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Call for Submissions: Dear Yusef (edited by John Murillo & Nicole Sealey)

August 15, 2022

John Murillo and Nicole sealey are editing, for Wesleyan University Press, an anthology dedicated to Yusef Komunyakaa, who received our 2021 Griffin Poetry Prize Lifetime Recognition Award.
Please consider submitting:
Dear Yusef: Essays, Letters, and Poems For and About One Mr. Komunyakaa
Edited by John Murillo and Nicole Sealey
Wesleyan University Press
Call for Submissions: The editors are seeking poems, letters, personal and critical essays to be considered for an anthology to be published by Wesleyan University Press, celebrating the life and work of internationally acclaimed poet and professor Yusef Komunyakaa.
In May 2019, Cave Canem Foundation and the New York University Creative Writing Program, in partnership with the PEN World Voices Festival, held a day-long celebration of the life and work of one of the most impactful American poets of the last half century. Yusef Komunyakaa: A Celebration brought together a veritable Who’s Who of contemporary American poetry, to honor a poet who, it turns out, is as beloved for his teaching and mentorship as he is celebrated for his creative work. Presenters included such established poets as Pulitzer Prize winners Sharon Olds, Tyehimba Jess, and Gregory Pardlo, as well as a cadre of rising stars such as Ishion Hutchinson, Jenny Xie, and Javier Zamora. This anthology—working title, Dear, Yusef: Essays, Letters and Poems For and About One Mr. Komunyakaa—follows in the spirit of that day-long symposium, as well as the recently published lyric essay by Terrance Hayes, “Everyday Mojo Letters to Yusef” (Boston Review, June 18, 2021) and Pardlo’s “Dear Yusef Komunyakaa: On Neon Vernacular and the Long Half-Life of Double Consciousness” (LitHub, August 19, 2019). This anthology will include these and a number of other essays, poems, open letters, and other creative and critical offerings from fellow poets, former students, literary critics, and admirers.
Submission Guidelines: The publisher welcomes original poems, letters, critical and personal essays of any length. Both unpublished and previously published work is welcome providing authors retain North American rights. Submissions from writers who identify as trans, gender non-conforming, non-binary or women are strongly encouraged.
Only submissions sent in Microsoft Word format will be considered.
Submission deadline is August 15, 2022. Authors should allow 6-8 weeks for the selection process.
Please send submissions and questions to
Authors will be compensated $50 and two complimentary copies of published anthology.
Yusef Komunyakaa is the author of nearly twenty volumes of poetry and prose, and his plays and librettos have been performed to international acclaim. His honors include the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, the Wallace Steven Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and the William Faulkner Prize from the University de Rennes among others. He has served as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1999-2005 and has taught in the Cave Canem workshop/retreat, as well as at many universities including the University of New Orleans, Indiana University, Princeton University, and New York University where he served as Distinguished Senior Poet in the creative writing program.


August 15, 2022