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Call for Submissions: BKO Poetry & Literary Magazine – Lesego Rampolokeng edition (Vol 4, No 4)


Thematic engagement:

Horns for Hondo at Thirty: Reflecting on Lesego Rampolokeng’s Oeuvre

Guest editor: Dr Danyela Dimakatso Demir (University of Johannesburg)
Poetry editor: Dr Raphael d’Abdon
Featured writer Lesego Rampolokeng
Deadline for submission: October 10, 2020

Lesego Rampolokeng’s first volume of poetry, Horns for Hondo, was published in 1990 and yet – despite the fact that he has produced a dozen books in which he crosses several genres from prose to poetry to drama, and though he has traversed several media (film and musical collaborations) – there has been relatively little engagement with his work except for scattered academic pieces and reviews. This special issue of BKO Magazine aims at reflecting on his oeuvre.

Rampolokeng is not only a playwright, poet, and novelist, but also an archivist of voices that came before him, both here in South Africa and elsewhere. He comes from the lineage of Mafika Gwala, Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, and Linton Kwezi Johnson, amongst others. In the narrator of Bird-Monk Seding’s own words (2017), this lineage is probably best described in the following words: “I draw inspiration from across the entire spectrum of the world’s literature, fine arts, music… painters Fikile Magadlela, Dumile Feni, Lefifi Tladi, Thami Mnyele have always been crucial to my writing. Visual artists with social conscience. And writers who cut out and stomp on whatever literary conventions enslave, from Lautreamont, Artaud, and Pasolini onward. The South African Blue Notes (Johnny Dyani, Mongezi Feza, Dudu Pukwana, etc) and where they took the music of this land, revolutionizing the euro-jazz scene. The Wole Soyinka of ‘Ogun Abibiman’. I came to black consciousness via Mafika Gwala. I carry Aimé Césaire in my head. Frantz Fanon is my father”.

With this lineage in mind, the special issue ventures to trace Rampolokeng’s own literary journey/history, intersections, and divergences within that lineage in his writing. At the same time it is a call to continue the archival work visible in his own oeuvre, but also to highlight his own influence on a younger generation of writers. This gathering of reflections should be seen as the beginning of a conversation about a crucial oeuvre largely overlooked by a broader audience in order to commemorate and critically engage with Rampolokeng’s oeuvre in particular and Black (South) African literary histories at large. Ultimately, this is also a challenge to perhaps make sense of the notion of what José Esteban Muñoz (1999) calls “communal mourning”, which permeates Rampolokeng’s oeuvre so strongly. Perhaps it is precisely this feeling of communal mourning which then may open up avenues of looking at (South) African literatures more broadly.

Themes for reflections, essays, and reviews for this special issue could be, but are not limited to:

  • the importance of Black Consciousness
  • the work of memory
  • trauma, grief, and rage
  • form, language, genre b(l)endings
  • performance/performativity
  • gender dynamics
  • forms of storing the archive: intermediality/intertextuality
  • and literary/musical crossovers in Rampolokeng’s oeuvre.

BKO Magazine calls for submissions of prose in line with this theme and in relation to the work of the featured author, Lesego Rampolokeng. We are soliciting long-form essays, personal essays, opinion pieces, review/critique of Rampolokeng’s work.


You can submit a piece of feature writing that focuses solely on Rampolokeng’s writing / work. There is no limit for the length of this writing. This can be a review, critique, essay or an opinion piece.


You can submit a piece of fiction – flash-fiction, short stories, book extract (if it is your own work). The word limit is 3000 words. The piece of writing can be in any South African language (preferably with an English translation).


You can submit an essay or opinion piece or an intellectual/academic piece of writing on the work of Lesego Rampolokeng or any other black (South) African author. If you submit the essay as an academic pursuit, you have to cite correctly and reference sources correctly. You can send any of your submissions to editor@bkomagazine.co.za with “BKO SUBMISSION” in the Subject line.

BKO November/December Issue – Poetry

 You can send up to three poems to raphaelbko@gmail.com with “BKO POETRY SUBMISSION” in the Subject line. The poems must be maximum 2 pages each, typed in New Romans 12, single line spaced.

Poems can be written in any official South African language, but should be submitted with an English translation.

Submission of material: Guidelines for all submissions

Please include a short third person biography (50 words max.). If you have a personal website, social media links, you can also include a link to them.

The deadline for submission is October 10st, 2020.

Writing sent after the deadline, or that does not adhere to the guidelines above will not be considered!

Previously published work will be considered, provided that you retain copyright and that they were published at least one year prior to submitting. Please acknowledge such previous publishing so that we can accredit it accordingly. Please also supply the place and date of publication. Simultaneous submissions are also welcome, but let us know if your work is accepted elsewhere.

Authors retain full copyright and there is no pay for publication of accepted works.

No feedback from the editors and no rejection letters will be sent out. Acceptance letters will reach the authors by October 25, 2020.

We look forward to reading your work! Editor-at-large: Phehello J Mofokeng Publisher: Geko Publishing

About BKO Magazine

BKO Literature Magazine is published and owned by Geko Publishing (Pty) Ltd. It is a tri–monthly thought–leadership literature publication, devoted to imaginative work. It publishes short stories, poetry, experimental, flash fiction, essays (non–fiction) and other forms of creative non–fiction. We encourage original, brave, thoughtful and imaginative literary work that pushes the boundaries of genres; emphasising stepping out of the quotidian and encouraging writers to be political, opinionated and inventive in their storytelling.

About Geko Publishing

Geko Publishing (Pty) Ltd is a 100% black-owned independent and seasoned publisher based in Johannesburg. Geko Publishing was started in 2007 and registered in 2014. It has been recognised for publishing cutting-edge literature that is relevant to modern Africa. In a period spanning over a decade, the company has published South African (English and vernacular) literature including fiction, poetry and biographies by some of the country’s multi-award-winning writers and academics. Geko Publishing is also the patron of the global Geko Mofolo Prize for Outstanding Fiction in Sesotho, administered and awarded in South Africa.

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