Call for submissions: Third volume of '20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry'

27 January 2020 - 12:21
20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry.
20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry.
Image: Supplied

Launched in 2018, the 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry collective is pushing institutional boundaries in the African literary scene by advocating for “multiple conversations on the sensibilities of being African in a modern, global system”.

Its first volume is guest-edited by Gbenga Adesina and Safia Elhillo, and its second by Yasmin Belkhyr and Kayo Chingonyi. Mukoma wa Ngugi has stated that the project “boldly marks a before and after moment in the African literary tradition”.

The collective’s founding editors include Nigerian poets Ebenezer Agu and Gbenga Adeoba, and visual artist Osinachi.

The series’ third issue will be guest-edited by Itiola Jones, who recently joined the Collective, and Cheswayo Mphanza.


— The anthology is for African poets between the ages of 20, or who would be 20 by the time of publication, and 35.

— We define an African poet as someone born in Africa or whose parents (at least one) are African, or someone who currently lives in Africa and has done so for at least 10 years.

— Contributors published in the previous issue are not eligible for this issue, but may send in works for subsequent editions.

— Submissions can cut across various themes and each contributor can send three poems only. Send your best poems, properly edited.

— Poets who have had a full-length book, chapbook or pamphlet published in electronic or print format can submit. Poets who have not been published in any form or on any literary forum/outlet, and fall into the acceptable age bracket, are encouraged to submit.

— Only poems written in English will be accepted. Works translated into English from any African languages can be submitted, but they must be accompanied by the originals.

— There is no stipulation as to the content of submitted poems, but no poem should exceed 40 lines.

— Identifying information, including names of poets, addresses, phone numbers, publication histories, should not be included in the manuscript or in the body of the email. Submit through your personal e-mail address and include the same e-mail address on the last page of your manuscript. Submissions will be judged solely on merit.

— We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if any of your poems is accepted elsewhere.

— All entries must be submitted in a single Word document, typed in Times New Roman, font 12, single spaced and sent via e-mail only to the 20.35 Africa Team at

— The e-mail subject should read “20.35 AFRICA SUBMISSION”.

— Submissions must be written in black ink. No colours.

— Each poem must have a title.

— Poems must be the original work of the contributor.

— Deadline for submissions is midnight (UTC+01:00) on March 16 2020.

— We hope to respond to every submission by the end of June. However, there may be a delay in response time pending the editors’ final decision.

— Accepted contributors must be available at all times for necessary editing of their works and correspondence that may follow.

— All inquiries must be sent to Enquiries sent to the submissions e-mail address will not be read.

— We will not entertain any inquiries concerning submission status until after June.

— Except on rare occasions, we do not take down poems once they have been published in our anthology.

Inquiries about 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry should be directed to

  • Article courtesy of Ebenezer Agu