POETRY SEEN: Poetry Events/Competitions/Call for Submissions

Quaz | July 17th, 2022 | poetry seen | No Comments

Poetry events


South Africa, July 2022: Hear My Voice opens the call for South African poets to apply to be part of their 4-day long poetry retreat in Cape Town, taking place from 31 August 2022 to 4 September 2022. Through facilitated writing and sharing sessions, hikes, meditations, performances and pivotal industry related conversations, the retreat is set to provide poets with a conducive environment for construct and clarity of thought.

After hosting successful and impactful retreats in Mpumalanga and Gauteng earlier this year, the non-profit organisation is excited to introduce it’s Cape Town leg, which will be taking place ahead of this year’s Open Book Festival taking place from the 2nd to the 4th of September 2022.

Of the poets who attend the retreat, some will be selected to form part of the line-up of Hear My Voice’s “Bodies Under Siege” production, showcasing at the Book Festival. This will be the first time the production is showcased in Cape Town and is supported by the Right To Speak initiative, which is a EUNIC funded initiative that highlights spoken word as a way to engage youth voices in Africa and Europe around issues of human rights and social justice.

“Coupled with creating platforms, the retreat aims to facilitate fellowship and conversations amongst poets to expedite growth and improve quality in the work being produced” – Phomolo Sekamotho, Director at Hear My Voice.

The retreat will offer chosen poets the opportunity to create art with like-minded individuals in an environment that prompts thought and empowers poets to produce the work that matters to them.

“The Hear My Voice Poetry Retreat was such a life changing experience. After I struggled to construct a poem for almost 6 months, I was able to write again. I loved the way everything was provided for and how we were free to be ourselves. I was reminded that we are everything around us and that everything around us is us. I was reminded the value of life and ever since that retreat I have never been the same person as I was before, I’m more connected to self and to nature.” – Kwazi Ndlangisa, participant in the Mpumalanga Retreat.

Those who are interested in applying to attend the all-expenses paid retreat can do so by visiting https://forms.gle/q5z5RhkqaoJgck8p6, by 2 August 2022.

“The work that Hear My Voice does in the poetry sector is of such importance and Open Book is excited to finally have the opportunity to partner with them. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming poets to the Open Book stage to perform in “Bodies Under Siege”. – Frankie Murrey, Festival Coordinator of Open Book.

Poets are invited to apply for a life-changing retreat that offers an opportunity to feature at the Open Book Festival
Hear My Voice’s Cape Town poetry retreat opens up for submissions for poets from all over South Africa

“J.Bobs Live: AmaPiecePieceNyana”

Jefferson Bobs Tshabalala wears the hats of Writer, Performer, and Director. As an entrepreneur, he wears the hats of Founder, Investor and Strategist. As a teacher, he wears the hats of Lecturer, Researcher and Scholar.

Each of these diverse pieces has contributed to his collection of creative output, and under the incisive directorial eye of Chris Djuma, “J.Bobs Live: AmaPiecePieceNyana”, introduces audiences to his poignant reflections and creations in a Theatrical Experience of the finest order.

It will be a unique blend of Township Game Shows, Hip Hop Theatre, Character Poetry, Critical Essays, Dramatic Prose and extracts from Contemporary Plays – all from the pen of Tshabalala.

It will be an unorthodox night of Theatre and Performance, and audiences are invited to bring with them a wondrous mind of exploratory curiosity.

Writer and Performer: J.Bobs Tshabalala.
Director and Dramaturge: Chris Djuma.

DATE: 31 July

VENUE: Leano Restaurantnt

TICKET: R120/ R200

African Story Telling on Mental Health

To close off Mental Health Awareness Month, Hadithi ya Africa in partnership with Current State of Poetry and Leano Restaurant brings you African Story Telling on Mental Health.

The theme of the month of July is about creating awareness around mental wellness to help save lives and break the stigma around mental illness. What better way to achieve this than by experiencing stories of those who have personal encounters with mental illness?

The Storytellers for the night are Pule Welch, Katlego Kekana, Vus’umuzi Phakathi, and Kele Miracle, with Hadithi ya Africa co-founder and MD, Thandwefika Tshabalala as the host.

