We are pleased to announce the shortlisted participants for our upcoming poetry anthology, Our Stories Redefined Anthology for African Writing 2023 (Poetry Edition), celebrating African poets’ rich and diverse voices. The response we received from poets across the continent was remarkable, reflecting the immense talent and passion within the African literary landscape. The depth of emotions, cultural richness, and powerful storytelling evident in each submission made the selection process challenging and inspiring.
This year we challenged applicants to explore the theme ‘Strange Water’ within the confines of Africanfuturism, which is a subgenre of speculative fiction. Young and old writers could submit poetry pieces of up to 45 lines expressed in the English language. The call-out was reflective of the AU agenda 2063 ‘The Africa We Want’. The submissions followed the guidelines closely, and we appreciate everyone who took the time to participate.
Our esteemed editors, themselves accomplished poets and literary figures, carefully evaluated each poem, recognising the unique perspectives, poetic craftsmanship, and profound connections to the African experience. After thoughtful deliberation, they have chosen the following poets as the shortlisted participants:
|The Great Green Wall
|Igbo Folk Story
|It is Well With My Soul
|The Six Tears of the Homesick
|A Spark Ignited
|A Praying Mother
|Footfalls and Coverall
|Puddles of Dirt
|Myths and Beliefs of Africa
|Daughter, I Will Take the Blame
|Migrating Back Home
|The Place My Mother Will Never Call Africa
|Maria Aridi Kegode
|Hydroponics and Drip Irrigation to the Fore
|Invasion of Privacy
|And Rain Falls
|A Gale of Pink Hail
Congratulations to these exceptional poets who have made it to the shortlist! Their poetic prowess, cultural nuances, and ability to touch the depths of the human soul have distinguished them from a pool of remarkable submissions.
To all the poets who submitted their works but didn’t make the shortlist, we extend our sincere appreciation for sharing your poetic visions with us. The calibre of poetry we received was outstanding, making the selection process difficult. We encourage you to continue honing your craft and sharing your unique voices with the world.
In the coming weeks, we will work closely with the shortlisted poets, representing various African countries, to bring their poems together in the anthology. Together, we will showcase the power and beauty of African poetry to a global audience, fostering cross-cultural understanding and appreciation.