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Submission Deadline: Phillis Wheatley Poetry Festival

May 1, 2023

In 1973, Margaret Walker organized the Phillis Wheatley Poetry Festival at Jackson State, marking the bicentennial of Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. Walker invited 30 prominent Black women writers to honor the poet and the tradition she began.

The Margaret Walker Center continues to celebrate that legacy today with the 50th anniversary reconvening of the Phillis Wheatley Poetry Festival to be held again at Jackson State University from November 1-4, 2023.

As part of the Festival, we invite proposals, due May 1, in recognition of the contributions of Phillis Wheatley and the African American women writers. We are particularly interested in both creative writing and scholarly papers and panels that consider:

  • The poetics of African American orality
  • Margaret Walker as “the most famous poet no one ever knew”
  • Mentorship and kinship among African American women writers
  • Margaret Walker and the implementation of Black Studies Centers
  • HBCUs at the center of African American writing
  • African American or HBCU archival preservation
  • The role of art or artistic expression of African American women
  • Migration: exile, immigration, & homeplace
  • Phillis Wheatley and the origins of Black women’s poetry
  • Art and economics for Black women
  • Impacts of the inaugural Phillis Wheatley Conference in 1973
  • The significance of Black women’s literary salons, workshops, & writing retreats

Submissions for the 50th anniversary reconvening of the Phillis Wheatley Poetry Festival are due to the Margaret Walker Center by May 1. 

More Information: https://www.jsums.edu/philliswheatley/call-for-proposals/


May 1, 2023