Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Most people are familiar with these lines by Robert Frost, so often cited they border on inspirational cliché. However, our collective recitation of these lines refuses to take the poem as a whole. The poem is titled, “The Road Not Taken,” not “The Glorious Road I Took.” Frost also writes,
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
What was your road not taken? What versions of yourself might you have been, and how have you made peace with your current path? Are you relieved? Curious? Compassionate? Regretful? For this magazine contest issue, we want to make space for what might have been and what could have happened. Do you ever, like Frost, think you might return to “the first [road] for another day”? Evoke imagination. Show us the benefit of hindsight. Make us laugh or clutch our hearts. Our lives are made up of countless, complex choices as “way leads on to way.” Show us your unique journey with as much specificity as you can. We are seeking art, poetry as well as a balance of fiction and nonfiction through short story and personal essay. Contributors should identify with the mission of Exponent II.
To submit your work to this magazine contest, please follow the submission guidelines and submit your work by October 15, 2023. The first-place poetry and prose winners will each receive $100. The first-place artist will receive a four-page feature in an upcoming issue.