Announcing our fall 2020 season!

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Cave Canem is pleased to announce our fall 2020 season! We are delighted to kick off the fall with Douglas Kearney, who will present “I Killed, I Died: Banter, Self-Destruction, and the Poetry Reading” as part of the Bagley Wright Lecture Series on Poetry. In the coming months, Cave Cavem will celebrate several new books, including Semiotics from Chekwube Danladi, winner of the 2019 Cave Canem Poetry Prize.

In addition to our New Works and Poets on Craft series, this year we are excited to launch two new programs: First Books and Writers Worktable. First Books invites Black poets with debut books to be in conversation with a writer of color who has inspired their writing. This program offers an in-depth look at the creation of a current debut, and the creative growth the accompanying poet has experienced since their first publication. Writers Worktable showcases individuals who are involved in poetry, but not necessarily poets. This series focuses on “the business of poetry,” giving Black poets skills and insight beyond craft that will help to develop and advance their work.

We are grateful to continue our local partnerships with the New York University Creative Writing Program and the Creative Writing Program at the New School in New York City, as well as welcome new collaborations with Bowery Poetry, Kundiman, Milkweed Editions, and the Bagley Wright Lecture Series on Poetry.

Cave Canem looks forward to learning and celebrating with you this fall! As all programs and events will be virtual, reservation details will be made available in the weeks before each scheduled presentation. Please sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to remain updated on events and other exciting news.


Friday, September 25, 6:30 p.m. EST
Douglas Kearney
“I Killed, I Died: Banter, Self-Destruction, and the Poetry Reading”
In partnership with the Bagley Wright Lecture Series on Poetry
Douglas Kearney‘s lecture gets into the tension between pain and its performance, comedians’ ideas of “killing” and “dying,” along with tips on how to sprint into a stone wall without getting hurt much. RSVP here.

Wednesday, September 30, 6 p.m. EST
A Reading and Conversation with Ross Gay and Aimee Nezhukumatathil
In partnership with Kundiman and Milkweed Editions
A celebration of the publication of Ross Gay’s Be Holding: A Poem and Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments, moderated by Cathy Linh Che of Kundiman and Malcolm Tariq of Cave Canem. RSVP here.

Friday, October 2, 8 p.m. EST
2019 Cave Canem Poetry Prize Reading
In partnership with NYU Creative Writing Program
Chekwube Danladi, winner of the 2019 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, reads from Semiotics alongside runner-up Nicholas Goodly and contest judge Evie Shockley.

Monday, October 19, 7 p.m. EST
First Books: Destiny O. Birdsong and Tarfia Faizullah
In partnership with Bowery Poetry
Destiny O. Birdsong discusses her recent debut, Negotiations, with Tarfia Faizullah, who reflects on her own first book, Seam.

Saturday, October 25, 3 p.m. EST
Black Futures, Black Pasts
Yona Harvey (You Don’t Have to Go to Mars for Love) and Cherene Sherrard (Grimoire) will read from recent books, followed by a conversation with Kush Thompson on writing Black futures and working with primary source materials.

Wednesday, October 28, 6 p.m. EST
Poets on Craft: Writing “The Life of…”
In partnership with The New School Creative Writing Program
Rita Dove (Sonata Mulattica: A Life in Five Movements and a Short Play) and Janice N. Harrington (Primitive: The Art and Life of Horace H. Pippin) give insight into writing poetry that envisions the lives of prominent Black artists with Natasha Oladokun.

Saturday, November 7, 12pm EST
First Books: Jessica Lanay and Bhanu Kapil
In partnership with Bowery Poetry
Jessica Lanay discusses her recent debut, am-phib-ian, with Bhanu Kapil, who reflects on her own first book, The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers.

Thursday, November 12, 7:30 p.m. EST
New Works: Cave Canem Fellows
Cave Canem fellows Aricka Foreman (Salt Body Shimmer), Dave Harris (Patricide), and Valencia Robin (Ridiculous Light) read from recent collections.

Saturday, November 14, 3-5 p.m. EST
“When Poetry Meets Memoir”: A Masterclass with Anastacia-Renee
In this masterclass, Anastacia-Renee encourages writers to take memoires and infuse two or more poetic devices to create one new piece of multi-genre, hybrid work. Participants discover new ways to achieve vivid “storytelling,” personal archiving, and point of view.

Tuesday, November 24, 7:30 p.m. EST
Writers Worktable: Criticism in Focus
Jerome Ellison Murphy (“Conspicuous Erudition: The New Black Poetry”) and Anthony Reed (Freedom Time: The Poetics and Politics of Black Experimental Writing) discuss the role of criticism, contextualizing poetry, and the state and future of Black poetry.

Thursday, December 10, 7:30 p.m. EST
New Works: Blacqueer Debuts
Blacqueer poets Jubi Arriola-Headley (original kink), Taylor Johnson (Inheritance), and Romeo Oriogun (Sacrament of Bodies) read from recent collections.