Sunday Submissions: Sawti Poetry Prize for work in Arabic, Kiswahili, English

The Sawti Poetry Prize — to be judged by Safia Elhillo (The January Children) and Zuhura Seng’enge (co-founder of Poetry 255) — is open to poets from East Africa, including Sudan and South Sudan who write in Arabic, Kiswahili, or English:

This prize, organizers write, is an effort “to engage with local and diasporic East African writers. Participating poets are asked to respond to the theme of: “‘Poetry as Preservation’ – Exploring poems that seek to identify, rework and archive narratives of preserving a life, a language, a memory, a history or a practice.”

They add:

The submission is for 3 poems for any (language) section of the prize. These may have been published before, though the prize is not open to poets who have published a full-length poetry collection (chapbooks not included).

East African poets are defined as those who meet any of the following criteria: they were born in East Africa, they are nationals of an East African country, or their parents are East African, where East Africa is defined as Tanzania, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti, Eritrea, Burundi, Mozambique, Madagascar, South Sudan, Malawi, Seychelles, Mauritius, Comoros, Réunion, and Mayotte.

The poems may have been previously published or won previous awards, and the prize is open through August 10, 2019. You can find out more at their website or email