Axon: Creative Explorations publishes work on and of contemporary creativity, poetry, images and design. The journal of the International Poetry Studies Institute at the University of Canberra, it is named for the axon, the primary point of transmission within the nervous system and the means of communication between neurons. 

Axon: Creative Explorations is an international, open access, peer reviewed journal that publishes works that express or are about creativity and the creative process, including:

  • the methods and techniques of artists and other creative professionals
  • approaches to creative-led research and the theorisation of creative practice
  • the ways in which creative works are made and function
  • poetics and poetry, and
  • the cultural contexts and theoretical frameworks informing creative practice.

Axon publishes two general issues a year, and occasional special or capsule issues. 

NB: Axon does not accept unsolicited poetry, and the editors are not in a position to read unsolicited poems.  

Unmasking the beautiful and the grotesque

In Rabelais and His World, Bakhtin writes, ‘It is a world of constant reinvention and renewal’. That world unmasked, and melding the poetics of word and image, reveals the juxtaposition of the beautiful and the grotesque. Which is which?

The University of Winchester's Carnival II symposium, held in June 2018, focused on these ideas, and included papers on the beauty of strangeness; surrealist artists; grief and creative renewal; aesthetics of creative writing; post-memoir and a world upside down; football matches; resistance and justice; folk tales; and poetic frameworks.

We now call for academic and creative submissions on this theme, from speakers at the symposium, and others interested in the beautiful and the grotesque, for an Axon Capsule to be published in early 2019.

Submission details:

Guest editors: Professor Andrew Melrose and Lisa Koning, University of Winchester, UK

Deadline for  submissions: 30 September 2018

Academic papers: maximum 6,000 words; must meet Axon guidelines, available on the website:

Creative submissions: 

· Poetry (up to 20 lines)

· Prose (up to 500 words)

· Flash Fiction (up to 50 words)

Submit your work via Submission Manager. We will respond as soon as the peer review process is completed. 

This issue is connected to a one-day symposium to be held during the Poetry on the Move Festival, 13-17 September 2018, hosted by the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI) in the Faculty of arts and Design at the University of Canberra.

This Special Issue of the Axon journal aims to explore ways in which contemporary poetry ‘inhabits’ language, and the extent to which poetic language may be understood as inside and/or outside of human experience.

We are particularly interested in papers that relate to:

  • How poetic expression and form may be said to ‘inhabit’ language.
  • How poetry inhabits its language differently from prose, and how poetry dwells in the possible (remembering that Emily Dickinson wrote that she dwelt ‘in Possibility’ and that this was ‘a fairer House than Prose’).
  • The ways in which poets ‘inhabit’ language in order to write their works.
  • Poetry’s capacity to inhabit various and divergent languages through translation.
  • The relationship of poetry to experience and knowledge.
  • Poetry and autobiography.
  • The space and time of poetry.
  • The connection of poetry to ideas of home, place or belonging.
  • Poetry’s connection to the quotidian.
  • Poetry’s ways of ‘inhabiting’ diverse identities.
  • The way poems ‘house’ ideas and emotions.
  • Poetry as a way of knowing and/or inhabiting the ‘other’.
  • Poetry and its relationship to language more broadly.
  • Ways in which lyric utterance may be said to ‘belong’ inside human experience.

What we would like from contributors:

  1. A 150-word abstract of your proposed paper by 30 April 2018.
  2. If your abstract is accepted, a full written paper of between 3,000 and 6,000 words by 30 September 2018.

The editors of this issue of Axon: Creative Explorations journal are Professor Paul Hetherington, Professor Jen Webb and Shane Strange.

Please submit on this site, or else direct your abstract and queries to Shane Strange at

Submissions are invited on a continuing basis to Axon: Creative Explorations.

What to submit:

Submissions of articles, essays, interviews, papers and photo essays are welcome. The editors also welcome submission of creative work, other than poems, when accompanied by a 250-word statement that indicates the research aspects of the creative piece. Expected length of submissions is between 500 and 6,000 words, as appropriate to the form. 

All poetry published in Axon will be solicited by the journal’s editors. Unsolicited contributions of poetry will not be read or acknowledged.

How to submit:
• Visit the journal website at, and acquaint yourself with the focus and content of previous issues;
• Read information about the journal and the submission and review process at;
• Upload your submission, along with an abstract (max 200 words), a biographical note (max 150 words), your institutional affiliation (if relevant), up to 5 keywords and, for photo essays and other creative work, a 250-word research statement. 
    Submissions should be between 500 and 6,000 words, depending on the nature of the submission. 

    Please contact the editors with any queries about length, form and content. 

      Axon: Creative Explorations