The Umbran Project

As an African American writer, I’ve noticed several things as I try to submit my own writing to places. There are a limited number of avenues that are specifically targeting African American writers. And of those avenues, it’s clear that many journals are trying to:

1). Make Money

2). Meet Diversity Quotas

3). Continue Furthering the Notion That There is only One Black Aesthetic.

Some of us like to write sonnets about flowers and video games. And some of us like to actually tell our stories.

Therefore, I’ve decided to try to address this problem head on. Grand Little Things has been successful in showcasing that there are still people writing real poetry, be it formalistic or free verse. However, I haven’t been successful in showcasing a lot of African American writers. This is due to not reaching out to the community. I have to apologize, mostly to the writing public in general, but a little to myself. I was naïve,

So. Let me extend a hand.

The Umbran Project, depending on its success, will be published as an issue unlike the other poems on the website. I’m hoping to be able to generate 2 issues a year (more if I have time and if people submit enough pieces. I would like to be able to at least publish 30 poets per issue).

As many of you might have guessed, the name comes from The Umbra Poets. If you don’t know of them, I would recommend Googling them. They skirted the line between “Art for Art’s Sake” and “For The Culture” before it was cool.

So. Send me your poems about trees. Send me your poems about Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”. And send me anything that falls in-between.

Thank you. Let’s make some magic!


The rules are mostly the same. Send in up to three poems in a single word document. Previously published poems will not be considered. If the rules aren’t followed, the submission won’t be acknowledged or considered. Et. cetera.

This too is a labor of love and I cannot offer payment at this time. GLT only asks for first publication rights.

The first change is that you have to be African American. Send me a bio with a twitter handle or something. Rachel Dolezal – I mean Nkechi Amare Diallo – exists.

The second change is that submissions will end. The first issue’s deadline is on 4/14/2021.

Submit through Duosuma.

Please reach out if there are any questions or comments.

Submit through Duosuma