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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-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.


Spring 2017 Poetry Conversations: “We Are All Time Travelers Now” with Rio Cortez

Dates: Wednesdays, 6-8:30 pm. March 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29; April 5, 12; final reading with potluck refreshments: April 26.
Where: Cave Canem, 20 Jay Street, Suite 310-A, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

“The past is a life sentence, a blunt instrument aimed at tomorrow.”

― Claudia Rankine

This workshop will focus on time. We will discuss, read, and workshop poems about literal time, and learn various craft approaches to time-keeping in our work. We also will engage with and workshop poems that address history, our changing times, and futurism. In a climate that feels like we are slipping backward through time, we will travel. This will be a living workshop that acknowledges current events each week as a mirror and forum for our collective work.

Who’s eligible:

  • Adult poets of color at the early-to-intermediate stage of their writing endeavors.
  • Individuals who are not enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program.
  • Individuals who commit to attending all eight sessions.

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

Selection is 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 to this workshop has passed. Guidelines for fall workshops will be available Summer 2017.

Cortez, Rio -chapbook headshotRio Cortez is a Pushcart-nominated poet, who has received fellowships from Poets House, CantoMundo and Cave Canem Foundations. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in a number of journals, including The Miami Rail, The OffingCortland ReviewPrairie Schooner, and The New Yorker. Her chapbook I have learned to define a field as a space between mountains (Jai-Alai Books, 2016) was selected by Ross Gay in 2015 as the inaugural winner of the Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize.

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.

Spring 2017 Writing across Cultures: “Our Poems, Our Selves” with Joseph O. Legaspi

Dates: Tuesdays, 6-9 pm; February 28; March 7, 14, 21, 28; April 4, 11, 18, 25; final reading with potluck refreshments: May 2.
Where: Cave Canem Foundation, 20 Jay Street, Suite 310-A, Brooklyn, NY

This workshop aims to celebrate and challenge our identities as poets of color in these daunting, uncertain times. With weekly writing exercises and study of published works, participants will focus on the creation of drafts, elaborating on intent and process. We will tap into memory, autobiography, and history in devising how we convey our particular stories. Craft will inform how we curate and form the page. Through personal lyric and narratives, we hope to situate ourselves with urgency as an un-ignorable part of the American literary landscape.

Who’s eligible:

  • Poets of color and Arab American poets, intermediate-to-advanced
  • Residents of NYC’s 5 boroughs
  • Individuals who commit to attending all 10 sessions
  • Individuals who are not enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program
  • Individuals who are not Cave Canem fellows

This is a tuition-free workshop, funded by 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 to this workshop has passed. Guidelines for fall workshops will be available Summer 2017.

legaspi_joseph_oc-rachel-eliza-griffithsJoseph O. Legaspi is the author of two full-length collections from CavanKerry Press,Threshold (2007) and Imago (2017), winner of a Global Filipino Literary Award, and two chapbooks: Aviary, Bestiary (Organic Weapon Arts), winner of The Blair Prize, and Subways (Thrush Press).  A Fulbright and NYFA fellow, his recent work has appeared in POETRY, New England Review, Tuesday; An Art Project, Memorious, Orion and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day. With Sarah Gambito, he co-founded Kundiman, a non-profit literary organization serving Asian American writers.

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

Funders, Poetry Conversations Workshops: Amazon Literary Partnership, conEdison Consolidated Edison Company of New York, National Endowment for the Arts, Public Funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Poets & Writers, and the Whiting Foundation.


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