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Abdul-Rasheed Na'Allah, editor of the upcoming Obama-Mentum anthology. Writers may submit up to three poems by e-mail to: a-naallah@wiu.edu or mail up to three poems to Dr. Na'Allah at the following address: Department of African American Studies Morgan Hall 232 Western Illinois University 1 University Circle Macomb, IL 61455-1390, USA

WIU Professor Seeks "Obama-Mentum" Poetry for Anthology

January 16, 2009

MACOMB, IL - - Abdul-Rasheed Na'Allah, professor and chair of African American studies at Western Illinois University, invites the submission of English language poems from all the world's literary traditions, cultural forms and performance techniques that capture the emergence of the 21st century transformational presidency of Barack Obama.

The poems can reflect any aspects of spatial, cultural, historical, political, philosophical, experiential, emotional, organizational, community mobilizing, regional, national, universal and other areas of significance of his election as the 44th president of the United States of America, according to Na'Allah.

"The Obama phenomenon has been described variously by the media, scholars and cultural thinkers as 'Obamamania,' 'Obamamentum' and more. Yet nothing is more vivid than the power of metaphors, images and onomatopoeia employed by poetry in capturing this important moment in our world, to paint Obama's extraordinary feat and to forever enliven the life and blood of this historical momentum," Na'Allah said.

Interested writers should send at most three poems to: Abdul-Rasheed Na'Allah, Department of African American Studies, Morgan Hall 232, Western Illinois University, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455-1390, USA, with their full names, short biographies, postal and e-mail addresses and a separate signed statement releasing the poems for publication in the Obama-Mentum anthology, if selected. Selection will be through a jury of outstanding poets chosen by the editor. Entries may also be e-mailed to the editor at a-naallah@wiu.edu. Deadline for submission of poems is Feb. 28.

The Obama-Mentum anthology will be published by Ayebia Clarke Publishing Limited, publisher of the forthcoming "Martin Luther King, Jr.: An Anthology of Multicultural Poetry," edited by Na'Allah, who is a poet, critic and author of "Almajiri: A New African Poetry" and "Ahmadu Fulani."

Na'Allah previously edited "Ogoni's Agonies: Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Crisis in Nigeria" and "The People's Poet: Emerging Perspectives on Niyi Osundare." Na'Allah's new scholarly book, "African Discourse in Islam, Oral Traditions, and Performance," due out this year, is being published by Routledge.

Copy By: Bonnie Barker, University Relations
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