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3rd of June 2021

Collective Futures: Writing Our Worlds

Since Cave Canem was established in 1996, its model of mentorship and fellowship has inspired a host of other organizations dedicated to the development of poets of color. In light of the upcoming Cave Canem 25th Anniversary Reunion, we are reflecting on our past and thinking about what’s next in poetry and with these literary…

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7th of May 2021

Black Poetry, American Sign Language, and Access: An Interview with Cynthia Norman

As the Coronavirus pandemic pushed many organizations and industries to convert to online platforms rather quickly, the need to center disability and access in everyday practices took center stage. The concerns these conversations raised were not new. If anything, the pandemic made more apparent the difficulties people with disabilities encounter when trying to engage in…

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8th of April 2021

Meet Development Intern Sonjirose Chin

In fall 2020, Sonjirose Chin started as a development intern at Cave Canem through her participation in the City University of New York (CUNY) Cultural Corps. The program provides internship opportunities for CUNY students to work in the New York City cultural sector, and is designed to address a lack of diversity in the cultural…

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12th of February 2021

Gifts of the Archivists: Cultivating Community

Remica Bingham-Risher There are fewer memories clearer for me during the time just after grad school than the evening Naomi Long Madgett called to tell me I’d won the book prize bearing her name. I was at my aunt and uncle’s house for some family get together; my parents were making plates in the kitchen,…

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14th of January 2021

Cave Canem South: Reflections of Black Literary Activism

Kwame Dawes Cave Canem South In the mid-2000s, I put together a proposal for Cave Canem to consider the establishment of a series of short workshops that focused on the poets working in the southern states of the U.S. The flagship annual Cave Canem Retreat, had, as I understood it then, been supplemented by a…

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27th of July 2020

5 Debut Queer Poets on What to Read for the Sealey Challenge

                Poet Nicole Sealey, former executive director of Cave Canem, began the Sealey Challenge as a way to seriously commit to reading poetry in spite of artistic, professional, and everyday personal demands. The rules are simple: read one book or chapbook of poetry for each of the 31 days in August. Because starting and…

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6th of July 2020

Dear Editor——: An Open Letter from Douglas Kearney

Scant days after Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd on May 25, 2020, I received an email from an editor of an online magazine. The email was a request to respond to the murder, calling upon—roughly—my expertise in antiblackness, my stature, and my proximity “on-the-ground” (an unfortunate choice of words) in the Twin Cities. Instead of…

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11th of June 2020

“Books I read at 3 a.m.: Pablo Neruda and Metta Sáma” by Jaqueline Johnson

We are living in a time of profound change which has affected our day-to-day lives and the ways of working, creating, governing and teaching. Many people are experiencing high levels of sleeplessness. Whenever I cannot sleep or I wake up at some ungodly hour, I grab a book and read. Among my early morning favorites…

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23rd of April 2020

National Poetry Month: Staff Book Picks

As always, our staff has also been discovering new books and returning to old favorites. Here is a list of what we’ve been getting into this month, with hopes that this glimpse into our reading practices inspires you to find new reads for the months ahead. 

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6th of April 2020

DOGBYTES Interview: Marissa Davis

Marissa Davis is a poet and translator from Paducah, Kentucky, currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. Her original poems have appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, Rattle, The Iowa Review, Sundog Lit, Raconteur and Peach Mag, among other journals; her translations are forthcoming in Ezra and Mid-American Review. She received a BA from Vanderbilt University and…

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2nd of January 2020

Poet of the Week: Samantha Thornhill

Bring Back Bring back the brown faces missing from milk cartons. Bring back our lost, our girls from Accra, Laventille, Gugulethu & the Bronx; dredge them up from swamps on the hills of capitals. Bring back search parties, flashlights small suns. Amber alert the diaspora to the town hall. Bring back our sons from their…

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17th of April 2019

DOGBYTES Interview: Kwoya Fagin Maples

Kwoya Fagin Maples’ debut poetry collection, MEND, (University Press of Kentucky, 2018) was finalist for the AWP Prize and received a grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation. Maples holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama and is a graduate Cave Canem fellow. Her work is published in several journals and anthologies including Blackbird…

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19th of March 2019

DOGBYTES Interview: Christopher Rose

Christopher Rose is originally from Seattle, Washington. His poems have appeared in Crabfat, Chelsea Station, Fjords Review, The Pariahs Anthology, Yellow Chair Review, TAYO Literary Magazine, The Hawaii Review, Drunk in a Midnight Choice, Cha Literary Journal and elsewhere. He is a Cave Canem fellow and VONA alum, who teaches creative writing, composition, African American…

