Poetry Submission:
Forced Migration and The Arts


Forced Migration and The Arts, in collaboration with CivicLeicester and Regularise, is inviting and accepting poems on the theme of African migration

People on the African continent have a long history of experience with migration, whether this is people as individuals or communities moving from one place to another in search of pasture for their livestock or in search of prospects, be they education or employment or to escape the ravages of climate change or to find refuge from war, conflict, persecution or because of other reasons. The movements have been taking place over time and within and across countries, on the continent and beyond, and are motivated or driven by many different reasons.

Many of the people who have made these journeys have had certain experiences and encounters before deciding to move, while on the move and when they arrive at their destinations. Families and communities also have stories about relatives, friends and community members who moved and then returned or did not return. The Africa Migration Report: an Anthology of Poems is inviting and accepting poems exploring these and related themes and more. We welcome poems from writers of all ages, at any stage of their writing careers, based anywhere in the world. We welcome poems exploring personal, familial, community and national histories and experiences of African migration, including any of the images, issues, causes, reasons, hopes, expectations, encounters, joys, hardships, dreams, and realities that people experience around migration. And we welcome poems that explore the pasts, presents and possible futures of African migration.

The provisional title of the anthology, the Africa Migration Report: an Anthology of Poems is inspired by the 2nd Edition of the Africa Migration Report published by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Speaking at the launch of the report, on 26 March 2024, H.E. Ambassador Minata Samate Cessouma, AUC Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs, and Social Development (HHS) described the report as a ‘joint initiative between the AU and IOM aimed at preserving historical perspectives, portraying the right narrative on African migration. While informing policy frameworks to support migration and human mobility on the Continent.’

We commend the AUC and IOM for the report and encourage the African Union to ensure they inform policy frameworks to support African migration, mobility and rights on and beyond the Continent. We stress that freedom of movement is a fundamental human right that should be enjoyed by all, including Africans.

We invite poems that explore the personal, familial, communal, national, continental, intercontinental, transnational, past, present and possible futures of African migration across time and space, in and around this world and beyond.

What pasts, presents, futures, hopes, dreams, nightmares, joys, loves, memories, griefs, visions, seeds, and more are African migrants carrying, loving, singing, living, gaining, losing, feeling, dancing, being, dreaming, moving through, reaching towards, living with, living through and experiencing? What is happening to Africans on the move and all this that they are carrying?


● Poems should be 40 lines or less, and short fiction,100 words or less.
● The poems and short fiction should be on the theme, African migration.
● Submissions must be in English. In the case of translated work, it is the translator’s responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright holder of the original work.
● If submitting a poem or short fiction which has been previously published, please give details of where it has appeared and confirm that you are the copyright holder.
● Ideally submissions will be typed single spaced and submitted either in the body of an email or as a .doc attachment.
● Please include a short biography of 50 words or less. This will be included in the anthology if your poem is accepted.
● You may submit a maximum of three poems or three pieces of short fiction or a combination of poems and short fiction. You do not have to submit all three at the same time, but the editors can only consider a maximum of three submissions.
● We welcome submissions from writers of all ages, based anywhere in the world.
● Please send the poems and short fiction to forcedmigrationandthearts@gmail.com by 12 noon on Saturday, 25 May 2024, Africa Day.



[1] CivicLeicester, an indy publisher that uses digital and print technologies to highlight glocal issues, are publishers of poetry anthologies that include Black Lives Matter: Poems for a New World (2023), Poetry and Settled Status for All: An Anthology (2022) and Bollocks to Brexit: An Anthology of Poems and Short Fiction (2019).


[2] Regularise is a collective of humans made up of migrants, citizens and allies who are committed to centreing and amplifying the voices and needs of undocumented migrants. The collective was founded in late 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, to address the years of sustained hardships that undocumented migrants experience in the UK and continues to organise and campaign for justice and for the rights of undocumented migrants.

[3] Forced Migration and The Arts is a global network that brings together people with lived experience of forced migration, refugee and non-refugee artists, academics and activists from around the world. The network hosts monthly discussion panels around forced migration and the arts, and encourages mutual support and collaboration. A playlist of conversations we have hosted so far is accessible here. The Network is currently purely volunteer-driven. Donations are most welcome and can be made through BuyMe a Coffee.

[4] We are also drawing attention to Sunday Lawrence’s appeal for support. Lawrence, a refugee from South Sudan and a second year Law student at the International University of East Africa in Kampala, Uganda, has so far raised €3,532 of the €5,256 he needs for tuition and sustenance. Lawrence needs to raise the remaining €1,724 so that he can finish his studies. Any support you can give him will be most appreciated.


Ambrose Musiyiwa

Project Coordinator, Forced Migration and The Arts: an Anthology of Poems


Ambrose Musiyiwa | Facilitator, CivicLeicester & Forced Migration and The Arts | Coordinator, Leicester Human Rights Arts & Film Festival & Journeys In Translation

(Ed.) [New Book] Welcome to Britain: An Anthology of Poems and Short Fiction (2023); Black Lives Matter: Poems for a New World (2020)

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