Gazing Grain Press was founded in 2012 by a group of three recent alumni of George Mason University’s MFA program–poets Siwar Masannat, M. Mack, and Alyse Knorr. The Gazing Grain Fall for the Book Chapbook Contest is generously sponsored by the Fall for the Book literary festival, an annual, week-long event based out of George Mason University.
In starting Gazing Grain Press, we wanted to fill a gap we saw in the current publishing landscape. There are a number of important and excellent women’s and LGBTQ chapbook contests in the literary community today, but we found a need for a poetry chapbook contest that is open to feminists of every gender and sexuality. Our commitments to feminism, art, and publishing within a feminist work ethic thus led us to create this chapbook contest. We believe that inclusive feminism should make available a space for celebrating poetry that comes from a diversity of writerly identities. We are interested in socially-conscious work that explores ideas of identities as connected to gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, culture, and ability. We adhere to no one “definition” of feminism–we encourage a broad and diverse range of approaches. Challenge us!