“What I am saying is that through extension we are humanists in the beginning, but how are you going to love or speak to somebody else if you can’t speak to your own brothers and sisters?” – Etheridge Knight
2019 Naomi Long Madgett Award winner Jacquese Armstrong is a poet/writer residing in Central New Jersey. Her first poetry chapbook, dance of the shadows, was released June 2017. She has been published in For Harriet, A Gathering of the Tribes, The Rising Phoenix Review, Black Magnolias Literary Journal and Ourselves/Black. Ms. Armstrong was a 2015 recipient of the Ambassador Award from the State of New Jersey Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma for promoting wellness and recovery and reducing stigma through the arts.
“Poetry is life distilled.”
“A Legacy of Literary Excellence”
Naomi Long Madgett, Poet Laureate of the City of Detroit since 2001 and recipient of the 2012 Kresge Eminent Artist Award, is the author of ten books of poetry and two textbooks and editor of two anthologies. Her poems appear in numerous journals and more than 180 anthologies both here and abroad. Several have been set to music and publicly performed. Her career as a published poet spans more than sixty years. In 1980 Lotus Press, Inc. was recognized as a 501(C)(3) organization specializing in the publication of books of poetry of high literary quality. Naomi continued to serve as publisher/ editor until 2015 when Lotus Press merged with Broadside Press, becoming what is now Broadside Lotus Press
Learn more about Naomi Long Madgett
Currently accepting submissions for the Naomi Long Madgett Award 2019
This competition is open to African American poets only. If you have already had a book published by Lotus Press, you are ineligible. However, inclusion in a Lotus Press anthology does not disqualify you. Award entries must be received between January 2 and March 1, 2019.You will be notified of the winner’s and the judges’ names no later than June 1, 2019. The decision of the judge is final.
Guidelines for the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award
“Rebirth of the Words…”
Dudley Felker Randall’s first self-published work, a poem titled “The Ballad of Birmingham,” was based on the bombing of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birmingham church 1963, which killed four girls. The majority of Randall’s works were based on significant historical events and people that impacted the life of African American people. Randall’s poetry developed while attending Wayne State University, one of his poems titled “Roses of Revolution” was published in Milestone I, the university’s newspaper. In 1954, Randall had published a poem titled “Legacy: My South” in Free Lance publication. Prior to 1969, Randall established his own publishing company, Broadside Press, in 1965. Randall first ran the Broadside Press out of his home on the West Side of Detroit and when the company expanded, the publishing company relocated to downtown Detroit.
Learn more about Dudley Randall
“Next to Broadside Press, Detroit has also been the home base of a second premier publisher of black poetry in the United States, Lotus Press. Poet Naomi Long Madgett, with the aid of local Detroit supporters, established this company in 1972.”
“What made the Broadside Press significant was that it gave African American poets and writers the opportunity to have their works published during a time when major publishing houses did not take these works seriously. The works of Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Gwendolyn Brooks and many others that were mainly Detroit natives had their works published by Randall’s Broadside Press. This led to over 90 Broadside Press published titles of poetry and 500,000 books in print from 1965-1977.”
“Randall and Madgett shared a common bond in becoming publishing pioneers of African American literature.”
“The merger represents “a wealth of literary heritage” said Christopher Rutherford, Chairman of the Board of Broadside Lotus Press, who added that all the works of Broadside Press will begin to be digitized this summer thanks to a grant from the Knight”
“Naomi Long Madgett is 91 years old, but she continues to shape Detroit poetry…Like Lotus, Broadside Press has been an American institution since it was founded in 1965 by the poet Dudley Randall.”
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