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11th of March 2019

DOGBYTES Interview: Myronn Hardy

Myronn Hardy is the author of five books of poems: Approaching the Center, winner of the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award, The Headless Saints, winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, Catastrophic Bliss, winner of the Griot-Stadler Prize for poetry, Kingdom, and most recently, Radioactive Starlings. His poems have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, the…

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19th of February 2019

DOGBYTES Interview: Teri Ellen Cross Davis

Teri Ellen Cross Davis is the author of Haint (Gival Press, 2017), winner of the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry.  She has been awarded residencies at Hedgebrook, the Soul Mountain Writer’s Retreat, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is on the Advisory Council of Split…

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28th of January 2019

DOGBYTES Interview: Karisma Price

Karisma Price is a Cave Canem fellow and 2018 Best of the Net Nominee. Born and raised in New Orleans, LA, she holds a BA in creative writing from Columbia University and is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at New York University where she is a in the Public Schools Fellow. Her work has…

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5th of November 2018

DOGBYTES Interview: Dustin Pearson

Dustin Pearson is the author of Millennial Roost (Eyewear Publishing, 2018), and a McKnight Doctoral Fellow in Creative Writing at Florida State University. The recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, Pearson has served as the editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review and a Director of the Clemson…

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3rd of October 2018

DOGBYTES Interview: Safiya Sinclair

Safiya Sinclair is a poet and librettist born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She is the author of Cannibal (University of Nebraska Press, 2016), winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Addison M. Metcalf Award, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Poetry, the Phillis Wheatley Book Award and…

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19th of September 2018

Dogbytes Interview: Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram is the author of Personal Science (Tupelo Press, 2017); a slice from the cake made of air (Red Hen Press, 2016); and But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise (Red Hen Press, 2012), chosen by Claudia Rankine as the winner of the 2010 Benjamin Saltman Award. Bertram’s other publications include the artist book Grand Dessein (commissioned by Container Press), a mixed media…

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16th of August 2018

DOGBYTES Interview: Dawn Lundy Martin

Dawn Lundy Martin is a poet, essayist, and conceptual-video artist. She is the author of four books of poems: Good Stock Strange Blood (Coffee House, 2017); Life in a Box is a Pretty Life (Nightboat Books, 2015), which won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry; DISCIPLINE (Nightboat Books, 2011), and A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering (University of Georgia Press,…

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9th of April 2018

DOGBYTES interview: Layla Benitez-James

Layla Benitez-James is an artist and translator living in Alicante, Spain. Her chapbook, God Suspected My Heart Was a Geode But He Had to Make Sure, published by Jai-Alai Books, won the 2017 Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize. Benitez-James’ work has appeared in The Acentos Review, Anomaly, Guernica, Waxwing and elsewhere. Audio essays about…

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28th of March 2018

DOGBYTES interview: Aaron Coleman

A Cave Canem Fellow and Fulbright Scholar from Metro-Detroit, Aaron Coleman is the winner of the Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Contest, The Cincinnati Review Schiff Award, and the American Literary Translator Association’s Jansen Memorial Fellowship. His chapbook, St. Trigger, won the 2015 Button Poetry Prize, and his work can be found in Apogee, Boston Review, Fence, New York Times…

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7th of March 2018

Photo by Yanyi
DOGBYTES Interview: Derrick Austin

A Cave Canem fellow and Assistant Poetry Editor at Memorious, Derrick Austin’s poems and essays can be found in numerous publications such as Best American Poetry 2015, New England Review, Image: A Journal of Arts and Religion, and Blavity, among others. Selected by Mary Szybist for the A. Poulin Jr, Poetry Prize, Austin’s debut, Trouble the…

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20th of February 2018

Yolanda Wisher
DOGBYTES Interview: Yolanda Wisher

Named the inaugural Poet Laureate of Montgomery County Pennsylvania in 1999 and the third Poet Laureate of Philadelphia in 2016, Yolanda Wisher is a Cave Canem fellow whose work has been featured on numerous platforms including PoetryNOW, Ploughshares, Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade, and CBC Radio, among others. She has led workshops and curated events in…

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18th of January 2018

DOGBYTES interview: Ama Codjoe

Ama Codjoe has received fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation and Callaloo Writers Workshop. Her Pushcart Prize nominated poems have appeared in African Voices, Tidal Basin Review, Pluck!, Washington Square, Apex Magazine and are forthcoming in Callaloo. As the former director of the DreamYard Art Center in the South Bronx, Ama has taught and directed arts and social justice programming for young people as well…

