Publisher's description: Published twice yearly by the Publications Unit at Illinois State University, Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora is edited by Duriel E. Harris (editor-in-chief) and Sheree Renee Thomas (associate editor). Obsidian supports—through publication and critical inquiry—the contemporary poetry, fiction, drama/performance, visual and media art of emerging and established Black writers from around the world. We’re proud to be numerous contributors’ first publication and to have published work by recipients of the National Book Award, Pulitzer Prize, MacArthur Fellowship, World Fantasy Award, &Now Awards, Leeway Transformation Award, and Eisner Award, among others.
Obsidian collaborates with JMU’s Furious Flower Poetry Center to publish selections from their annual contest and with Chicago’s Rootwork Gallery to document landmark exhibitions. Featured playwrights are invited to develop folios presenting performance scripts with accompanying sound, audiovisual documentation, and other archival material.
Each fall, we work with guest editors to produce a themed special issue; past special issues have included Speculating Futures: Black Imagination & the Arts (winner of the CELJ Parnassus Award), as well as volumes highlighting Ghanian literature and broadcast culture, Cave Canem, Call & Response Ensemble’s Experiments in Joy, and the Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Celebration.
Obsidian has been recognized by the National Endowment of the Arts as a premier journal dedicated to African and African Diaspora Literatures and by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals and the Illinois Arts Council Agency for editorial achievement. Celebrating over forty-five years of continuous publication, Obsidian’s full archive is available through JSTOR.