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Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor

the gleaming thread illuminated by the fifth stanza


WHAT IS A CADRALOR, AND WHAT ARE THE RULES OF THE FORM?

GENESIS: The cadralor was co-created in August of 2020 by Lori Howe and Christopher Cadra. The form spread quickly via social media, leading to the founding of Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor, to serve as the form’s flagship journal. Gleam is the only journal in existence dedicated solely to this poetic form, and its team of editors are devoted to seeing the cadralor flourish, while ensuring the integrity of the poetic form and maintaining the rules of the form. As such, we invite you to spend some time with the rules of the form, below, and to read sample cadralore by our team of current and previous editors. Find links to these poems under “EDITORS’ CADRALORE” in the top menu. We know it is disappointing to have poems rejected, and for this reason we invite you to spend time with Gleam and the form before you begin writing. As other forms such as sonnets and haiku have rules of the form, so too does the cadralor.

Cadralor: Rules of the Form

A poem must adhere to the rules of the form in order to be considered a cadralor, and to be considered for publication in Gleam.

ALL CADRALORE MUST:

  1. Contain 5, numbered stanzas of up to 10 lines each;
  2. Maintain consistency in number of lines in all stanzas;
  3. Maintain approximate consistency in line lengths across all stanzas;
  4. Be non-narrative poems; the stanzas should be contextually unrelated. By this we mean that there should be no clear connection of any kind between stanzas. This is very important to this non-narrative poetic form. The reader should be surprised, even shocked, as they move from stanza to stanza. Poems containing narrative threads, such as a recurring image, are not cadralore. This contextual distance between stanzas is one of the most important rules of the form;
  5. Be imagist poems. The cadralor is a collection of word images, much like a set of five short clips from different films or five unrelated photographs—as any good imagist poem, they should show, rather than tell. Cadralore avoid explanation;
  6. Be vivid poems that avoid cliché;
  7. Be comprised of 5 stanzas, each of which can stand alone as a publication-quality poem, whether they are 2-line stanzas or 10-line stanzas;
  8. Have a fifth stanza that acts as the crucible, illuminating the gleaming thread that runs through the entire poem, much like an underground river that surfaces at the end of the poem. The fifth stanza acts to pull the poem into coherence as a kind of love poem; by this we mean that the fifth stanza answers the compelling question: “for what do you yearn?”
  9. Obviously, the fifth stanza rule does not mean the poem must be a traditional love poem. Yearning takes many forms. It is characteristic of a successful cadralor that it end on a note of hope, rather than hopelessness. Ultimately, the cadralor bends to the positive even while recognizing that sometimes, yearning is pain. The role of the fifth stanza is crucial. It is what determines if a cadralor “sticks the landing.” If it does not, it is unlikely to be accepted;
  10. Be a feast for the senses. Good cadralore take us places, whisper to us of other worlds, invite us to experience them, help us feel what it means to be human.

A Note from the Editors

We know these rules of the form are a tall order. It isn’t easy to embody this poetic form. Even the editors took time to find their way inside it, to speak through it. Be willing to submit poems and receive feedback from the editorial staff if we feel your work merits a “revise and resubmit.” On occasion, a submission will be of such stunning quality that we may overlook an approximation of one or more rules of the form, but this is unusual. Stay as close to the form as you can. Please visit the previous issues of Gleam, archived above under “Past Issues,” and also the “Editors’ Cadralore” tab, for examples of poems that successfully embody this thrilling, challenging form.

Submission Guidelines:

  1. There are no reading fees associated with gleam. Gleam is an online-only publication and does not offer remuneration for published work.
  2. Gleam does not accept poems containing hate speech.
  3. Gleam is solely dedicated to cadralore; please do not submit poems that are not cadralore.
  4. Gleam does not read submissions outside of our open calls for submission, which are posted on the gleam website and our facebook page.
  5. Gleam does not accept previously published poems.
  6. You may submit up to three poems, double-spaced, during our open reading periods. Submit via email, with “gleam submission” in the subject line. Attach your poems as a word document. We do not read poems that are typed or pasted into the body of emails, so please do not send them that way. Please include a short, (up to 100 words) third-person bio in the body of your email. Address your submissions and any questions to gleampoets@gmail.com.

ca·dra·lor

Noun: a poetic form, consisting of five short, unrelated, highly-visual stanzas.

“The cadralor is a poem of 5, unrelated, numbered stanzaic images”

ca·dra·lore

Plural format of poetic form ‘cadralor’

“Imagery is crucial to cadralore”

About Us

Gleam is a journal wholly devoted to the new poetic form, the cadralor. Co-created by three of Gleam’s editors, the cadralor consists of five short, unrelated, highly-visual stanzas.

More About Cadralor

Get In Touch

If you are interested in submitting your own cadralor poem or if you have questions, you can reach out to our Gleam email. We look forward to hearing from you!

Call for Submissions

Meet the Editors

The cadralor was co-created by:
• Lori Howe, Editor in Chief
• Christopher Cadra, Senior Editor

Meet the Editors