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Proposed themes for 2023/2024’s upcoming issues

To all writers, poets, artists, musicians, essayists and critical thinkers who plan to contribute or send pitches to Montréal Serai in the coming year

January 2024 – Blues, Jazz and Beat as fugitive literature

In this upcoming issue of Montréal Serai, we endeavour to convene a gathering of
reflections, resonances, voices and perspectives delving into blues, jazz and beat as
embodiments of “fugitive literature.” The term “fugitive” evokes hidden sanctuaries and
pathways of resistance – sovereignty operating discreetly beyond authoritarian lines.
This concept parallels Robert Farris Thompson’s portrayal of Afro-diasporic musical
traditions, characterized by a transgressive percussive performance style, multiple
meters, call and response interplays, and nuanced rhythmic and choreographic accents.
Similarly, Cornel West depicts bluespeople as bearers of a “prophetic fire,” resonant,
critiquing from the margins, bearing witness, operating with skilled vision, wisdom-
speaking and defying conventions whilst embracing the discordant yet enthralling
melodies of jazz.

Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung contemplates the vital social and aesthetic role of
atonality in jazz as a necessary fugitive and sovereign aesthetic elementality, while Fred
Moten sees blackness as inherently “fugitive,” embodying a desire for escape and
transgression from established norms. Numerous scholars, theorists, musicians and
writers echo these perspectives, from Cecil Taylor to Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison and
beyond, illustrating how jazz, blues and beat defy conformity, crossing and recrossing
thresholds. Historical precedents such as the clandestine beats of 19 th -century secret
pow-wow culture and the sound experiments of maroon communities further underscore
the “fugitive” essence in beat and in the art of sound.

In contemplating the history of beat (all musics and sound forms), blues and jazz, we
might ask whether these genres can be products of “fugitive players” crafting fugitive
sound and nascent vocabularies and grammars constituting unique forms of literatures.
We invite submissions in the forms of poetry, theory, prose, fiction, art, music and
beyond that creatively explore this theme, embracing the nuances of the potentially
fugitive aspects of beat, jazz and blues.

Guest editor: James Oscar

April 2024 – Gathering our minds as one: cultivating common ground

Due date: February 15, 2024

More to come

July 2024 – Culture-shifting as a way of life 

Due date: May 15, 2024

October 2024 – Out of the ethers: art as a cultural force

Due date: August 15, 2024

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Montréal Serai
P.O. Box #72,
Succursale NDG
Montréal, Québec
Canada H4A 3P4

Submission guidelines

Montréal Serai welcomes your own original, unpublished submissions of art, cartoons, prose, poetry or fiction. Written submissions may not exceed 3,000 words. Audio and audio-visual components are welcome.  Submissions published on your personal blog may be considered if you identify them as such and provide appropriate links.  Montréal Serai reserves the right to reject any submission that does not meet its standards or mandate, and will not entertain violent or sexually explicit material or material that does not respect human dignity or that offends minorities on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability or personal beliefs.

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Visual art, Photo essay, reportage
A maximum of eight photographs will be allowed in the case of visual art submissions. Acceptable file formats include .jpg, .pdf, .png and .tif.

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Videos should be in .mpg or mp4 format. Videos will be published to the Montreal Serai YouTube. Audio can be provided as .wav or .aif and will be hosted and streamed from on our local server.

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Please note that once a submission is accepted, all efforts will be made to respect the spirit of formatting, spacing, etc. used in the original submission. However, these aspects cannot always be guaranteed.

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Montréal Serai is a digital magazine with universal, free access. Readers may request a free subscription for advance notifications. Although the editorial team volunteers its time, we make it our priority to pay contributors with the remainder of funds from grants from the Canada Council for the Arts (after operating expenses are taken care of). Ex gratia honoraria are provided at the discretion of the editorial board for accepted and published work.

Although we welcome experiments in language and deliberate lapses, contributions will be subject to rigorous standards of editing.

Submission deadlines are stated above. Publication begins at the beginning of April, July, October, and January. Additional articles might be posted in booster issues depending on submissions received.

Kindly provide your author’s biography of no more than 25 words. By submitting via email or post, the author is deemed to have accepted Montréal Serai’s terms and conditions. Snail mail submissions must be signed by the author, otherwise they will not be entertained.  Prior publication of all or part of the submitted work must be explicitly stated in the submission.


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The Writer warrants and represents that:

  1. all of the Work shall be wholly original, except as to matters within the public domain
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