Announcing our spring 2021 season!

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We’re delighted to share our spring 2021 season! As we continue to add to the list of events included here, we look forward to kicking off the season with “Writers’ Worktable: From the Editor’s Desk” with Duriel E. Harris and Ashaki M. Jackson in a few weeks. Events will be updated on our website regularly, and you can also be reminded about upcoming programs by connecting with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.



Writers’ Worktable: From the Editor’s Desk
Wednesday, February 17, 7pm ET
Poets/Editors Duriel E. Harris (Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora) and Ashaki M. Jackson (The Offing) discuss their editorial careers, the mission and work of the journals they manage, and working with and advocating for Black writers. REGISTER HERE.

Poets on Craft: Black Queer Memoirs
Thursday, March 4, 7pm
Pamela Sneed (Funeral Diva) and Arisa White (Who’s Your Daddy) discuss life writing and autobiography in recent books. Moderated by mace dent johnson. In partnership with New York University’s Creative Writing Program. REGISTER HERE.

Legacy Conversations: C. S. Giscombe and Nathaniel Mackey
Sunday, March 7, 7:30pm ET
Legacy Conversations features pre-eminent poets and scholars in dialogue about historical, aesthetic, political, and personal influences on craft and thought. In this edition, poets C. S. Giscombe, known for his meditations across geography and time, and Nathaniel Mackey, noted for his experiments with language and music, are led in conversation by Cave Canem fellow Jari Bradley. A featured event at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs 2021 Conference. A recording of the event will be made public following the presentation.

New Works: Southern Debuts
Tuesday, March 16, 7pm ET
Southern poets Steven Leyva (The Understudy’s Handbook), Rodney Terich Leonard (Sweetgum & Lightning), and Diamond Forde (Mother Body) discuss recent debut collections. REGISTER HERE.

First Books: Cheswayo Mphanza and Afaa Michael Weaver
Wednesday, March 24, 7pm ET
Cheswayo Mphanza discusses his recent debut, The Rinehart Frames, with Afaa Michael Weaver, who reflects on his own first book, Water Song (1985). In partnership with Bowery Poetry. REGISTER HERE.

New Dreams: Poems and Conversation
Friday, March 26, 8pm ET
Poets Kay Ulanday Barrett, Bernard Ferguson, torrin a. greathouse, and Khadijah Queen share new commissioned poems on the environment. This event is presented as part of the Poetry Coalition’s collaborative exploration of the theme “It is burning./ It is dreaming./ It is waking up.: Poetry & Environmental Justice.” Events in this series aim to demonstrate how poetry can positively provoke questions in communities about environmental justice and spark increased engagement with this urgent topic. In partnership with Lambda Literary. REGISTER HERE.

All that You Touch / You Change Poetry Festival
Wednesday, April 7, 7pm ET
In answer to these extraordinary and changing times, Poet Guides José Felipe Alvergue, Tamiko Beyer, Chen Chen, S. Brook Corfman, Carolyn Forché, and Aracelis Girmay will lead attendees in an offering (a meditation, a reading or a revelation) followed by a writing prompt. The audience will respond in real-time writing, creating and listening together as an act of communal power. Organized by Fordham University’s Poetic Justice Institute, in partnership with  Fordham College at Lincoln Center Dean’s Office, The Axe Houghton Foundation, Cave Canem, Kundiman, and The Ampersand and The Comma. REGISTER HERE.

Chapbook Launch: Wale Ayinla, with Mahogany L. Browne and Layla Benitez-James
Sunday, April 11, 2pm ET
Celebrate the launch of Wale Ayinla’s To Cast a Dream, winner of the 2020 Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize. The program features readings by Ayinla, prize judge Mahogany Browne, and 2017 Cave Canem Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize-winner Layla Benitez-James. A Q&A will follow. Sponsored in partnership with O, Miami Poetry Festival, Jai-Alai Books, and The Writer’s Room at The Betsy Hotel. REGISTER HERE.

New Works: Writing Grief
Wednesday, April 21, 7pm ET
Poets Saddiq M. Dzukogi (Your Crib, My Qibla), Natasha T. Miller (Butcher), Nikki Wallschlaeger (Waterbaby) read from recent collections that explore families dealing with grief. REGISTER HERE.

New Works: Black Womanhood and Girlhood Awakenings
Wednesday, April 28, 6pm ET
Poets Naomi Extra (Ratchet Supreme), Allison Joseph (Lexicon), and Simone Savannah (Uses of My Body) read from recent collections exploring common themes of racism and misogyny, sexuality, refusing expectation, intimacy, and celebrations of self. In partnership with The New School Creative Writing Program. REGISTER HERE.

First Books: Desiree C. Bailey and Aracelis Girmay
Wednesday, May 5, 7pm ET
Desiree C. Bailey discusses her recent debut, What Noise Against the Cane, with Aracelis Girmay, who reflects on her own first book, Teeth (2007). In partnership with Bowery Poetry. REGISTER HERE.

Writers’ Worktable: Poets on Research and Fellowships
Wednesday, May 12, 7pm ET
Poet/Scholars Joshua Bennett (Owed) and Bettina Judd (patient.) speak with Cave Canem’s Poetry Coalition Fellow Christopher J. Greggs about applying to fellowships and developing poetry projects that require in-depth research. Presented in partnership with the 2021 Massachusetts Poetry Festival. REGISTER HERE.

Writing Down the Noise: Spring Workshop Reading
Monday, May 17, 6pm ET
Participants in Cynthia Manick’s workshop, “Writing Down the Noise: “I” and Poetry,” read from new work developed during their explorations of the etymology of the self.

Portals into Language: Spring Workshop Reading
Thursday, May 20, 6pm ET
Participants in Ariel Francisco’s workshop, “Portals in Language,” showcase new and vibrant work inspired by their study of poems in translation.