Throughout the month of August, the column will be open to pieces that explore the poetics of the natural world, not distinct from civilization, but deeply impacted or quickened by it. The poems need not strictly be about climate change (though that would be wonderful).
Despite being surrounded by plants, we are mostly unaware of their presence, their sacred roles; the mountains seem in public memory merely tourist, capitalist instruments for consumption.
We seek poems that will emphasise attention to life, to plants, to mountains, to hills, to rivers, to springs, to forests, to savannas, to deltas in Nigeria — we want poems full of contemplation of the natural world, its beauty or ills. We want traditional (haikus, sonnets etc) and free verse poems packed with flowers, birds, lizards. Not just birds, but Ibadan Malimbe, Anambra Waxbill, Adamawa Turtle Dove etc — not just mountains, but Olumo Rock, Zuma Rock, etc — not just plants but Gliricidia, Pigweed, Rose Apple, etc. We want to see the Nigerian landscape in your poems.
Practical examples of poets who have carried on this tradition of nature contemplation include JP Clark, Mary Oliver, Joy Harjo, Wendell Berry etc.
Other guidelines for submission remain the same. Good luck!