Dos Gatos Press

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

Call for Submissions: The Poetry in Prose

Editors Scott Wiggerman and David Meischen of Dos Gatos Press ( are accepting submissions for the fifth book in our series, Poetry of the Southwestern United States.

Submit up to three works between October 14, 2022 and December 16, 2022.

Note: Submissions will close automatically at midnight, Mountain Standard Time, December 16—no exceptions.

We will read entries in any of the following categories: the prose poem, flash fiction or flash nonfiction, haibun / tanka prose / cheribun. Feel free to mix and match among the categories, but limit yourself to three pieces total.

We expect meticulous attention to image and metaphor, to rhythmic phrasing, to compression, to the language of poetry. We respond well to a strong voice. We encourage risks with language and attention to unusual, perfectly defining details. We are open to experimentation, but not at the cost of quality. We expect poems that demonstrate a connection to persons, places, and/or cultures of the Southwestern United States.

The Categories:

  • Prose Poems

The prose poem is an impossible creature to pin down, but if you love poetry, you will recognize one when you read it. Poetry Foundation provides a concise definition, with links to a number of prose poems that live up to Emily Dickinson’s expectation: “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.”

For an expansive discussion, direct your browser to “Understanding Prose Poetry: Definition and Examples”—at the MasterClass website.

  • Flash Fiction or Flash Nonfiction

Flash fiction and flash nonfiction develop by means of a discernible narrative thread. To experience flash fiction as poetry, we recommend repeated close readings of “The Colonel,” Carolyn Forche’s famous prose poem. In 327 words, Forche spins a stunning narrative—a story. Originally published in a collection of Forche’s poetry, this little gem has often been anthologized as flash fiction. To experience flash nonfiction as poetry, we recommend reading these gems at Creative Nonfiction, Sunday Short Reads: “Ceremony” by Robert Erle Barham, “Having Given Up” by Jeff Oaks, and “Notice” by Jessica Handler. Notice how compression itself makes for the poetry in each piece.

Note: An entry in this category must rise to the level of poetry.

  • Haibun or Tanka Prose or Cheribun

Haibun combine short prose and haiku. We recommend browsing one or more issues of Contemporary Haibun Online and/or Haibun Today. Both haiku and the prose should stand in the same relationship to one another as do the two parts of the haiku—that is, one part should not repeat, explain, or continue the other, and haiku should be able to stand separate from the prose.

Tanka prose combine short prose and tanka, a five-line Japanese form. Again, we recommend Contemporary Haibun Online and/or Haibun Today. Both tanka and the prose should stand in the same relationship to one another as do the two parts of the tanka—that is, one part should not repeat, explain, or continue the other, and tanka should be able to stand separate from the prose.

Cheribun combine short prose and one or more cherita, a six-line narrative form in three discrete stanzas. For more on the cherita, direct your browser to The Cherita. For excellent examples of the cheribun, direct your browser to MacQueen’s Quinterly.


Please read and follow our guidelines carefully. Poems that don’t follow the guidelines will not be considered for publication.

1. We accept submissions only through Submittable.

2. Submit 1-3 original, unpublished works. Limit yourself to a single submission for all the pieces you wish to submit.

3. Word limit: 350 words for each work entered, title included (and required). Think brevity, concision, compression.

4. Do NOT put your name or any other identifying information on the document that holds the pieces you submit. Do NOT include your name in the file name for your submission. We follow a “blind” reading system: our editors read all submissions without knowing who wrote the work.

5. Use Times New Roman 12 pt. for the text of your submission. Single space your text; double space between paragraphs, also between a paragraph and a haiku, between a paragraph and a tanka.

6. Place all works in a single document—.doc or .docx or .rtf. Start each work on a new page.

7. Include a bio of up to 75 words, written in third person, focused on your writing life. Note: We don’t object to elements of whimsy in your bio; we do expect your bio to provide a glimpse of you as a writer.

8. We welcome the expression of diverse voices, diverse cultures—including pieces partly or entirely in Spanish or other languages spoken in the Southwestern U.S. Please include an English translation for works written in a language other than English. Beneath a piece that includes words/phrases/sentences in a language other than English, please provide translations.

9. NO previously published work—print or online—including pieces posted on personal websites or social network websites. If it can be found in a browser search, we consider it published.

10. No simultaneous submissions.

11.  Our broad definition of Southwest includes the following states or  portions of states: Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada,  Utah, Colorado, and Oklahoma. The poems need not be set by name in any  of these states. Rather, they will be evocative of the people, the  landscapes, the culture of the Southwest, broadly speaking.

Note: You need not live in the region specified here to submit. We welcome entries from poets worldwide.

12. Acceptance for publication conveys First North American Serial Rights, first-print publication rights, and the right to post work accepted for publication on the Dos Gatos Press website. Rights revert to the author upon publication. Payment is one contributor's copy of the anthology. Poets who live outside the continental United States will receive an electronic copy of this collection.

Dos Gatos Press