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Call for Submissions: Theme Issue on Displacement

September 01, 2017

In Fall 2018, the Bellevue Literary Review will publish a special theme issue, seeking high-caliber poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that explore the idea of displacement. We aim to gather a diverse group of voices that will allow readers to grapple with the upending of the familiar, the shifting of lives, the transference of emotion, the migration from home, and the geographical and emotional sense of belonging elsewhere.

Since the BLR’s larger thematic focus is on the tensions that arise between health and illness, we are uniquely positioned to understand displacement. Illness creates a sense of un-belonging in the body, a yearning for relief of suffering, a pining for return to the land of the healthy. Sometimes there is a literal displacement, during hospitalization or surgery, for example. Healing itself is often described as a journey toward home.

Exile was once a form of punishment that people dreaded and feared. There was a time when “homesickness” was a true diagnosis, an illness considered so serious that it could cause death. Now that we are embedded in a global community, displacement may not necessarily be a drastic break from one’s home, but rather a complicated set of emotional attachments and ruptures. Displacement is a feeling that circulates globally, almost universally, precisely because it is no longer the province of the exile or the traveler. We hope this theme issue will be an important entry into the literary canon, drawing from stories that run the gamut from the personal to the political, and from the familiar to the foreign.

Submissions open on September 1, 2017
Deadline: January 1, 2018