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‘Urge and urge and urge, / Always the procreant urge of the world.’ – Walt Whitman 

‘The ceaseless tossing of primordial seeds / Amid the mightier void…’ – Lucretius 

From the Epic of Gilgamesh to Hesiod’s Theogony to Lucretius’ De rerum natura, poetry – with its connections to sacred ritual – has been the privileged medium for thinking about the origins of the universe and humanity’s place within it. The rich store of poetic genres and traditions from around the world remains a vital part of our heritage as a species. Yet in their attunement to the divine and ecstatic, poems shake us out of our anthropocentric complacency, showing the precarity of human existence when placed at the mercy of cosmic forces. 

On our twentieth anniversary, we invite poetry submissions to our eightieth edition which will map ‘Creation Stories’ from archaeology and astronomy to AI and transhumanism, from the preservation of traditional knowledge to the intricacies of postmodern identity. Though submissions need not be themed, we welcome poems that scan the stars above and the earth below for tell-tale signs of where we’ve come from and where we might be headed. 

You can submit up to four individual poems, each no longer than two pages.
Submissions close: 11.59 pm AEST, 6 February 2023
Publication date: May 2023

Griffith Review