Join us for a night of storytelling, drinks, and the finest African cuisine in town.

DATE: 30 July

VENUE: LEANO Restaurants

TICKET: R200/R250

Leano Poetry Night- 11 August 2022

Featuring Nomashenge Dlamini and Jonathan Lefenya.

DATE: 11 August

VENUE: Leano Restaurant



FEATURING: Nomashenge Dlamini, Makhafula Vilakazi, Kori Strange and Billy Langa

DATE: 20 August

VENUE: The Market Theatre Lab



An all-thrilling Sesotho production venerating different passages of women’s voyage, their highs, blows and lows through Poetry and Music… Directed by Mbuyiselo Nqodi.

Featuring: Jahrose Jafta, Patience Labane Thandiwe Radebe, Letshego Sefuba, and Lerato Motloung

DATE: 9 August (18:00)

VENUE: Andre Huguenot Theater (Bloemfontein)

TICKET: R90 / R70 (For groups of five)

HUMANS BEING- Poetry Production (3 & 4 September)

Written, directed and performed by Torsten Clear Rybka

Music Director: Thebe Mmushi
Choreographer: Ipeleng Lola Thakanyane
With Paul Motlalepule, Bongani Dube and Malatji Velaphi Maphosa

DATE: 3rd of September 19h00
DATE: 4th of September 15h00
VENUE: The South African State Theatre- Malombo Theatre

Tickets are available HERE

Poetry Competitions/Applications


The second 2022 call for applications for the Hear My Voice Mobility Fund is now open for application till the 31st of August 2022.

The Mobility Fund encourages poets and poetry platforms to apply for their events of digital as well as physical nature, covering part of the participation fee or related travel expenses of South African poets who have been invited to participate in an international or inter-provincial literary festival or related platform.

Hear My Voice is a non-profit organisation based in Tshwane, South Africa, that, since 2016, has supported hundreds of spoken word artists through organising local and international exchange programs, workshops, live spoken word shows, open mics and other literature programs for schools, private companies, government, libraries, festivals and other cultural institutions.

Interested applicants can find the criteria and may apply here: Hear My Voice Mobility Fund Application Form.

Closing Date: 31st August 2022

For any questions relating to the Mobility Fund, please contact:Ishmael Sibiya: [email protected]

ENTER NOW: Poetry in McGregor 2022 COMPETITION (Closing Date for 30th September 2022)

Closing Date for entries Friday 30th September 2022


‘Die wildernis in’

The theme this year is TOUCHING THE WILD – DIE WILDERNIS IN. This is an opportunity to consider, through poetry, our roles as custodians of wilderness and creation not to mention the need to nurture a certain inner wildness.

Please see the website www.poetryinmcgregor.co.za for the competition rules and note that no poems over 36 lines will be considered in the OPEN CATEGORY for poets 18 years and older or in the YOUTH CATEGORY for poets 7 – 17 years old.

Entries welcome in English or Afrikaans, to be submitted to [email protected] by 30th September 2022


South African Poets are invited to be part of this amazing opportunity. Stand a chance to win an accumulative prize of R22 000 plus an all-expenses paid international trip to the World Slam Competition in 2023.

  • Poets are invited to submit an entry for 2022 Poetry Africa festival theme: Poetic (In)Justice. The poet is free to interpret the theme as broadly as possible but the poem must express the poet’s ideas related to matters such as human rights, justice and equality. We are looking for innovation, creativity and different multimedia integration to engage with matters of human rights, justice, equality & democracy.
  • A poem submitted for the competition can be in any of the official South African languages but it must have English subtitles. Poetry Africa is streamed globally and the use of English is for the purposes of being accessible to the festival’s global audiences.
  • A poet may submit on one entry for the competition.
  • The poem must be submitted in a video format (MP4, AVI). Poem/video must be no more than 100MB.
  • The video poem must not exceed 3 minutes in total. Entrants will be allowed a 10 second grace period. Failure to keep to the length prescribed, the poet might be disqualified.
  • The poem submitted for the competition must be original and be the poet’s own work; and it should not have been submitted anywhere else (other digital slams/projects).
  • The video must be original and not contain other people’s copyrighted material. In the event that the poet uses any other person’s content in the video (visuals or sound, etc) it is the onus of the poet to secure the rights of use for such content. The festival reserves the right to request proof thereof.
  • Props, costumes and/or instruments are permissible in the presentation of poems.
  • Poets may not do introductions to their poems.
  • Poets may submit their videos via WhatsApp to 076 307 9660.


