You Are Here 2017/2018: War

All I can say is, I was once like you, the apathy, the pity, the ungrateful placement; and now my home is the mouth of a shark, now my home is the barrel of a gun. I’ll see you on the other side.

-Warsan Shire, “Conversations about Home (at the Deportation Center)”
from Our Men Do Not Belong to Us (2014)

Everywhere is war. Constitutional, or not. If the battles go unnamed, they can last forever. Everywhere is war. Words, missiles, legislation- used against our bodies, our psyches – making the Other evermore distinct, evermore distant. We’ve been pitted against ourselves and each other and so we stand with the barrel of the gun blocking our view. Add to that a wall, checkpoint or fence pervading our lines of sight.

Maybe we are fighting for everything, but everything is something that we will never have nor hold. Maybe we are discouraged, defeated, overwhelmed. Maybe we are angry. Maybe we feel paralyzed by all the maybes. One thing’s for certain: we cannot repeat the mistakes of our parents, nor the politicians they elected. Still, we tango with progress and degeneration if fingers are always gestured in a point.

This issue of You Are Here is coming together at a time of greater insecurity than most of us have lived through. If everywhere is war, what are the routes to resolution, to understanding, to decency and change? How do these confrontations, both near and far, impact how we move through our days? What are the traces of war left on our flesh, families, speech acts? How do we read the marred landscape, and still press on through the rubble? How do we understand peace in place?


You Are Here is an annual publication that focuses on a variety of ideas about how place is interpreted, experienced, and created. Submissions have historically been based in poetry, prose, photography, original artwork and critical commentary. We also encourage entries that utilize new and diverse forms of media including, but not limited to, video, audio, animation, comics, web and graphic design, interactive programming, papier-mâché, etc. Text, video, audio, image, and combinations of these formats will all be considered. This year, the journal will be presented in both a printed version showcasing an abbreviated selection, and an extended online edition highlighting a broader range of submissions.

All submissions must be received by Monday, July 24th, 2017. Final selections will be made by Monday, October 2, 2017. Please note word and file size limits below (please use prudence regarding overall lengths if using multiple media formats). Please include with all submissions a cover letter containing complete contact information.


We will only consider three poems per author, so please select the work that fits best with the issue theme.


Maximum length is 4,000 words. Shorter selections are more likely to be published. Writers are also encouraged to include photos, artwork, etc. to accompany their piece (following guidelines below).


Images and audiovisual files may be submitted via email if the total file size is less than 5MB. For larger images, our preference is to receive them via google drive. Images must be submitted in a .tiff file format at a resolution of at least 300 dpi at the size they are intended to be viewed online. You may also submit originals through the mail (address below), and you are here will convert them to this format. Audio or film submissions should be limited to 15 minutes; shorter works are welcome.

We encourage you to submit introductory text to accompany your images, film, or sound – please see text guidelines above. Electronic submissions only.

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