09 December 2008

the best african poetry 2009

It's about time that there was something akin to The Best American Poetry Series for the Continent. I can't make any claim to this being the proper vehicle for such an endeavor, but I think it's high time someone tried. So we're going to give it a go.

With your help!

So here are the "rules":
  • Please submit no more than five (5) different poems. They can all be by a single author, all by different authors, or some mix thereof.
  • Nominated works must have (originally) appeared in print in works with a publication date between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2008 -- as part of a chapbook, single author book, edited collection, newspaper, magazine, or journal. Please do not submit poetry that has only been published online.
  • Wherever possible, please submit a pdf of the nominated poems as they appear in print.
  • Complete bibliographic information on where the work has appeared should be included with the nomination/s. If the work has been published on the internet as well please include the url.
  • Nominations must be received by... 1 February 2009 18 February 2009 (who am I kidding? we'll close off the time for submissions sometime, sometime soon, but in the meantime keep them coming -- the sooner the better, though). (Updated 1 March 2009)
Email me all nominations and any questions you might have.

Yes, I've left open a number of questions. Quite on purpose.

I would like to publish the collected works (and not all nominated works will be included, obviously -- this is intended to be an edited collection) as a chapbook or booklet, to be made available at the African Literature Association conference (15-19 April 2009).

No poems will be reprinted without the permission of the poet (and original publisher where appropriate). Original publication will also be credited. All rights and royalties (though I can't imagine there will be any of the latter) will be negotiated. I hope to be able to give this away for free (poets with works appearing will, of course, receive at least one copy of the final publication).

Publishers are, of course, welcome to nominate works from their catalogs and/or publications.

Now it's your turn: send along your nominations or any questions you might have.


Michelle said...

A wonderful idea, Mark.

Emmanuel Sigauke said...

Fantastic; it's time.

Unknown said...

Indeed. Long time coming. This first year will be thin and not representative, but you and everyone can help by nominating your favorites and helping to spread the word to poets, publishers and readers of African poetry on the Continent and everywhere else.

Rethabile said...

Better get a poem in before it's too late.

Unknown said...

Indeed, Rethabile. I'm going to be a little squishy with the deadline. But yes, yes: the more, the earlier, the better!

shailja said...

Hi Mark,

I've posted this call to the Kenya PEN group and Kenyan Writers listserve. And also forwarded it to Pambazuka News and a couple of other listserves to get it out to the rest of the continent.

Shailja Patel
2009 Guest Writer, Nordic Africa Institute
Guest Editor, "Kenya: One Year On" special issue of Pambazuka News

Unknown said...

Many thanks, Shailja -- just the sort of outreach I was hoping for. Your help is much appreciated!