Open Submission Call for Mother / Service / Voice – An Ice Floe New Works Project Developed by Jenny Mitchell & Guest Edited by Jakky Bankong-Obi

For Immediate Release: 


Submissions Accepted between: Sept. 1st to Sept 25th.
Email submissions to :

New Works Guest Editor Series #1
A Prompt Developed by UK Poet Jenny Mitchell

The Project will run in October 2020: Oct. 1-31.

Curated by:
Special Guest Editor/Reader Jakky Bankong-Obi
Robert Frede Kenter & Moira J. Saucer

For October 2020 we invited UK poet Jenny Mitchell to develop a prompt for our New Works Series at Ice Floe Press ( This will be our first open call submission. We invite poets, prose writers (fiction, non- fiction), creators of visual work, hybrids and collaborations to submit unpublished work that examines the intersecting themes of ‘the Mother’, ‘Service’ and ‘Voice’. We hope these prompts inspire you to send/write/revive new work you would like to share…


Who are our mothers, our foremothers, our birth-mothers, our sacred/spiritual mothers? What sound/energy/emotion/history does ‘the mother’s voice’ (s) contain? Is it kind, stern, loving, beauteous, ugly, rageful, destructive, dynamic, undocumented, erased, neglected, a carrier of tradition, in/or of rebellion? (or maybe a combination of one or more).

How can unanswerable questions about mothers be approached?

       – Is she jelly-hearted… almost hating her daughter (Gwendolyn Brooks)
       – Can she grow two inches with righteous (Patricia Smith)
       – Is her smile like a dropped/perfume bottle (Pascale Petit)
       – Or is she drinking to forget a man (Lyn Emanual)

In thinking about mothers and service is there the unacknowledged, the hidden labour of mothering, from birthing to care work, the unpaid to the forgotten and the taken for granted?

How do race/class and caring impact or define mothering in our societies/histories/etc.

Is mothering selflessness (whether given freely or through unacknowledged coercion).

Who does it serve – the state? The plantation owner; the indenture-system; the capitalist; the patriarch/father; and/or the family – intimate and extended? What are the roles/codes? Are they broken and how?


This could include care work, service-sector, unpaid labour, underpaid, unacknowledged ‘as/labour’, a spiritual calling, a duty, a requirement, military, a state of mind etc.

Who do we serve, the land, the ancestors? Who served others in order to give us life? Who’s serving still? How does the earth serve us and should it continue to do so? What countries/people have been made to kneel in service?

What (im)possibilities are there for those who serve?

       – If god was a cow, I could slaughter him (Pattianne Rogers)
       – My master/father sent me up from South/Carolina to Boston as a nine-year-old.
         My mother’s illiterate silence has been a death.
(Marilyn Nelson)
       – I’ve seen lilies/bent to the ground (Peter G. Gillis)


This is such a big area that could include the speaking voice or its tone. What is remembered of the (mother’s) voice? What was spoken/unspoken? What rhythms, cadences, songs, lies, truth, histories of being spoken for, about or to, as well as being spoken over/overruled by another person/institute? How can the voice be reclaimed, excavated or done away with?

The sound we make/are forced not to make; the sounds we hear from the ancestors.

The grandfather in ‘The Ventriloquist’s Voice’ is: the man who once threw/his voice away, so someone else, someday, would call it back. (Rebecca Tantony)
What sign do you keep on your black lips/What poor speech when all is growing still (Galway Kinnell)
…talcum and tea/moistened their quivering jaws, prophetic without prophecy (Ishion Hutchinson)
When he opens his mouth/a chameleon is inside, starving (Morgan Parker)

Write about the mother in all her guises. Ask her to tell you  her secrets and stories. Let her be bold for once, or quiet for a change.

Send poems, stories, visual pieces, CNF, collaborative work that honour the ones who were forced to kneel, or still do.

What does a lost voice sound like when it’s called back.

Please send up to four pieces unpublished work max in a single word.doc file (and, if the piece(s) have unusual visual formatting attach a PDF as well); & send all images in the format of JEPG files; audio and video works w/Youtube or Soundcloud links.

Send the work to: and put the Title:

October2020 Project

in the subject heading.

Jakky, Moira & Robert will select the work to be published. If you would like to send art/images for consideration please attach them as JEPG files in the email submission.  Please attach texts as word files.

The submission window is open from Sept. 1st to Sept 25th, 2020.

Please email submissions to :

Our Guest Reader/Editor:

Jakky Bankong-Obi is a communications consultant who lives and writes from Abuja, Nigeria. Her work has been featured/forthcoming in London Grip, The Kalahari Review, Amberflorazine, Zarf Poetry, Gutter Magazine, Hobartpulp, Pidgeonholes, Memento; An Anthology of Contemporary Nigerian Poetry etc. She enjoys long walks, yoga & dabbling in nature photography. Jakky is on Twitter as @jakkybeefive.

Prompt Developed By Jenny Mitchell:

Jenny Mitchell is winner of the Segora Poetry Prize, a Bread and Roses Poetry Award, a Best of the Net Nominee and joint winner of the Geoff Stevens Memorial Prize. Her work has been published in The Rialto, The Interpreter’s House, The New European, The Morning Star etc; and broadcast on Radio 4/BBC2. A debut collection, Her Lost Language,(Indigo Dreams Publishing), was selected as one of 44 Poetry Books for 2019 (Poetry Wales). Twitter: @jennymitchellgo
Jenny Mitchell – Indigo Dreams

Banner & Images, Design & Layout: Robert Frede Kenter Tweets: @frede_kenter

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