For more than two centuries, anthropology and poetry have stayed squarely within the realms of their respective genres. We have existed in the artificially dichotomous paradigm of “art versus science.” This anthology, Anthro/Poetics, aims to bridge the genre gap, to demonstrate how the endeavor of preserving cultural knowledge is sought in poetry as well as ethnography.
I am calling for poems that explore the “art of ethnography,” that dare to take on a cultural polemics in poetry, ethnopoets and anthropologists that risk creativity in ethnography or risk ethnography in poetry. I want poems that endeavor to take on culture without apologizing first. Let’s permit the genre to inform the material. Let’s let a cultural studies be shared by one genre that can illuminate the other. Let’s lay the dichotomy to rest.
Anthro/Poetics is an anthology on writing about culture, separated into three parts: The first aims to explore how we discuss “culture” as a whole, how poet/ethnographer/observer seeks to explore the expansiveness of the subject in and of itself (This subject is vague and elastic. I want poems involving how and why we write). The second section will be about “the other.” Here, I do not want poems that seek to explain a culture, but rather poems that serve as a witness to difference and similarity; this may be poems in which the speaker travels to places that are distant, or in which the speaker sees difference within their own space. In the third section, I want poems that reflect inward, poems that identify difference in self, that explore identity and seek to unveil this self in the midst of understanding others.
I would love for each of these sections to be introduced by two short essays on the same subject (one written by a poet, the other by an anthropologist).
If you are interested, please email 1 – 5 poems and/or an essay to firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributors include: Todd Fredson, Amanda Ngoho Reavey, Jehanne Dubrow, Barbara Jane Reyes, Sarah Vap, Philip Kobylarz, M. J. Gette, Rosemarie Dombrowski, and Anthony K. Webster.
*EDIT: Submission deadline is May 31st 2016