South African spoken word poets can win a place at the 2022 Poetry Africa festival that will take place in October
this year by entering Poetry Africa’s monthly poetry competition.
• Poets may only submit one poem per month for the competition.
• Poems may be in any South African language.
• Poems must be submitted as video-poems.
• A poem must not exceed 3 minutes in length.
• Submission must contain the FULL NAME of the poet as well as AGE, GENDER, and LANGUAGE.
• Poetry Africa receives the right to publish or not to publish any of the poems submitted.

A theme will be announced for each month.

• Poetry Africa’s jury will select the month’s winning poem.
• The judges will select one winner from the finalists who will be invited to perform at the Poetry Africa festival in October. The Poetry Africa festival will cover travel, accommodation and per diem costs as well as a performance fee.
• Judging criteria for each month will be:

  • Quality of the poem
  • Relevance to the monthly theme
  • Style and impact of the performance
  • Originality
  • Creativity.

Video entries can be sent via WhatsApp to:
+27 76 010 9437
• The Jury’s decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

Call for Submissions

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Pepper Coast Lit (20-01 August)

Pepper Coast Lit is a literary magazine that seeks to give attention to brave voices. They are on the hunt for poetry from around the world, cutting across any/and every theme and/or style.
Pepper Coast Lit is currently accepting submissions to be reviewed for possible publication. Please read the Submission Guidelines carefully, before submitting work

Pepper Coast Lit accepts submissions from Africans, People of Color, those in the Diaspora, descendants and affiliates of the aforementioned. We have no restrictions on themes, genre, style or form; provided the work is well-written. We accept submissions of only poetry.


  • All submissions must be double/single-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman and/or Palatino Linotype font in either .doc/.docx
  • Do not include your name and email address anywhere in the document except in the body of the mail. The document must be saved with the title of the submission for easy identification.
  • The heading of the mail should follow this format: Genre—Title of submission. Eg: ‘Poetry— Counting My Mother’s Tears’ 
  • The body of the mail must contain your name, email address, nationality and a short bio note of not more than fifty words.
  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed. However, you must inform us if your submission is accepted elsewhere.
  • We typically reply all submissions between three to four weeks. If you fail to hear from us within this period, consider your submission null.

Submissions should be sent to: [email protected]

Olúmọ Review is now accepting poetry submissions

Olúmọ Review seeks amazing poetry – poetry that is bold, poetry that would collide with rocks and grind them to powder, that sparks curiosity, that intrigues the intellect, that kicks in the teeth, that guts the heart, that says something genuine about the world as well as the individual.  We celebrate diversity and are open to diverse styles, forms, and kinds of poetry, about any and all subjects.

However, we do not want any work that harms or marginalizes others or is sexist, misogynistic, racist, ageist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, etc.  We also don’t want poems that glorify violence.

We are currently open to only poetry submissions from January 1 through March 31 & July 1 through September. 30. We publish biannually: June & December.

While we wish we could pay each contributor, we are currently unable to do that. 


  • Submissions are open internationally, to any poet writing in English—other languages are okay to include, as long as the meat of the poem is in English.
  • Send us only your best. We will be extremely selective.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, but please send us a note if your work is picked up elsewhere. (We want to say congrats!)
  • All submissions must be no more than 10 pages and no more than 5 poems.
  • Submissions should be formatted as word document: .doc or .docx. —font 12, single line spacing. Submissions not formatted in the way specified will not be considered. We will accept a .pdf but will need a .doc or .docx if accepted.
  • We do not accept multiple submissions. Please submit all your poems in ONE document.
  • Please include a cover letter with your publication history, if any. 
  • Expect 8-12 weeks for a response. Please do not query until 12 weeks have passed. 
  • Submit here!

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