Explore African American Sonnets with Reginald Harris

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Regional Workshop (NYC): “all swirl and pivot:” African-American 

Sonnets with Reginald Harris

Mondays, 6:00PM – 9:00PM | Public Reading December 5

Cave Canem Foundation

Visit our Submittable page to Apply by September 19th

The Temps, all swirl and pivot, conjured schemes. –Patricia Smith, “Motown Sonnet”

Black poets have transformed the American Sonnet. Cave Canem’s FREE Fall 2022 regional workshop “all swirl and pivot” will take workshop participants through a wide range of sonnets from historical to contemporary, traditional and experimental, single poems to sonnet sequences and crowns, with extended looks at two practitioners of the “American Sonnet,” Wanda Coleman and Terrance Hayes.

Led by Cave Canem Fellow and formalist poet Reginald Harris, this workshop is for poets interested in a consistent writing practice and invested in exploring the Black American sonnet for inspiration. Poets will generate their own sonnets as they search for the freedom that can be found in formal constraint.

Participants will receive a  $250 honorarium dependent upon attendance and completion of a workshop evaluation. Workshop poets to be spotlighted at our December 5th public reading at Cave Canem headquarters.

Submissions to this workshop are free and open to New York City residents. Applications close on September 19th. To be considered, please submit a cover letter and five original poems.


Reginald Harris is Director of Library and Outreach Services for Poets House. A Cave Canem Fellow, Pushcart Prize nominee, and recipient of Individual Artist Awards for both poetry and fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council, his first book, 10 Tongues (Three Conditions Press, 2002), was finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and the ForeWord Book of the Year. His second collection, Autogeography, won the 2012 Cave Canem / Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize.

Former Associate Editor of the Lambda Literary Review, and member of the National Book Critics Circle, his poetry, fiction, book reviews, and articles have appeared in numerous journals and websites, including African-American ReviewBuzzFeedGay and Lesbian Review WorldwideSou’westerLGBTQ America Today: An Encyclopedia, and Gathering GroundOf Poetry and Protest, and The Ringing Ear anthologies. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner.



This program is supported by a grant from the Jerome Foundation. This program is also supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the Seth Sprague Educational & Charitable Foundation; and the Consolidated Edison Company of New York.