African Literature and Literary Magazines

by - 23:03

Towards the end of last year, I put together a list of African (and diaspora) literary magazines which I was then meant to turn into a post on the landscape of African literary magazines. Well, a few weeks ago when looking through the AfricaWrites programme, I spotted that one of the sessions will be on the place of literary magazines in African literature. And just yesterday, WhatsOn Africa told us about Three African and African Diasporan Literary Magazines Everyone Should KnowThese included Black Orpheus, Bakwa Magazine and Brittle Paper. 

Honestly, sometimes all you need is that little nudge to get you to finalise a post you've been wanting to do. Some of the literary magazines out there include Chimurenga, Kwani?, Saraba, Transition and Wasafari to name a few, and as I wait in anticipation for the Africa Writes event (and a host of other others) - and to complement WhatsOn Africa's list - here's are ten more Literary Magazines from Africa and the Diaspora. Some are new, others have been around for a while - and there are a few which look like they are on hiatus, but they are all definitely worth a read.  

Banipal is a magazine of translation, exclusively featuring authors from the Arab world. Most of the works transalted are commissioned from works that have already appeared in the original languages in a published form, in books, magazines, newspapers or in online media. 

The Kalahari Review is a web-based, 'African-centric magazine' which publishes fiction, poetry, essays and humour piece. It 'provide[s] a space for Africa to speak for herself ... in all its triumphs and faults, beauty and ugliness'. It's interested in material that explores Africa and Africans in 'unique and avant-garde ways' and tells new stories from everyday life as told by the people that are living it. Overall, it aims to seek out voices of unique quality and provide them a space to show and develop their talent and is filled with a variety of styles of writing and art.

Klorofyl is an online magazine founded in 2009 'out of a
deep desire to create a magazine we would love to read'. It puts together the founders favourite things - poetry, brilliant photography, fiction and prose. youth, urbanity, Africa, the search for truth and a better life, and a devotion to REPLANTing with wholesome values. 

Lawino is an online magazine which began in 2014 and started by writers, to promote
writing from Africa, with particular focus on Uganda. It aims to be a platform to launch the careers of many writers, and to take advantage of developments in online publishing to deliver African short stories and poetry to readers all over the world. 

Mosaic Magazine was launched in 1998 and is a print tri-annual magazine that explores the literary arts by writers of African descent, and features interviews, essays and book reviews. Mosaic has featured writers such as Chimanda Ngozi Adichie and Teju Cole among others and provides a unique space to preview upcoming releases through book reviews and author interviews - past interviews have been with Chinelo Okparanta and Nnedi Okorafor.

Munyori Literary Journal is a Zimbabwean-American literary platform that features work from global writers and artists. While munyori is shona for writer or author, the journal extends this meaning to represent all writers. The journal receives the bulk of its submission from Zimbabwe and the United States, but it has also featured works from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and the UK. 

New Contrast, which published its first issue in the Summer of 1960, is said to be South Africa's longest surviving literary journal. It started off as Contrast until 1989 when it became New Contrast. New Contrast is devoted mainly to publishing original work by South African writers and aims to provide a platform for writers (of poetry, prose and other literary works) to get their works published and to get help, if needed, to improve their writing. 

Omenana is a tri-monthly speculative fiction magazine featuring fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora. Omenana, Igbo for divinity, embodies an attempt recover Africa's wildest stories. Omenana bridges the gap between past, present and future through imagination and aims to 'shakes us out of the corner we have pushed ourselves into'.

Prufrock is a South African literary magazine launched in 2013 by four University of Cape Town graduates, which publishes fiction, non-fiction and poetry in all of South African languages. 

Q-zine is a bilingual (English and French) quarterly online magazine from Burkina Faso, by, for and about LGBTI and queer Africans and allies living both on the African continent and the Diaspora. Q-zine aims to provide an inspiring and creative outlet for LGBTI and queer Africans and allies to celebrate, debate and explore the creativity and cultural richness of queer life in and outside of Africa. Their ambition is to encourage LGBTI and queer Africans and allies to decide for themselves how they should be represented in the media and popular culture by being their own storytellers.

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