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Workshops

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Erica with participant.jpgSince 1999, nearly 900 emerging poets have participated in Cave Canem’s community-based workshops, rare opportunities to work with accomplished poets for free or low-cost fees. Limited to an enrollment of 12-15, eight and ten-session workshops offer rigorous instruction, careful critique and an introduction to the work of established poets—all within the welcoming environment of our Brooklyn, NY loft.

“Writing and Revising in 3-D” with Joel Dias-Porter

In this workshop we will focus on the vectors of Rhythm (& Meter), Music, and Meaning; how they converge and how to skillfully employ various techniques, such as structural coherence, tension/resolution and the principle of alternation both within and across vectors in ways that are empirically proven to have both physiological and psychological impact on the readers of our poems. We will learn to employ these techniques as “Tools not Rules,” while both reading and writing in 3D (subtext, text and metatext) to enhance our abilities to both generate and revise our poems.

Dates: Wednesdays, 6-9 pm. September 13, 20 & 27; October 4, 11, 18 & 25; November 1 & 8; culminating reading: November 15.

Where: Cave Canem, 20 Jay Street, Suite 310-A, Brooklyn, NY.

Who’s eligible:

  • Adult black poets of African descent living in New York City’s five boroughs.
  • Individuals who are not enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program.
  • Individuals who commit to attending all ten sessions.
  • Individuals who are not Cave Canem fellows
  • Writers who have not  published more than one collection of poetry with a commercial press.

This is a tuition-free workshop, funded by The Jerome Foundation. The instructor will review applications and select up to 15 participants, with preference given to individuals who have attended fewer than three Cave Canem workshops.

The deadline to apply is August 21, 2017 at 11:59 pm EST. Applications will be accepted via Submittable only.

Click here to apply.

Joel Dias-Porter (@Diasporter) was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. He represented Washington, DC as either a team member or an individual competitor at the National Poetry Slam for six consecutive years from 1994-1999. He made the individual finals five years in a row and in 1998 and 1999 was also Heads Up Haiku Slam Champion. His work can be found in Time Magazine, POETRY, Mead, The Offending Adam, Best American Poets 2014, Callalloo, Ploughshares, Antioch Review, Red Brick Review, Asheville Review, and Beltway Quarterly. His work has been anthologized in Resisting Arrest, Gathering Ground, Love Poetry Out Loud, Meow: Spoken Word from the Black Cat, Short Fuse, Role Call, Def Poetry Jam, 360 Degrees of Black Poetry, Slam (The Book), Revival: Spoken Word from Lollapallooza, Poetry Nation, Beyond the Frontier, Spoken Word Revolution, and Catch a Fire. He has performed on the “Today Show,” “SlamNation” and in the film “Slam”. He is a Cave Canem fellow. He currently lives in Atlantic City, NJ.


“A Street in Brooklyn: Writing into the Urban Landscape” with DéLana R.A. Dameron

It was quite a time for loving. It was midnight. It was May.

Gwendolyn Brooks, “The Old-Marrieds”

In this workshop, writers will primarily read and meditate on Gwendolyn Brooks’ works as she “saw and heard in the street,” a poet who, “could look first on one side and then the other [of her apartment on the corner]. There was [her] material.”

Using Brooks’ model of poet as writing the urban landscape, we will write our own poems and discuss the importance of being in a present environment while also considering the poetry of our everyday: public transportation, parks, apartments and houses, neighborhoods and neighbors. The scene and unseen.  We will create an archive of poems of our today: poetry that sings and a poetry that urges us to see and remember.

Dates: Tuesdays, 6-8:30 pm; September 19 & 26; October 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31; culminating reading: November 7.

Where: Cave Canem Foundation, 20 Jay Street, Suite 310-A, Brooklyn, NY

Who’s eligible:

  • Poets of color living in New York City’s five boroughs.
  • Poets at the early-to-intermediate stage of their writing endeavors.
  • Individuals who commit to attending all eight sessions
  • Individuals who are not enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program
  • Individuals who are not Cave Canem fellows
  • Writers who have not  published more than one collection of poetry with a commercial press.

Fee: $30 – $240 (Choose the amount that’s right for you.)

Up to 15 participants will be selected by lottery, with preference given to applicants who have attended fewer than three workshops. Applications will be accepted via Submittable only.

The deadline to apply is August 28, 2017 at 11:59 pm EST. Applications will be accepted via Submittable only.

Click here to apply. 

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, DéLana R.A. Dameron is a writer and arts and culture administrator living in Brooklyn, NY. Dameron is the author of Weary Kingdom and her debut collection How God Ends Us was selected by Elizabeth Alexander for the 2008 South Carolina Poetry Book Prize. Dameron holds a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She has conducted readings, workshops and lectures all across the United States, Central America and Europe. For more information, visit  www.delanaradameron.com.

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Funder, New York City Fall and Spring Workshops: Jerome Foundation

Funders, Poetry Conversations Workshops: This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; Amazon Literary Partnership; conEdison Consolidated Edison Company of New York; National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the Whiting Foundation.

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