Bye Bye Bukowski, an anthology

The literary canon is built on the erasure of marginalized voices and experiences, i.e. the literary canon is fancy speak for "the voices of white cisgendered heterosexual men." It's exhausting, to say the least. Not only do these texts continue to dominate literary spaces, but these privileged and oppressive narratives permeate far beyond the page and into the beliefs that shape real human interactions and experiences in the world.

Let's burn it down is my forever rallying cry! If only it were that easy -- writing against the status quo is hard, often miserable work, but I'm nonetheless committed to and interested in how we can use language to subvert the power of language. How can marginalized voices inhabit spaces that aren't built for them to inhabit? How do marginalized voices build new spaces when they are, by definition of being marginalized, still going to be marginalized?

There are, of course, many ways to answer these questions, and I hope we keep at it. One of my answers has been to make erasure poems about erasure -- not only is there an immense level of personal satisfaction in taking a Sharpie to Bukowski and bringing my own truths to the surface while shutting up his woman-hating ass, but the act of erasure also reflects the function of oppression -- to silence -- yet in this case the silencing is a justified silencing, allowing the voice that has been suffocated to come to the surface while still cognizant of the fact that there is no "pure escape" from oppressive forces.

Bye Bye Bukowski - Submission Guidelines

1. Who? Anyone who doesn't identify as a white cis/hetero man (this doesn't mean we don't love you, though we are not obligated to love you. shhhh....)

2. What? Send 1-5 erasure poems about erasure -- poems that speak to experiences of oppression that you made from erasing words in other texts. Ideally we're looking for poems made from classically oppressive texts, though you can choose to erase any text (poetry, fiction, cookbooks, newspapers, microwave manuals, whatever).

3. How? Email your submission as a .jpg, .pdf, or .docx with a short bio to Please include 2-3 lines about your work that mentions the title and/or a description of the original text you erased.

4. When? Submissions are open from March 1 - April 30, 2015.

5. Does this go without saying? PLEASE be intersectional in your erasures i.e. recognize your own privileges within systems of oppression i.e. do NOT erase marginalized voices to demonstrate your own marginalization.

6. Bye Bye Bukowski is being edited by Sarah Xerta and will be published by Hyacinth Girl Press in late summer/early fall of 2015 as a chapbook-style, handmade book. Payment will be in the form of one contributor copy.

7. Questions? Email

More Information

Sarah Xerta is the author of the chapbooks JULIET (I) and RED PAPER HEART, and the poetry collection Nothing To Do With Me, out from University of Hell Press this spring. Her work is published or forthcoming in Feminist Formations, VIDA, Narrative Magazine, B O D Y, PANK, Connotation Press, & elsewhere. Find more online at

Hyacinth Girl Press is a micro-press that publishes up to 9 poetry chapbooks each year. We specialize in handmade books of smaller press runs and have a special place in our hearts for the avant garde, the anarchist, the terrifying children you don't want to show your mother. We consider ourselves a feminist press and seek work that is bold and unashamed - show us the dirtiest parts of yourself without a mask.