissions: 
September 29, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 

Submit proposals to:

You do not need to be a NeMLA member to submit a proposal.

When the screen opens, click on "Browse the 2023 Call for Papers." The next screen will ask for AREA, type “creative” and  “Creative Writing, Editing and Publishing” will appear in the box and for KEYWORD type “closet.” The session will appear in a block below those two boxes. Next click on the “Revisiting Closet Poets” block and it will take you to the submit abstract page. Click the green box in the upper right corner to submit your proposal.

Poetry is a perfect medium to explore all of the key issues planned for the 55th Annual NeMLA Convention. The focus of this year’s convention is Surplus which is identified on the NeMLA website as “associated with profit and value, but also can more broadly construed as excess or excessive, as surfeit, or what is leftover, or unwanted: an excess of emotions (anger, fear, passion, desire),” terms which lend themselves well to the emotional expressions within poetry. For the past three years, the Closet Poets sessions have enjoyed many scholars who research and write papers for conferences as well as write poetry. Perhaps those poems are jotted on note pads, in the margins of your papers or in dedicated personal journals.  This session is seeking those scholars whose poetry often remains unpublished due to the heavier responsibility of publishing scholarly journal articles, monographs and genre-specific books which demand much time in between teaching, and perhaps, administrating at the university. Even though those scholarly efforts may yield more rewards, such as job retention and hopefully, job promotions; personal poetry, intermittently created, yields a satisfying venue for emotional issues and satisfying creativity.

The 2024 Revisiting Closet Poets Creative session is an opportunity to expand and share your poetry by perhaps featuring the key issues of this years’ convention. I am pleased to report that MLS published several participants poetic work in 2023 in their new online venue. Perhaps you will have an opportunity to have your work published in MLS in future publications of our Closet Poets work. Remember the words of Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky, who shared his joy of telling poems during a previous NeMLA conference, “Poetry is the breath of humankind, and must be heard.”