Submissions

Issue 2: Ritual (Submissions Closed)

In thinking about this, our second issue, we retreat to the processes of daily humanizations, from taking a morning shit to ancestral veneration to daily commute to un/dressing and beyond: Ritual.

Ritual, viz., the ways in which we be, the ways in which we are, the ways in which we play and work and rest and create, the ways in which we gather, the ways in which we seek and do solitude.

We invite submissions across forms that seek to query doing ways and being ways and living ways and dying ways and every way in between. Send us your poetry, your fiction, your essays, your music, your art, your photography, your wozzap voicenotes, your selves, and distill with us the rituals of human existence. We can take 3-5 poems of a maximum of 40 lines each, prose between 3500 – 5000 words (though we can flex on this), flash non/fiction and experimental written forms (mathogothanio) between 500 – 1000 words. We also welcome experimental forms (mathogothanio). Send up to four visuals. For audio pieces, send up to four if not longer than ten minutes each, or one long piece if it exceeds 20 minutes.

drr is in its founding stages with no financial backing and at the moment we can only offer a token payment of $30 for each piece we publish online and/or on print, and two complimentary contributor’s copy of the journal. We look forward to working together in bringing forth and interrogating all the rituals that make us who we are. Please send your submissions to submissions@downriverroad.org with your name and title of your piece as the subject line. The deadline for submission is March 31st 2020.

Editors

Carey Baraka is a writer from Kisumu, Kenya. He sings for a secret choir in Nairobi.

Wairimu Muriithi is a writer with many other names. She is lactose intolerant but cannot give up cheese.

Issue 1: Place (Submissions Closed)

Place has always been difficult in two ways. Firstly, the subjective spaces we exist in, the product of the senses. Then: the imaginary places. Often we inhabit both places at the same time, creating varied possibilities and realms as we claim our existence in each reality. Place is always changing, moving, even when our bodies remain static. And when our bodies do finally move, place moves with us. In these new places we create homes for ourselves because our survival depends on it.

David St. John in Poets on Place writes, “we all live in a world that is constantly in movement, perpetually fragmenting and reassembling itself. Those places from which we come and those to which we’ve moved provide the ground against which the figures of our lives themselves move, change, depart.”

Place, or placelessness, has historically been significant especially in Kenya. For many of us place has come to mean the duality between the organic urbanism of what we call towns and cities, and the boundless horizons of gicagi, the place for end-of-year visits and funerals. In its first issue, drr aims to stretch these idea of place further. What is place among writers from Kondele, Kibos, Mazeras, Pango, Kapsabet, Iten, Marsabit, etc. What does it mean to move from and between the Laini Saba we know of, to move (as drr has) from one (unnamed) street of K south to another one near the river? To move from the first floor of a flat to the seventh floor (mahali maji haifiki but the view is great). Who, and our shared past and recent histories and class are a central idea here, is allowed the freedom to imagine Place?

David St. John: Often, the summoning of place is an almost incantatory act against loss. How do the places we inhabit deprive or enrich us? How long do we sink our anchors in the respective places we call home? What do we leave behind when we lift anchor? What do we carry with us from the spaces we have left?

drr is asking for your work along this amorphous idea of Place. We are interested in work ranging from poetry to (non)fiction between 3500 – 5000 words. We’ll accept 3-5 poems maximum of 40 lines each. Flash fiction pieces should be between 500 – 1000 words. We also welcome other experimental forms (mathogothanio) and medium including interviews and conversations, maps, photography, illustrations, video and audio.

Whatever ideas and experiments you have around  Place, in any form/genre, we are willing to work with you.

drr is in its founding stages with no financial backing and at the moment we can only offer a token payment of $30 for each piece we publish online and/or on print. We look forward to working together in summoning and interrogating all the places that make us who we are. Please send your submissions to submissions@downriverroad.org with your name and the title of your piece as the subject line. The deadline for submission is October 1st, 2019.

Editors

bethuel muthee is a Kenyan poet living in Nairobi. He’s a member of Naijographia.

Frankline Sunday is a journalist based in Nairobi. His work has appeared in several outlets including the Guardian UK, Mail and Guardian SA, New African, Economist, Daily Nation and Standard. He is the 2016 David Astor Fellow.

Clifton Gachagua has published a volume of poetry, Madman at Kilifi, and appears in a chapbook box set, Seven New Generation African Poets (University of Nebraska Press). His work appears in Africa 39, Manchester Review, Saraba, Jalada, Kwani?, Poetry Foundation, The Gonjon Pin and Other Stories, Passages (PEN America), AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers, Sunspot Jungle, Enkare, among others. Clifton also writes for TV and film.