Call for Submissions Are Now Closed. Will Re-Open in January 2025.

The Windward Review Vol. 22 – Revolutionary Renga

              “Poetry is the lifeblood of rebellion, revolution, and the raising of consciousness.”

                                                                                Alice Walker (author, poet, activist)

Join the Renga Revolution! The new incoming senior editors for The Windward Review, Drs. Robin Carstensen and Lizbette Ocasio-Russe, invite you to submit to Vol. 22, a collaborative volume unlike any other. We will feature a Flash! Contest and a Japanese poetic tradition of renga* or linked/collaborative poetry to bring together diverse voices in one powerful call for revolution, for change.

We see revolution as the need for a deep, systemic change in a world where fear and violence rooted in old systems are both erupting and collapsing. What do we imagine a revolution to be on both grand and small scales? From nations, governments, and global, local policies to smaller, private spaces, such as homes, communities, restaurants, shops, schools, gardens, gyms, etc, people are committing to a change. How do you see yourself part of a revolution?

  • Submitters may submit a flash fiction, creative nonfiction, play, or script no longer than 1000 words with a theme of revolution, interpreted broadly. All flash pieces will be considered for our Flash! Contest, with three first place winners receiving awards and all pieces considered for publication.   Deadline is March 17th at 11:59pm.
  • OR, to submit poetry, choose one partner and write any revolutionary-themed renga that interests you. You may respond to the inciting renga written by the senior editors or respond from your own revolutionary moment.  You may include a living poetry partner, an ancestor, a beloved who has walked on, or an imaginary poetry partner whose voice inhabits a strong presence with you. All poetry under 1,000 words will also be considered for our Flash! Contest and for publication.
    • You and your partner may write as many haiku and waki stanzas as you’d like in your dialogue, but they must fit on one page. We seek fresh and surprising imagery that grapples with the abstract concept of revolution. Include both authors’ names, the title, and each of your bios (50-75 words each) in your submission’s cover page.  Deadline is March 6.

Submit on this Link: Windward Google Submission Form

The editors will arrange each flash prose and renga partners’ submission to speak to or leap off of one another’s conversations. The collection as a whole is the Revolutionary Renga. We begin with our stanzas, from Robin and Lizbette. See below:

 *About Renga:

 In Japan, renga was typically constructed as a linked poem that alternates between three-lines and two-line. The three-liners (haiku) would typically have a structure of 5-7-5 on (or onji) which are phonetic units roughly corresponding to syllables in English. (In fact, they are much shorter than typical English syllables.) Two liners (waki) would have a structure of 7-7 on. Most contemporary Western poets, who write haiku and related forms, have completely abandoned counting syllables. But they strive for brevity and sparsity, ground their poems in something concrete, and use strong imagery. We suggest not worrying about the syllable count at all. 

More on renga: Renga 

You may follow the traditional structure, or invert it, fracture it, disrupt it.  Haiku need not always adhere to the 5-7-5 syllable structure, nor the waki to the 7-7. You may want to try an innovative twist with syllabics, space, and sound, or, instead of the nature image, try a more urban or industrial image, while varying line endings, etc. Try a renewed shape that holds the voice of you and your partner’s dialogue:

Poet 1: haiku

Poet 2: response:  a couplet (7-7 syllable, subtle focus shift)

Poet 1: haiku

Poet 2: couplet

(if space permits, go one more haiku-waki round with your partner)

 Again, partners may respond to our opening stanzas, or from a distinctly different revolutionary moment:

You’ll see how the third stanza, a haiku, is fractured into cascading lines, while the second and fourth stanzas retain the 7-7 couplet which responds to the imagery from the previous stanza, yet shifts to expand those images, inviting wider, deeper contemplation.

We look forward to hearing from you!


Robin and Lizbette


Goats   granite   limestone

      cliffs   moss   impasse   crisp   wind   wet

           bottomless   hollers

Bleating cries escape ravines

Of wounded souls left unseen


          November falls to its knees

    in red


      leaves   ten-

                  thousand     more    



            cast            flutter



Falling soundless, colors fade

Winter casts its icy rage


Robin and Lizbette


Submit on this Link: Windward Google Submission Form

Submission Guidelines 

For all submissions: 
  • Submit your work via our Windward Google Submission Form
  • Work submitted should be previously unpublished in order to prevent copyright concerns. Work can be “published” informally through social media accounts, etc., but please remove the work from the internet while we consider it for publication. (You are permitted to share the work on social media after we publish it, if it is accepted.)
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, but please let us know if the work in your submission becomes no longer available.
  • To prevent biased viewing, personal information should not appear anywhere on the submitted document(s).
  • If you include images in your submission document(s), we assume these are meant to be considered with the rest of the submission, but please let us know if the images are optional.
  • Collaborative submissions: We review collaborative pieces (i.e. works with multiple authors or a writer and an artist), but please provide names and email addresses of all artists. 
We are creative, open-minded, and considerate, but please contact us if you have any questions!