The whole of American literature might be seen as one extended experiment in finding a form for voices trying both to capture and pierce the nation’s cacophonous history and democracy.
From Whitman’s constant revisions of Leaves of Grass to Stein’s authorial meditations in The Making of Americans, from Toni Morrisson’s interlaced points of view in The Bluest Eye to William Gass’s metafictional deep dig into the disappointed heart of America in The Tunnel, the great American experiment often has found its best reflection in the efforts of our most daring writers. New forms for our collective howl are yet to unfold. The infinite gesture toward accurately representing ourselves continues.
Unbound Edition Press is now open for submissions to our anthology of new American writing, to be edited by acclaimed poet and critic Peter Campion, with publication in early 2022. This collection will not be simply an anthology of experimental writing; it will be also an experimental anthology.
With the very idea of America changing – personally, culturally, generationally, globally – experimental American writing seems especially relevant. How do we see ourselves now? What new or revised forms can contain our emerging or fading notions of self, identity, community and country? We feel sure bold writers must be asking questions like these.
Literary experiments from BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented communities hold particular power in making this anthology a relevant, current and lasting investigation of the American idea as it evolves.
In bringing this project to life, we have our own set of questions to grapple with, too: What does the form of the anthology itself mean now? What qualifies as genuinely new, experimental and worthy of anthologizing, and by what standards? Does editorial ordering and reading arc matter when all information is digitally disaggregated? Might there be countless combinations of works changing across time? This experimental anthology poses these and other questions, including how the reader becomes an active participant in the evolving experiment.
We want to challenge the traditional anthology form, experimenting with how the book itself can be (un)bound, (re)ordered, (re)read and (co)shared. Our vision and plan is to publish this anthology in hardcopy, digital and social formats – with the individual works intentionally randomized. After publication, the pieces in the anthology can be constantly reordered by authors, readers, communities and technologies.
Submissions are free and open to all genres, cross-genres and forms.
All authors included in the anthology will be paid for their work ($20 per page, poem or cross-genre piece), receive a free copy of the anthology, and be included in various community readings. The publisher acquires First North American Serial Rights.
Thank you for considering this project and Unbound Edition Press for work that has not previously been published elsewhere in print or online. We look forward to reading it.