2016 has been one fucker of a year so far.
We gained Donald Trump, noted hamster-coiffed misogynist, TV villain and Putin’s biggest fan, as a serious contender for the White House and Leader of the Free World.
We watched him foster racial and social hatred at every step of his campaign, while asking security advisers exactly when, as Commander-in-Chief, he will be allowed to play with the nukes.
This, in the same year when police have killed over 700 people in the US, including Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in early July, leading to protests on the streets of Baton Rouge and the shooting of five officers on the streets of Dallas, Texas, while Twitter trolls question why Black Lives Matter.
We saw over 1200 dead and 2700 injured in attacks by IS around the world in 2016, including individual attacks in Brussels, Nice, Orlando but also multiple attacks in Iraq, Yemen, Turkey, Libya, Bangaladesh, Pakistan and the near obliteration of cities in Syria.
We saw the UK split apart and economically-totalled by Brexit – a referendum with the most openly racist rhetoric since Enoch Powell’s infamous Rivers of Blood speech in 1968. We saw a spike in racially motivated attacks after, many directed at the very people fleeing the terror of IS atrocities elsewhere.
We watched British Prime Minister David Cameron (and several of his would-be successors, including Brexit evangelists Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, as well as right-wing shit-stirrer and Trump’s new mate, Nigel Farage) abdicate responsibility, paving the way for Theresa May, a new round of attacks on public services and the upcoming swing at the Human Rights Act. May is another finger with an itch for nuclear weapons.
We saw the voices of political moderates silenced, as in the fatal shooting of UK Labour MP Jo Cox, or the savage in-fighting and political expediency by both Labour and the Democrats, horrified at the prospect of liberal leadership by Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, respectively.
We watched our own Irish politicians hold our heads under the waters of austerity for almost a decade while saddling us with the largest proportion of EU debt, only to discover Ireland failed to collect €13bn in taxes from US electronics giant Apple and had to be ordered by the EU to do so. That’s 7% of our National Debt owing from a single company – in a country that plays host to some of the richest corporations and tech companies in the world. Who else have we been forgetting to bill?
We heard the United Nations call Ireland’s abortion ban ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading’, an infringement of basic human rights, while women continue to travel to the UK to avoid prosecution, and Irish politicians ignore repeated calls to Repeal the 8th, but allow the censorship of pro-Choice murals on Dublin’s streets, as they wring their hands and have PR teams check their dictionaries to see if ‘cruel and inhuman’ has any wiggle room for a positive spin.
It’s The End of the World As We Know It?
The outcome of the US elections in November will dictate the global mood for the next five years but is it all really as bad as it seems?
Headstuff invite you to submit poems that hold a mirror up and show us a vision of the world as we know it and/or as it will become. Are we heading to hell in a handcart? Are we being force-fed a diet of fear and destruction by the media? Will we be overrun by AI robots, aliens or alien robots? Is this the eye of the storm passing into a new era of enlightenment? Or all part of a natural process of change? Where can we find we find hope and redemption in the days to come?
Show us your visions of apocalyptic annihilation and/or redemption — feel free to interpret as widely as possible — think personal, political, economic, environmental, intergalactic, literal or fantastic.
We will choose our favourite poems to publish in Headstuff’s Poem of the Week slot between November and January.
What We’re Looking For
Send up to 6 poems to [email protected], marked It’s The End of the World As We Know It, by 15 OCTOBER 2016. Max. 40 lines.
Please read our General Submissions guidelines before submitting your work – any submissions that do not meet our requirements will be disqualified.
We welcome written submissions, sound and video performances, in the English language, from Ireland and beyond. Please submit your work in the format you want us to use. eg. page, YouTube, Soundcloud. We will only use high quality sound / video performances.
We do not want: Sexism, Misogyny, Homophobia, Bigotry, Violence and/or Sexual Violence.
All written submissions should be in .doc/.rtf format, not PDF. All submissions should be previously unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere.
All submissions should include author’s full name (we won’t publish anonymous work or pseudonyms), a headshot and a 100 word bio.
Please allow 4 weeks after the close of submissions for a response.
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