2018 SHA Ethnographic Poetry Competition

The Society for Humanistic Anthropology announces our annual poetry competition as a means to encourage scholars to use alternative literary genres to explore anthropological concerns. These concerns may be any of those associated with any of the five fields of anthropology: Archaeological, Biological, Linguistic, Sociocultural and Applied.

Deadline: July 1, 2018. There is no entry fee for this competition.

Please email your entry (no more than three unpublished poems) as a single pdf document to: shapoetrycompetition@gmail.com without the author’s name (anonymized), along with a separate cover page with the following information by the Deadline of July 1, 2018: • NAME, TITLE, INSTITUTIONAL AFFILIATION (S) /• CONTACT INFO (ADDRESS, PHONE, EMAIL) /• POEM TITLE (S) / • ETHNOPOETRY STATEMENT*

The anonymous entry pdf must include an *ethnographic statement (of no more than 400 words) which connects the poem(s) submitted to anthropology which will be taken into account as the judges make their award selections. Examples of ethnographic statements can be found in the poems published in Anthropology and Humanism: (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/anhu.12058/full).

Before you submit a manuscript to the competition, please consider exploring the work of the ethnographic poets we have published. We’re drawn to technical virtuosity combined with abundant imagination, vivid imagery, and musical approaches to fresh language, risk-taking, and an ability to convey penetrating insights into human experience. We seek a layer of trust concerning the writer’s experience and perspective as both anthropologist and creative writer, one who is ethically responsible in terms of representing the other, one who is able to locate his or her reader in the context of the ethnographic study and reveal anthropological themes associated with any of the fields of anthropology.

Winning entries and honorable mentions will be recognized at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in San Jose in November 14-18, 2018. The first-place winner(s) will receive a certificate and award of $100. All entries will be considered for publication in the Society’s journal, Anthropology and Humanism. (Note that Membership in AAA or an institutional subscription is required for digital access to the journal and SHA membership with the paid print option is required to receive a print issue.)

JUDGES: Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor, Nomi Stone, & Ather Zia

Judges’ bios:
Melisa “Misha” Cahnman-Taylor, Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia, is the author of Imperfect Tense (poems, 2016), and co-author of three books in educational inquiry. She is the winner of three 2015-2018 NEA “Big Read” Grants, the Beckman award for “Professors Who Inspire Social Change,” and a Fulbright scholarship. Misha is poetry editor for Anthropology & Humanism and has judged the journal’s annual ethnographic poetry competition since 2005.

Nomi Stone is a post-doctoral research fellow in anthropology at Princeton University. Her second collection of poems Kill Class is forthcoming (Tupelo Press 2019). Her poetry is widely published, appearing recently or soon in POETRY, American Poetry Review, and Best American Poetry, amongst others. Her ethnography in progress, Human Technologies and the Making of American War is a finalist for the University of California Press’s Atelier Series.

Ather Zia is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology & Gender Studies at University of Northern Colorado Greeley. Her first collection of poems “The Frame” was published in 1999 and since she appeared in a variety of noted poetry journals. In 2013 she won the second prize for ethnographic poetry on Kashmir from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology. Ather is finishing her ethnography on Kashmir, and an ethnographic poetry collection titled, “Field In-verse.” She is also the founder-editor of Kashmir Lit and co-founder of Critical Kashmir Studies.

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