Isele Magazine has a new issue out. The stunning artwork, a line drawing of a woman serenaded with flowers, is designed by South African poet, author, and editor Megan Ross.

The new issue is the second quarterly publication of Isele. The submission call was for stories that “subvert the tropes and narratives associated with and definitive of womanhood.” It is edited by Kenyan writer Yvonne Wabai, Nigerian author Chiamaka Okikee, South African artist Maya Surya Pillay and magazine founder Ukamaka Olisakwe. It features 13 poems, 8 short stories, 6 essays, 2 art/photography and 1 interview. Some of the featured artists include Liberian author and Brittle Paper Award winner H. J. Golakai, Kenyan writer and Caine Prize winner Makena Onjerika, and Nigerian writer Adeyele Adeniran.

Founded in July 2020 by Nigerian writer and academic Ukamaka Olisakwe, Isele Magazine aims to “publish writers and artists who hold a mirror to our society, who challenge conventional expectations about ways of being, how to be, and who decides who should be.” Barely a year after its founding, the magazine was profiled by The New York Times as one of the new magazines and journals shaping the African literary scene. Their stellar editorial team include the writers Kenechi Uzo, Adachioma Ezeano, and Megan Ross.

In an introductory essay titled “Postpartum Interiorities”, Founding Editor Ukamaka Olisakwe, using anecdotes from her personal life and experiences, delves into the wide-ranging definitions and perspectives of womanhood, and by extension motherhood. The essay also highlights personal, insightful contributions from other writers who are themselves mothers, sharing their postpartum experiences. These include Hawa J. Golakai, Chika Unigwe, Sylvia IlahukaMegan Ross, Julianna Baggott, and Kasimma.

Read “The Woman Issue” here.

Follow Isele Magazine on Twitter for updates.