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30th of October 2017

DOGBYTES Interview: t’ai freedom ford

t’ai freedom ford is a New York City high school English teacher and Cave Canem Fellow. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Drunken Boat, No, Dear, The African American Review, Vinyl, Muzzle, RHINO, Poetry and others. In 2012 and 2013, she completed two multi-city tours as a part of a queer women of color literary…

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10th of October 2017

DOGBYTES Interview: Aricka Foreman

Aricka Foreman‘s poetry and prose have appeared in The Drunken Boat, Minnesota Review, RHINO, Day One, Phantom, shufPoetry, James Franco Review, thrush, Vinyl, PLUCK!, and Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the Next Generation by Viking Penguin, among others. A Cave Canem and Callaloo alum, she is the author of Dream With A…

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20th of September 2017

DOGBYTES Interview: Darrel Alejandro Holnes

Cave Canem fellow Darrel Alejandro Holnes is the co-editor of On Poetics, Identity & Latinidad: CantoMundo Poets Speak Out, Happiness, The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, co-author of PRIME: Poetry & Conversations, and a recipient of the Cave Canem Residency at the Rose O’Neill Literary House. His poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, Callaloo,…

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7th of June 2017

DOGBYTES Interview: John Murillo

John Murillo’s first poetry collection, Up Jump the Boogie, was a finalist for both the 2011 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Open Book Award. His other honors include a 2011 Pushcart Prize, two Larry Neal Writers Awards, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Cave Canem Foundation, the New York Times, the Wisconsin…

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29th of March 2017

DOGBYTES Interview: Clint Smith

Clint Smith is a writer and doctoral candidate at Harvard University and has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, and the National Science Foundation. He is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion and was a speaker at the 2015 TED Conference. His writing has been published in The New Yorker, American…

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24th of February 2017

DOGBYTES Interview: Tara Betts

Tara Betts is the author of Break the Habit and Arc & Hue. Her chapbooks include the upcoming Never Been Lois Lane; 7 x 7: kwansabas; and THE GREATEST!: An Homage to Muhammad Ali. Tara holds an MFA from New England College and a Ph.D. from Binghamton University. Her poems, essays and short stories have…

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16th of November 2016

DOGBYTES Interview: Kyle Dargan

Kyle Dargan is the author of four collections of poetry, Honest Engine (2015), Logorrhea Dementia (2010), Bouquet of Hungers (2007) and The Listening (2003), all published by the University of Georgia Press. For his work, he has received the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and grants from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. His…

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27th of October 2016

Lucille Clifton & Sonia Sanchez: Mirrors & Windows

In this Legacy Conversation from 2001, former faculty Lucille Clifton and Sonia Sanchez read and discuss their work with fellow Eisa Davis. “I borrow something from Rudine Sims who said that all children, and I think all adults, as well, need mirrors and windows—mirrors in which they can see themselves; windows through which they can…

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5th of July 2016

Tina Chang & Tracy K. Smith’s conversation on poetry and friendship

In their talk at Cave Canem on May 19, “The Spirit That Is Charged: A Conversation about Poetry and Friendship,” Tina Chang and Tracy K. Smith offered a glimpse into their 20-plus years of friendship, sharing anecdotes and letters from their days as MFA students at Columbia and speaking with candor about writing, marriage, parenthood,…

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21st of June 2016

DOGBYTES Interview: Tyehimba Jess

Detroit native Tyehimba Jess’ first book of poetry, leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.” Olio, his second collection, was published by Wave Books in April 2016. Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU alumnus, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship…

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7th of June 2016

DOGBYTES Interview: Evie Shockley

2016 Cave Canem retreat faculty member Evie Shockley is the author of four collections of poetry—most recently, the new black, winner of the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry—as well as a critical study, Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry. Her poetry and essays appear widely in journals and anthologies, recently…

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23rd of May 2016

DOGBYTES Interview: Camille Rankine

Camille Rankine’s first full-length collection of poetry, Incorrect Merciful Impulses was published by Copper Canyon Press in January 2016. She is the author of the chapbook Slow Dance with Trip Wire, selected by Cornelius Eady for the Poetry Society of America’s 2010 New York Chapbook Fellowship, and a recipient of a 2010 “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize. Her poetry has…

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11th of May 2016

DOGBYTES Interview: Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, The New Yorker, and  Best American Poetry. His first book, Please (New Issues, 2008), won the American Book Award, and his second…

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