20.35 Africa Calls for Submissions to Volume 7, Guest-Edited by Thea Matthews & Kwame Opoku-Duku

20.35 Africa Calls for Submissions to Volume 7, Guest-Edited by Thea Matthews & Kwame Opoku-Duku

Currently in its seventh year, 20.35 Africa Anthology Series is the longest running anthology series for living African poets. Working in the legacy of Black Orpheus and Transition, 20.35 is a curatorial space bringing young writers from all over the continent together, shaping a rich amalgamation of voices on the continent and in the diaspora.

We are glad to announce our call for submissions for our seventh volume. Thea Matthews and Kwame Opoku-Duku will guest edit the anthology and work alongside the 20.35 Africa editors: Ebenezer Agu, I.S. Jones, and Precious Okpechi.

Kwame Opoku-Duku, born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a Ghanian-American poet and fiction writer. He is the author of The Unbnd Verses (Glass Poetry Press). His work appears in The Atlantic, The Nation, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, BOMB, The Yale Review, and other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, New York City, where he is an educator.

Thea Matthews is a poet, educator, and editor of African and Indigenous Mexican descent from San Francisco, California. She holds an MFA in poetry from New York University and a BA in sociology from UC Berkeley. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the Colorado ReviewObsidian Journal: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, The Massachusetts ReviewEpiphany Magazine, Alta Journal, and The New Republic, among others. Author and editor Nathan McClain says of Matthews’s poetry, “Deploying familiar, if not found, language often as refrain, Matthews shows us ourselves, shows us our nation, and what it deems significant enough to value or keep.” In the fall of 2023, Matthews was a poet in residence at the Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. 


  1. The anthology is open to African poets who are between the ages of 20 (or who would be 20 by the time of publication) and 35.
  2. Contributors published in the sixth volume are NOT eligible for this volume but may submit for subsequent volumes.
  3. Submissions can cut across different themes and each contributor may send three poems ONLY. Please send us your best poems, properly edited.
  4. The anthology is ONLY for African poets. We define an African poet as someone born in Africa, whose parents (at least one) are African, or someone who currently lives in Africa and has done so for at least 10 years.
  5. Poets who have had a full-length book or a 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 as well.
  6. Only poems written in English will be accepted. Works translated into English from any African language may be submitted, but they must be accompanied by their original.
  7. There is no stipulation as to the content of submitted poems, but poems should ideally be within 40 lines.
  8. Identifying information, including names of poets, addresses, phone numbers, and publication histories, should NOT be included in the manuscript or in the body of the email. Submit through your personal email address and include the same email address on the last page of your manuscript. Submissions will be judged solely on merit.
  9. We accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify us immediately if any of your poems are accepted elsewhere.
  10. All entries must be submitted in a SINGLE WORD DOCUMENT, typed in TIMES NEW ROMAN, font 12, single-spaced, and sent via email only to the 20.35 Africa team at submissions@2035africa.org.
  11. The email subject should read “20.35 AFRICA SUBMISSION.”
  12. Submissions must be written in black ink. No colours.
  13. Each poem must have a title.
  14. Poems must be the original work of the contributor.
  15. The deadline for submissions is midnight (UTC+01:00) on 22nd March 2023.
  16. We hope to respond to every submission by June 2023. However, there may be a delay in response time pending the editors’ final decision.
  17. We will not entertain any inquiries concerning submission status until after June 2023.
  18. Accepted contributors must be available throughout the editing process and for other correspondence that may follow.
  19. All inquiries must be sent to info@2035africa.org. Inquiries sent to the submissions email address will not be read.
  20. Except in proven cases of plagiarism or when a piece we have published violates any form of human rights, we do not take down works once they have been published in our anthology or on our website.
  21. By submitting your work to us, you agree to give us first serial rights of said work, which shall revert to you upon publication. If your work is republished elsewhere, kindly acknowledge that it first appeared on 20.35 Africa.
20.35 Africa Vol. VI

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