Anthropology Magazine

Call for Submissions: African and African Diaspora Anthropological Poetry/Prose

Call for Submissions: African and African Diaspora Anthropological Poetry/Prose


Our team—Christine Weeber (poetry and copy editor at SAPIENS), Justin D. Wright (poet-in-residence at SAPIENS), and Leah Zani (poetry editor at Anthropology and Humanism)—seeks poetry and experimental prose submissions from anthropologists who are of the African diaspora or who are living and working in Africa for a curated collection of 5–8 pieces that will be published at SAPIENS magazine in 2021.

Would you be interested in writing an original piece aimed at a general audience that speaks to one or a convergence of the following:

Black experiences of anti-racism efforts,
—anti-Black racism,
—the BLM movement and/or the history of Black resistance,
—Black joy and/or creative expression,
—how you (autoethnographic) and/or the community you work with are navigating and responding to these particular moments that are also so tied to 400 years of anti-Black racism and White supremacy in the U.S. and around the globe?

We invite you to consider pushing the boundaries of poetic, nonfiction, and academic norms to create work that—in form, style, and content—expresses anthropological insights and viewpoints in ways that might otherwise be inaccessible to a general audience. Scholarly insights or interrogations can be woven with imaginative reflections, freedom dreams, or other creative responses and insights. We’re seeking quality poetry and experimental prose that contribute to a broad public’s understanding of anthropological insights and perspectives.

Our team would love to review your literary anthropological poems (submit up to three poems) or experimental nonfiction prose pieces (up to 2,000 words) from any subdiscipline. For examples of anthropological poetry, see how others have written about an ethnographic moment, offered a fresh perspective on human struggle, excavated autoethnographic insights, or pushed the boundaries of our understandings of culture and environments.

See SAPIENS’ call for the 2020 Poetry Project for more background on how the magazine conceptualizes anthropological poetry and creative work. For experimental prose, we are inspired by the writings of Zora Neale Hurston and others whose work writes us into and out of justice. Experiment with a jazz-influenced essay: highlight an improvisational voice above a foundation of other voices holding space; cast multiple voices onto a level playing field (reimagine power on the page); use call and response to bring to the fore emotions, creations, insights, or tensions. Or, create a spiral essay that shows how, perhaps, the past circles into the present (how themes and patterns persist and why) and/or calls for what might elevate or propel societies out of that spiral toward healing, justice, and wholeness. We welcome any style of poetry or experimental prose.

Submit your work through the Poetry Submissions Submittable tab by April 16, 2021. An honorarium of US$100 will be offered to those whose work is published in the collection. Please contact us with any questions.

Christine Weeber, SAPIENS
Poetry and Copy Editor
[email protected]

Justin D. Wright, SAPIENS
Poet-in-Residence
[email protected]

Leah Zani, Anthropology and Humanism
Poetry Editor
[email protected]