Call for Submissions! ‘Verbs that Move Mountains’: Essays on Spoken Word Cultures Across the World

Note: due to popular demand, the deadline has been extended to 31st January.

Sabotage Reviews will be publishing its first anthology in 2017 and is looking for contributors to submit essays on the theme of spoken word culture from across the world.Taking its title from South African poet Ingrid de Kok’s ‘Parts of Speech’, the anthology calls for essays that could tackle (but are not limited to), the following topics:

  • What is a spoken word culture? Who creates it?
  • Hyper-local focus on a specific spoken word night
  • A history of a specific town/region/country’s spoken word culture
  • How contemporary practice relates to a place’s traditional spoken word culture (praise poetry, troubadours, etc)
  • Differences and similarities in spoken word practices on two continents/countries/towns/streets
  • The role of class, race, gender etc in creating a spoken word culture
  • A focus on a figure or group who has changed the way a place approaches spoken word
  • Rural vs Urban spoken word scenes
  • The role of internet or publishing in the spoken word scene
  • Community and spoken word
  • Healing trauma through spoken word

We are particularly interested in hearing about spoken word scenes outside of the UK/USA, though these are welcome too particularly if the angle is unexpected.

(No scene is too small. An open mic night that is attended by three mates and their dogs can be just as fascinating to read about as a packed-full themed event in the city’s hippest joint.)

While the essays will be published in English we welcome translated essays, as well as previously published ones (provided you have copyright and secured permission).

The anthology will be available both online and in print.

Send your submissions by 31st January to editor [at] as a Word Document. Put ‘Essays anthology’ as a subject line. Wordcount limit of 5,000 words with no minimum wordcount.

The anthology will be edited by Claire Trévien, founder of Sabotage Reviews.

Unfortunately, we cannot offer payment. All contributors will receive a free copy of the published anthology.

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