Obsidian: Literature in the African Diaspora is transitioning to an online only journal. We are working on our brand new website and our first online edition.

To submit your work to Obsidian please visit our Submissions page


Call For Papers

Special Issue: Violence and Black Youth in Post-Civil Rights U.S.

Violence and Black Youth in Post-Civil Rights U.S. intends to engage recent scholarship on race, the body, and violence, including Harvey Young’s Embodying Blackness: Stillness, Critical Memory and the Black Body, Carol E. Henderson’s Scarring the Black Body: Race and Representation in African American Literature, Debra Walker King’s African Americans and the Culture of Pain, Lisa Woolfork’s Embodying American Slavery in Contemporary in Contemporary Culture, and Jennifer Griffiths’ Traumatic Possessions: The Body and Memory in African American Women’s Writing and Performance.

It will also address a critical gap in this work around the figure of the African American child in late twentieth-century cultural productions and extends the analysis of work that focuses historical, cultural, and literary representations of African American children within the 19th century through mid-20th century, such as two recent books: Robin Bernstein’s recent Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights and Anna Mae Duane’s Suffering Childhood in Early America: Violence, Race, and the Making of the Child Victim.

To submit work for this issue and read the full description visit the Special Issue: Violence and Black Youth in Post-Civil Rights U.S. Submissions Page


Jazz Issue

Jazz poetry delivers keenly the feelings, sounds, compositional genius, performance, politics, history, and creative spirit reflected in this music – all the way from Langston Hughes’ “Jazzonia” and “Ask Your Mama” to the jazz poetry collection Jazz Fan Looks Back by Jayne Cortez. Recent examinations by T.J. Anderson (Notes Make the Sound Come Right: Four Innovators of Jazz Poetry), Meta DuEwa Jones (The Muse is Music: Jazz Poetry from the Harlem Renaissance to Spoken Word), Jennifer D. Ryan (Post-Jazz Poetics: A Social History), Jean-Phillippe Marcoux (Jazz Griots: Music as History in the 1960s African American Poem), and continuously available anthologies point to a long and important literary tradition. Lest we forget the essential “Coltrane poem” scripted by many, especially Michael Harper, Sonia Sanchez, Gil Scott-Heron, Haki Madhubuti, Larry Neal, and Amiri Baraka among so many others.

Submissions are now being accepted for the online Jazz Issue of Obsidian to be released in Fall 2014. Poetry, short fiction, essays, digital video of jazz poetry performances/spoken word, and visual art are all welcomed to this improvisation. Deadline April 30, 2014.

To submit work for this issue vist the Jazz Issue Submissions Page