What is found poetry?
Found poems come from existing texts, such as newspaper articles, street signs, letters, books, poems.* The person who finds the text presents it in a fresh way by applying some method to the text. In simple examples, line breaks and stanzas are applied. In others, one choose words and phrases and creates something new.
What about copyright?
We encourage poets to read The Center for Media and Social Impact’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry. To avoid violating copyright of engaging in plagiarism, your found poem should “add value through significant imaginative or intellectual transformation,” rather than being nothing more than the “mere exploitation of existing copyrighted material…” And of course you should always take care to cite your source text.
Types of found poetry.
There are many different approaches to crafting a found poem and we encourage you to play with the different techniques. Some of our favorites are Erasures, Cut-ups, and the Cento.
Here are some videos to inspire us.
What We Want
You’ve found something within a source text that is a new work, not just borrowed the existing copyrighted material. Your found writing should not look like its source text. Beyond that, we want work that shocks us, surprises us, moves us, makes us sigh. We also like it when your work comes from interesting or intriguing sources. And we’re not really into poems that rhyme. We also love visual art pieces. If you can incorporate found writing and art, we would love to see it.
We do not publish writing that is not found writing.
We do accept simultaneous submissions, just please let us know ASAP if the work is accepted elsewhere.
Since found poems are the literary version of a collage, we are also interested in showcasing collage art pieces on our website.
How to Submit
Beginning in late 2021, we will publish twice a year–a February issue and an August issue. We will accept submissions Nov 1-Dec 31 for the February issue and May 1-June 30 for the August issue.
Send up to four poems or six pieces of visual work in one document. Submit once per reading period.
Double-check to make sure you cite your source text. Work that has no source text cited will not be considered, except under extraordinary circumstances, which you will want to explain to us. Your citation of sources should make it possible for us to find the original online or by visiting someplace and looking it up. We’d also like to know your method for crafting your found writing. We consider your method a part of your work, so drop us a note about that, as well. This will be published along with your work.
Please include a brief, third-person bio of no more than 50 words that will accompany your work. Please do not include live links in your bio.
Submit your found writing and art via Submittable:
Payment and Rights
We cannot offer payment to our poets at this time, but we will do our best to promote your work. Unlost acquires worldwide First Serial Electronic Rights and Nonexclusive Archival Electronic Rights, so that we may continue to archive your work. All submissions remain foremost the intellectual property of the author and rights revert to the author upon publication in Unlost. Any future publishers of works that first appear in this venue must credit Unlost for first publication.
We aim to respond to submissions within two weeks after a reading period concludes. If it has been longer, email us email@example.com