Saturday, March 12, 2022

Call for submissions for The Cleveland Orchestra program book

From our friends at The Cleveland Orchestra:

The Cleveland Orchestra is accepting poetry submissions in response to its presentation of Verdi’s Otello and two associated concerts. The accepted submissions will be included in the festival program book / playbill, as well as potentially other spaces (which may include the Orchestra’s magazine, website, and other platforms).

About the programs:

On May 21, 26, and 29, The Cleveland Orchestra will present a concert performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Otello, based upon Shakespeare’s play Othello. In association with the opera, the Orchestra will present two programs (May 27 and 28) informed by the themes of Otello and the idea of otherness and outsider-ness that courses through it. Many of these works are also informed by poetry, from the works of Shakespeare, Wordsworth, and Whitman to Vedic chants and African American spirituals.

Information on the concerts:

Otello in Concert: May 21, 26, 29  

Program I: May 27

Program II: May 28

More information on the specific works that appear on each of the concerts follows.

Call for Submission:

We are looking for poetry submissions that respond explicitly or implicitly to the compositions that are being presented from May 21 to 29 and the theme of otherness and outsider-ness. The poem does not need to respond to the entire scope of the presentations, but should find resonance with one or more of the works being performed and/or the broader themes at play. 

·         Previously written or published pieces are welcome, please indicate if the piece has been published elsewhere and is subject to any copyrights.

·         Length should be one page or less.

·         Multiple submissions are welcome – please submit them within the same email submission.

·         Please send submissions to

·         The Cleveland Orchestra will provide a $200 honorarium for selected works.

Thursday, April 14, 2022.

·         Notification responses will be sent by May 13, 2021


List of works that will be performed, with links to references:

Otello in Concert: May 21, 26, 29  

·         Giuseppe Verdi’s            Otello

Program I: May 27

·         Jüri Reinvere’s                 Norilsk, the Daffodils

·         George Walker’s             Lilacs (for voice and orchestra), texts from Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd”

·         Sofia Gubaidulina’s        Light of the End

Program II: May 28

·         Charles Ives’s                  From the Steeples and the Mountains

·         Dmitri Shostakovich’s    Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (version for solo   organ)

·         Sofia Gubaidulina’s        Light and Dark (organ only)

·         Philip Glass’s                    Finale from Act III of Satyagraha (version for solo organ)

·         George Walker’s             Sinfonia No. 4 (“Strands”)

·         Samuel Barber’s             Toccata Festiva for Organ and Orchestra


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The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau