Fall 2023 Season Announcement
August 14, 2023
Cave Canem Announces Fall 2023 Programming Season, Award, and Fellowship Opportunities
BROOKLYN, NY – Today, Cave Canem, the leading non-profit organization committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of Black poets, announced its fall 2023 programming season, fellowship, and award opportunities.
Kicking off with the annual 2023 Cave Canem Poetry Prize Reading celebrating Ariana Benson’s debut poetry collection Black Pastoral at The Schomburg Center for Black Culture, Cave Canem’s fall season includes several opportunities for the public to celebrate and learn from the works of Black poets from New York City and beyond. The organization also announced application dates for its highly-regarded fellowship and award programs, open to poets of African descent from around the country.
“Cave Canem is excited to offer a series of programs reinforcing the importance of Black poetry and poets to the overall cultural landscape,” said Lisa Willis, Executive Director of Cave Canem. “The influence of Cave Canem’s community continues to grow, with Cave Canem poets and Fellows participating in interdisciplinary programs with institutions such as Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the Guggenheim Museum. We invite the public to participate in one of our programs this season and to experience the power of Black literary voices for themselves.”
All of Cave Canem’s programs are free and open to the public. Additional programs may be announced throughout the season. For more information on this season’s programming, awards, and application cycles, visit cavecanempoets.org.
Cave Canem Fall 2023 Programs and Award Opportunities
Cave Canem Prize Reading with Ariana Benson & Sharan Strange
September 12th, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. ET
Book Sales & Reception at 6:00 p.m. (ET)
Reading at 7:00 p.m (ET)
Book Signing at 8:00 p.m. (ET)
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
The American Negro Theatre
515 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10037
Join Cave Canem in celebrating Ariana Benson’s Black Pastoral–a poetry collection that explores Black peoples’ complex relationship with nature. It surveys the ways in which our histories (both Black and ecological), our suffering and our thriving, are forever wound around one another.
This program is supported, in part, by the Amazon Literary Partnership Poetry Fund in partnership with the Academy of American Poets; Consolidated Edison Company of New York; a Humanities New York Action Grant with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; National Endowment for the Arts; by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; New York State Council on the Arts; and the Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation. Co-presented by The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
2024 Cave Canem Fellowship Application
Application Period: September 22nd – November 10th
Since 1996, Cave Canem has awarded fellowships to more than 500 Black poets. Cave Canem Fellows are among the most distinguished poets in the field, not only as recipients of the highest literary honors and critical acclaim, but also for their service in communities across the country.
Each year a cohort of 10–20 new Fellows is selected based solely on the quality of their poems. Cohorts encompass a range of different aesthetics and poetic practices (spoken word, formalism, multimedia performance, text-based composition, etc.) to ensure an equity of voices in our gathering—all are united by the drive to improve craft.
The 2023 Cave Canem Retreat is supported, in part, by Heinz Endowments, Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the University of Pittsburgh.
Black Pastoral: A Reading Group
Tuesdays, 12:30PM – 1:15PM ET
October 3, 10, 17, and 24
Registration closes October 1, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (ET)
Join our Director of Programs, Dante Micheaux (2003), for a weekly virtual gathering to discuss Black Pastoral, winner of the 2022 Cave Canem Prize.
Participants will be invited to answer the question put forth in Sharan Strange’s introduction: “does Black presence challenge and complicate the notion of the pastoral?” The group will examine the text to determine where it sits in the Black poetic tradition as well as on the spectrum of ecopoetics.
This program is supported by a Humanities New York Action Grant with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Derricotte/Eady Prize Open Call
Application Period: October 6 – November 5, 2023
Since 2015, Cave Canem has collaborated with O, Miami to spotlight exceptional chapbook-length manuscripts by Black poets. The winner of the prize receives a $1000 award, publication of their manuscript by O, Miami Books, 10 copies of the chapbook, a residency in The Writer’s Room at The Betsy Hotel in Miami, and a featured reading at the O, Miami Poetry Festival in April. Previous judges include: Robin Coste Lewis; Dawn Lundy Martin; Ross Gay; Major Jackson; Danez Smith; Mahogany L. Browne; and Lillian-Yvonne Bertram.
Co-presented by O, Miami.
Regional Workshop Reading | Oakland
November 7, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (PT)
Refreshments at 6:30 p.m. (PT)
Oakstop Broadway; Broadway Gallery Suite
1721 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612
Join devorah major’s final Cave Canem Fall Workshop session for a reading from students and major herself.
Some poets create poems that center friends, family, or personal history. Others seem to be drawn to outward subject matter: the streets, politics, the stars, etc. Using the work of poets such as Wanda Coleman, E. Ethelbert Miller, Sonia Sanchez, Tim Siebles, Natasha Tretheway, and Oakland’s own Mahogany L. Browne, this workshop will look to create poetry which seeks a balance between the two and investigates poems that include the self without the use of “I.” The sessions are structured to include time for both writing and critiquing.
This program is supported by a grant from the Poetry Foundation.
Regional Workshop Reading | NYC
November 13, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (ET)
Refreshments at 6:30 p.m. (ET)
Cave Canem Headquarters
20 Jay Street, 310A, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Join Bakar Wilson’s final Cave Canem Fall Workshop session for a reading from students and Wilson himself.
Familiarity with traditional forms isn’t necessary for this generative workshop; we will play with language and look at poets who create forms for themselves: Harryette Mullen, John Yau, Elaine Equi, Carl Phillips and others. Let us play on the page. Be prepared to take risks. By studying and workshopping both these poets and your own work, we will create poems unlike others you have seen before to create new ways of writing poetry.
This program is supported by a grant from the Jerome Foundation and is also supported in part by the Consolidated Edison Company of New York and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Starshine & Clay Fellowship Application
Application Period: November 15th – December 17th
Cave Canem and EcoTheo Collective are pleased to announce the 2024 Starshine and Clay Fellowship. Developed in 2020, this initiative provides financial and developmental support to emerging Black poets. Named in honor of Cave Canem elder Lucille Clifton (“won’t you celebrate with me”), the Starshine and Clay Fellowship was developed to speak to the mentorship Clifton offered Cave Canem fellows during her tenure as faculty at the Cave Canem Retreat.
Two recipients will each receive $500 for a featured reading at the 2024 Wonder Festival. Fellowship recipients will also receive a one-on-one consultation with Aracelis Girmay. Additionally, the fellows’ work will be published in an issue of EcoTheo Review.
I bhFad IgCéin
November 16, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (ET)
Irish Arts Center, 2nd Floor
726 11th Avenue, New York, NY, 10019
Cave Canem has partnered with Poetry Ireland and its International Residencies program, I bhFad igCéin (Far Afield), to bring a poet to The City to write and experience the literary life abroad. At the end of her residency, Nithy Kasa will join Cave Canem Fellow Safia Jama (2014) in a reading at the Irish Arts Center.
This program is supported, in part, by the Amazon Literary Partnership Poetry Fund in partnership with the Academy of American Poets; Consolidated Edison Company of New York; National Endowment for the Arts; by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; New York State Council on the Arts; and the Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation.
Thank you to our funders who make Cave Canem programs possible:
Academy of American Poets; Amazon Literary Partnership Poetry Fund; Consolidated Edison Company of New York; Ford Foundation; Hawthornden Foundation; Heinz Endowments; Humanities New York; Jerome Foundation; Lannan Foundation;, Mellon Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; New York State Council on the Arts; Poetry Foundation; Rona Jaffe Foundation; Scherman Foundation, Seth Sprague Educational & Charitable Foundation; and the University of Pittsburgh.
About Cave Canem
Cave Canem is a nonprofit organization, committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of Black poets. Founded in 1996 to remedy the under-representation and isolation of African American poets in the literary landscape, Cave Canem fosters community across the African Diaspora to enrich the literary field by facilitating a nurturing space in which Black poets can learn, experiment, create, and present their work. To date, Cave Canem has grown from a gathering of 26 writers to become an influential movement with a renowned faculty, a high-achieving global fellowship of 500 poets, and a workshop community of over 1,000. In making a home for Black poets and poetry, Cave Canem has transformed American arts and letters.
Communications & Engagement Manager