The State of Praxis
It’s 2017! The year for Praxisness!
In 2015 when we started Praxis Magazine for Arts and Literature, we were filled with optimism for the kind of literary family we wanted to build. We had Ukamaka Olisakwe, Unoma Azuah, Shittu Fowora, Estrella Gada and Adetutu Olusola on the team. Although some of these beautiful people have since moved onto greater things, the foundation they laid is still as solid. We had a very eventful year and as the publisher, I’d like to expressly state that without their input and belief in Praxis I would not be writing this today. I believe very strongly that they would forever remain Praxists.
This year was quite trying. In the first quarter we were doing so badly that we decided to shut down our poetry department. Then Laura M. Kaminski came by and turned it around. She did not only revive the poetry section, Laura initiated some very important projects and partnerships like the #poetsforpeace project that saw us publishing over two hundred poets from across the world (the project has since been archived in the Stanford University Archive) . Laura attracted some very talented poets to us. Shortly after Laura resumed as Chapbook Editor she successfully put together three poetry chapbooks and a photography chapbook. And by the end of 2016 we had published a total of ten (10) chapbooks.
Jennifer Emelife interviewed eight publishers from five African countries in our On Publishing Business in Africa project. She brought us some incisive, entertaining and enlightening interviews with Caine and other prize winners.
2016 was the year of courage and trials and hope.
This is the year for Praxisness. We would be launching fresh columns by exciting young African writers. And we would be giving away some prizes too.
We are introducing the Language Prize. These past two years have seen us struggle to maintain our language columns. We started out with three African languages; Hausa, Yoruba, and Nupe, and we were about to add Swahili at some point. This year, we are not only bringing back these language columns, we are also instituting a prize, which shall become an annual affair.
African languages are not the only things we celebrate at Praxis. That is why this year, we plan to give out about two million naira (N2,000,000) in prizes. Yes, we will be announcing a poetry prize pretty soon which would also become an annual ritual. With 12 poetry chapbooks and about 10 more queued up for publication, it is only right that we celebrate and reward all the poets.
We also have news for publishers and independent authors: we want to help them sell more books. So we are offering to review as many books as are sent to us and promote same across all of our social media platforms. Please write to Emmanuel Dairo at email@example.com for enquiries or to request for a review. The first five authors or publishers selected would enjoy free photoshoot (of themselves or of models with copies of their books) for promotional purposes.
Finally (though I assume it is the first thing you noticed, or not), we have taken the liberty to redesign our website. I hope you like it. Please feel free at anytime to contact me, or any member of the Praxis team, with suggestions and ideas that would grow our efforts and enable us serve you better.
On behalf of everyone at Praxis, I wish you a beautiful literary year.
Tee Jay Dan