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May 2021

‘I’ and Poetry: A Reading

May 17 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Hear participants in Cynthia Manick's spring workshop “'I' and Poetry: Writing Down the Noise” as they share poetry the reflects the multitudes, myths, and etymologies of self as connected to the family you have or make, lovers, origin tales, music in the bones, the body electric, and how similar we are to myth, animal, or superhero. Free and open to the public. Join here: Cynthia Manick is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press, 2016) and editor of Soul Sister Revue: A…

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Raising the Dead: A Poetry Revision Master Class with January Gill O’Neil

May 19 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

How difficult has it been to write and revise during the pandemic and a tumultuous 2020? How do we re-envision work that moves beyond our own physical and emotional boundaries? Revision can feel overwhelming, particularly for emerging writers, but having strategies and tools for what to do can breathe life into lifeless work. Join January Gill O'Neil for a lively conversation on how to hone or revise both new and old work. Participants will perform close readings of poems and…

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Portals Into Language: A Reading

May 20 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Hear participants in Ariel Francisco's spring workshop “Portals Into Language” as they explore the poetics that break open our understanding of English, forge new paths, and create new doors into new imaginations. Free and open to the public. Join here: Ariel Francisco is the author of A Sinking Ship is Still a Ship (Burrow Press, 2020) and All My Heroes Are Broke (C&R Press, 2017). A poet and translator born in the Bronx to Dominican and Guatemalan parents and raised in Miami, his work…

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June 2021

A Kind of Heaven: The First Years of Cave Canem

June 13 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

In its first five years, the Cave Canem Retreat was hosted at Mount St. Alphonsus Seminary in Esopus, New York. Cave Canem has since kept many of the traditions from those first years alive while blossoming into a New York City-based nonprofit with a broad range of programs that further its mission of supporting Black poets. In this roundtable, co-founders Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady, faculty members Elizabeth Alexander and Afaa Michael Weaver, former fellow Hayes Davis, and former board…

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Opening Circle: Memorial

June 14 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The Cave Canem Retreat begins with an opening circle, where all 50 or so fellows, faculty, and staff share what brought them to the space. At once emotional, charged, and joyous, the opening circle breaks ground by inviting everyone to bring their full self to the week ahead and welcomes new fellows into a community of writers. In this spirit, poets from the Cave Canem Fellowship reflect on 25 years of being in community and pay tribute to former faculty…

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Let Me Tell You a Story: A Craft Lecture by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs

June 15 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Let me tell a story. Let me show you what I see, what I dream, where I fall/fail and where it can sometimes hurt. And then let’s talk about how I’ve used languages, where I may have fallen into a couple of hiccups, what makes me write now with caution (which pisses me off) because I am older and younger.  Let me tell you a story about a language that relies less on nouns and more verbs and thus, the…

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From Way Out Where: The Black Avant Garde

June 16 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

An evening of readings, fragments, ephemera, and conversation by some of America’s most vanguard black writers. Curated by the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics at the University of Pittsburgh, and moderated by Yona Harvey, this event promises the off kilter, the quasi-unhinged, some black quakes, and some possible blackest futures. REGISTER HERE. Douglas Kearney has published seven books, including SHO (Wave, 2021) and Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), winner of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, the CLMP Firecracker Award…

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June 17 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

In this craft lecture, Roger Reeves thinks with and through revelation in poetry. What do we mean when we say something is revelatory in poetry? Is it epiphany, confession, statement, or all of the above? What makes a particularly efficacious revelation in a poem? And, what is our current relationship to revelation when we live in era, in a time that eschews privacy? These questions about revelation are also tied to questions of the transformative. How do we make transformative…

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City of Asylum / Cave Canem Faculty Readings, 2010-2014

June 17 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Since 2010, Cave Canem has spent one day during the weeklong retreat at City of Asylum in Pittsburgh for daytime activities and an evening of faculty readings open to the public. This video collage of readings from the first five years of that partnership (2010-2014) highlights the rich diversity of poets who have taught at the retreat, and celebrates the treasured alliance of both organizations.

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“with love like black, our black”: Building Our Homes

June 19 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

In “The Sermon on the Warpland,” Gwendolyn Brooks urges readers to “Build now your church,” and to do so “With love like black, our black.” This roundtable features representatives from Cave Canem, Hurston/Wright Foundation, Furious Flower Poetry Center, and Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora in conversation about their collective histories and importance, the challenges they face, and the future of Black literary organizations. REGISTER HERE. This event is supported by American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and automated…

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