Call for Submissions

*The 2021 Competition is closed!

Society for Humanistic Anthropology 2021 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.

Before submission, please consider exploring the work of the ethnographic poets we have published in our journal. 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.

Submission deadline this year is June 10, 2021. Submissions must be previously unpublished and not currently under consideration elsewhere. You may submit up to three poems. There is no entry fee.

The entry consists of two separate parts:

  1. The online Entry form which collects cover page information (name, contact information, etc.).  This entry form is a required part of the submission. Information on this form is not taken into account while judges make their award selections, and information collected is used ONLY for award granting and notifications.
  2. Your poems together in one pdf file without the author’s name (anonymized), *PLUS an extra final page with an ethnopoetry statement of no more than 400 words that answers the question: “How is this piece anthropologically informed and in what ways has your background in the field contributed to it?” This statement will be taken into account as the judges make their award selections. Please use your first poem title as your document file name. This file should be emailed as a pdf to shapoetrycompetition@gmail.com Examples of ethnographic statements can be found here.

AWARDS:

  • All winners will receive one year Society for Humanistic Anthropology (SHA) and American Anthropology Association (AAA) gift memberships.
  • The first-place winner will also receive an award of $100 and publication in the Society’s journal, Anthropology and Humanism.
  • The second-place winner will also receive $75.
  • The third-place winner will also receive $50.
  • All winning entries and honorable mentions will be recognized by the Society for Humanistic Anthropology at the 120th annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association (Baltimore, MD, November 17-21, 2021), and all winners will receive a certificate of their award.

JUDGES:  Ather Zia, Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor, Adrie Kusserow & Tara Westmor