Call for Submissions 'Filigree' poetry anthology

Inscribe Series Editor, Kadija Sesay and internationally renowned and award winning poet Nii Ayikwei Parkes are looking for submissions for a new anthology of contemporary Black British poetry. The theme they have chosen for this exciting new anthology is ‘Filigree’. The book will be published by Peepal Tree Press under the Inscribe imprint in Spring 2018. The Inscribe imprint focuses on publishing new collections by writers of African and Asian descent and anthologies of groundbreaking new work from Black writers nationally. The latest Inscribe publication is Closure (short stories) edited by Jacob Ross, which followed Red (poetry) edited by Kwame Dawes.

Guidelines from the Editors:

Filigree’ typically refers to the finer elements of craftwork – the parts that are subtle. Our ‘Filigree’ anthology seeks work that plays with the possibilities that the word suggests; work that is delicate, that counters the heavy handed representation of colour in the media; work that responds to the idea of edging, a comment on the daily marginalisation of the darker voice. (See ‘Notes to get you started’). Nii Parkes is running an Inscribe masterclass for Filigree, read more here.

Poems for ‘Filigree’ must be previously unpublished. The anthology will include work from established Black British poets residing inside and outside the UK, Black poets who have made Britain their home, as well as exciting new and emerging Black poets around the country who respond in compelling ways to the idea of ‘Filigree’.


Guidelines for submissions:

  • Up to 3 poems

  • 40 lines

  • Any style

  • Poets aged 16+ and of any gender, religion or sexual orientation can submit work

  • Poems must be new and previously unpublished.

  • Poems must be sent on one side of A4 only and must be 1.5 spaced.

  • Poems must be:

    • in a simple readable font (Times/Times New Roman is recommended)

    • an easily readable point size (12 points is recommended)

    • sent as a word doc (no PDFs or JPEGs)

Deadline for submissions: 30 April 2016

Please send submissions to Submittable and clearly mark them ‘Filigree Submission’.

N.B. Terminology: In this context we take ‘Black’ to mean anyone who considers themselves of Black African or Asian descent including people of mixed race with at least one parent of Black African or Asian descent.

Note on the editor:

Nii Ayikwei Parkes is a 2007 recipient of the Arts Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana(ACRAG) award . He is also the author of the acclaimed hybrid novel, Tail of the Blue Bird, which has been translated into Dutch, German, French and Japanese. Originally shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Prize, the book has gone on to win the Prix Baudelaire, Prix Mahogany and Prix Laure Bataillon. Nii Ayikwei is also a respected editor and curator who played a role in nurturing the careers of a number of the UK’s nascent contemporary writers. His book of poetry, The Makings of You(Peepal Tree) was published in 2010 and in 2014 he was selected as one of Africa’s 39 most promising authors of the new generation for the World Book Capital Africa 39 Project.

For any other queries regarding Inscribe or the Filigree anthology contact:

Notes to get you started

Words and thoughts to play with when you think, ‘filigree’.

The word filigree challenges you to expand your thoughts on what the fine, intricate and delicate means to you. What do you think of when this word is presented to you verbally and /or on paper?

  • Edging lace sewn onto petticoats, slips and knickers

  • Fine patterns on saris

  • The complexity of lace fabrics for West African textiles and clothes,

  • Intricate designs of gold jewellery

  • Henna patterns on bodies

  • Think of opposites

  • Think of what else has the same qualities as filigree,

  • Think not only of the physical, exacting fine work but how do you weave fine delicate words in your mind?

  • If you wanted to taste something that was filigree-ic in nature, what would that be?

  • And as ever, we challenge you to flip our anthology theme on the head – we encourage you to be experimental with the word, thoughts and sound of ‘filigree’.

  • We’re waiting to see your interpretation of what the sound, the shape and the spelling of filigree means to you.

More ideas:

You can also attend a masterclass with Nii Parkes

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