Ends on August 31, 2019

MAGMA 76: Resistencia
edited by Leo Boix and Nathalie Teitler

Submissions closing date: 31st August 2019



Write it the way it sounds, Mami always said
when I asked how to spell
tos or vaca.
It worked until we came to English
and a cough was not written like it sounded;
a heifer or house or heart, for that matter,
impossible to get right. And so for a while
silence seemed the only way not to be wrong
about the world…to hold out
for what was lost: long days filled
with the eternal waving of the palms.

The voice low over the sad parts, breaking
where it cannot pass easily into description,
the voice breathless with the story of its life,
peaking in disbelief.
Ay sí, I tell you
that it works in English, too, this listening
and then this writing out the human voice
so that it spells its quiet heart on paper.
Now settled in translation I hear her saying,
escríbelo como suena, every time I write it
the way it sounds, word for word, line by line.

—Julia Alvarez, ‘The Way It Sounds’


‘Latinx’ refers to people of Latin American origin or descent living in the diaspora. As the Latinx poet Martín Espada explains in his book El Coro: A chorus: “Latino literature and poetry is about the tension  between double attachments to place, to language, and to identity." For Espada, it is possible to find in that literature 'the open expression  of anger and grief':

“There is the music of protest. There is the search  for a reflection of one’s face after the mirror is broken. But there is  also self-mocking humor, the quiet assertion of dignity and the raucous celebration of survival, not only in the individual but also in the  collective sense."

For the #76 Magma Issue, ‘Resistencia’, we are seeking poems about disobedience, solidarity, human rights, bilingualism, exile, migration, that are related or linked to Latin America, or to the Latinx experience here in the UK or elsewhere.

We would also love to receive bilingual poems, in Spanglish or with Portuguese words, poems that are inspired, influenced or moved by anything Latino or Latin American.

Here’s an example of a poem by the US Poet Laureate José Felipe Herrera:

Yet the peach tree
still rises
& falls with fruit & without
birds eat it the sparrows fight
our desert

           burns with trash & drug
it also breathes & sprouts
vines & maguey

laws pass laws with scientific walls
detention cells husband
          with the son
          the wife &
the daughter who
married a citizen
they stay behind broken slashed

un-powdered in the apartment to
deal out the day
          & the puzzles
another law then     another
          spirit exile
migration            sky
the grass is mowed then blown
by a machine sidewalks are empty
clean & the Red Shouldered Hawk

down — from
an abandoned wooden dome
          an empty field

it is all in-between the light
every day    this changes a little

yesterday homeless &
w/o papers        Alberto
left for Denver a Greyhound bus he said
where they don’t check you

walking    working
under the silver darkness
   walking     working
with our mind
our life

—Juan Felipe Herrera, ‘Everyday We Get More Illegal'


Please send us your poems of anything Latin American, Latino or  Latinx. We’d like to see poems that expand and enrich on the experience  of ‘Latinidad’, from memorable travels in South America, to your  personal explorations of the Spanish, Portuguese, Quechua or any other  language spoken in Latin America, to inspirations taken from some of the  better known Latin American poets such as Pablo Neruda, Cesar Vallejo, Jorge Luis Borges, Violeta Parra, Claribel Alegría or Gabriela Mistral, to name only a few.

We’d like to see poems that take us on a journey into the many  aspects of Latin America, from its singularities and complexities, to its wonders, colours and flavours. Poems that speak of the current  political and social situation in the region (Carolyn Forché’s The Colonel is a great example of a brilliant political poem based on a bloody Salvadoran dictator, as well as Raúl Zurita’s INRI, a visionary response to the atrocities committed under the dictatorship of Chilean  General Augusto Pinochet.)

Check out also poems by some of the most exciting Latinx poets  writing today, including Lorna Dee Cervantes, Javier Zamora, Natalie Diaz, Ada Limón or Demetria Martínez, which might give you a wider idea of the current preoccupations and different styles of the ever expanding Latinx experience.

Send us your best poems about everything Latin American, in all its many forms and shapes – y Buena Suerte!

LEO BOIX and NATHALIE TEITLER, editors, Magma 76.

Submission Rules

  • The submissions window for ‘Resistencia’ is open from 1st July – 31st August 2019.
  • We welcome poems that have not been previously published, either in print or online. 
  • Up to 4 poems may be sent in a single document via Submittable, or by post if you live in the UK. 
  • Word documents are preferred but if your work contains graphic design, or unusual text flow or shapes, JPEGs or PDFs will be accepted.
  • SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS: we accept work that has also been submitted to other publications but require you to notify us immediately if the work is accepted for publication elsewhere. Your work must be withdrawn via Submittable, or for partial withdrawals, please add a note to your submission.
  • POSTAL SUBMISSIONS: we accept contributions by post from the UK only, addressed to:

                               Magma Issue 76 Submissions
                              23 Pine Walk
                              SM5 4ES

  • Postal contributions must be accompanied by an s.a.e. The writer’s name must appear on each page. Postal submissions post-marked on the closing day of the submission period will be considered. Postal submissions are not acknowledged until a decision is made.
  • Poems published in the magazine may also be published on this website and as a PDF version for Exact Editions. Poems remain the copyright of their author. Contributors receive a copy of the issue in which they appear and and can purchase further copies at a discount. They may also be invited to read at the issue’s launch reading.