Terra Preta Review seeks to unearth incredible writing.

Terra preta itself is astonishingly rich soil. In it, you’ll find charcoal, bone fragments, pottery shards, manure, other elements of the kitchen midden. Found most often in the Amazon, terra preta as defined by archaeology dates from 450 BC through 950 AD. It’s the detritus of everyday lives turned into fertile ground; cast-off fragments of the past, composted for millennia, now nourishing present growth.

Its greatest mystery is that terra preta regenerates itself, even when surrounded entirely by infertile soil.

Here at TPR, our passion is for superb writing, our focus is on poetry and lyric essays. We are especially drawn to writing that does what the centuries have done to terra preta: writing that breaks down those parts of our lives we’d rather consign to the trash heap, poems that sprout irrepressibly among the shards of the broken world.

We want writing that’s rooted in the body – the human body, the animal body, the earth’s body. We also want writing that grapples with the hard truths of modern life, that looks unflinchingly at the present and works to unearth today’s roots in the past. And we frankly admit to an unabashed love of science – archaeology, geology, oceanography, geography, astronomy, you name it.

We want writing that’s smart and honest and real, true and clear as the sound of a bell, startling and thrilling as that first garden volunteer in early spring. We’re casting a wide net, and we’d love to see your work. We accept submissions on a rolling basis; check out our guidelines here.


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