African urban space anthology The Flute is looking for submissions highlighting the tales of African cities. Please submit your chosen poems or images by September 1 if the theme appeals to you.

The Flute is edited by Olajide Salawu and Rasaq Malik. The anthology is looking to publish works in the genre of poetry and photography focusing on African urban spaces such as Lagos, Accra, Kinshasa, Lonligwe, Durban, Marrakesh, Nairobi, Ouagadougou, Dakar, Luanda, Yaounde, and more.

The theme of this issue is “African Urban Echoes“, defined as the flute of the city, the noise of the people at the park, the bus conductor shouting on top of his voice, the rhythm of the night taxi cab and the car honking games. In these echoes, there is resistance, hope, and anxieties all produced simultaneously as the power of art can transmit hope out of the bleak stories of African urban governance.

Read the inspiration behind the theme here:

In the words of Nigerian poet, Odia Ofeimum, “A city is like a poem. You enter it and you enter into a world of concentrated time.” Odia’s observation makes us think of the city as malleable, changing from time to time, switching tempo from moment to moment. The African city, we guess, can be fast and uncanny, and can offer the balm when we walk in its faith. The question then is, is the city like a poem? What kind of poem does the city produce to reimagine Henri Lefvebre, what kind of city does the poem produce? With a focus on African cities as an urban capture with many Surrounds, as described by Simone Abdoumaliq, we are thinking of how these urban centers carry the heritage of colonial violence in their walls, roofs, texture, and rhythms. How can we create stories that inspire a lifeworld not of struggles to counter the normativized narratives of African urbanity? What other forms of city do we have and hope to live in? We also imagine the South Africa urban poet Mongane Wally Serote chanting fervently against the darkness of Johannesburg as we deliberate on the “Sorrows of the Black City” in Muhammad al-Fayturi’s poetry. There are many questions African cities ask us, that we have not been able to answer.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Send three poems or two images with the subject line: “African Urban Echoes”
  • Write us a note on what has inspired you to write this poem.
  • We prefer a Microsoft Word attachment
  • Include your bio in the body of the email.
  • Email submission here.

Deadline: September 1, 2023

Submit submission here. There may be compensation for contributors.