Spring 2023 Season Announcement

Alt-text: Black and white collage of Spring 2023 Season featured poets.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

This spring, Cave Canem brings into focus poets working in the deep groove of their subject’s interiority.

The spring season opens with Robin Coste Lewis‘s To the Realization of Perfect Helplessness, in which she combines the explorer Matthew Henson’s epiphany and a trove of her grandmother’s photographs to create a talisman to refract time and space.

We then join The Studio Museum in Harlem and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture to present new poems commemorating Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.

Other highlights include a reflection on the contributions of Quincy & Margaret Porter Troupe; and the expansion of our Regional Workshops to three new cities.

We invite you to partake in the bounty of Black poetry!


Yours, etc.,

Dante Micheaux
Director of Programs

Spring 2023 Programs

February 28, 2023
New Works | To the Realization of Perfect Helplessness, with Robin Coste Lewis
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (ET)
The New School, University Center Auditorium
65 Fifth Ave., New York, New York 10011

In-Person Registration
Live-stream Registration

From the National Book Award–winning poet who changed the way we see art, the museum, and the Black female figure, comes To the Realization of Perfect Helplessness, a new work. Twenty-five years ago, Robin Coste Lewis discovered a stunning collection of photographs in an old suitcase under her grandmother’s bed. Join Cave Canem for a reading of the poetry Lewis joins to these vivid images.

March 1, 2023    
Invisible to Whom? | 70 Years of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (ET)
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Blvd., New York, New York 10037

In-Person Registration
Live-stream Registration

In celebration of the seventieth anniversary of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and Cave Canem commissioned three ekphrastic poems on the novel and Elizabeth Catlett’s sculpture Invisible Man: A Memorial to Ralph Ellison (2003). The commissioned poets include Cameron Awkward-Rich, Kadeem Gayle, and Lorelei Williams. 

In reference to the title of Ellison’s book, Toni Morrison once asked “But invisible to whom?” This collaboration used this question to center the artistic practices of those committed to making the invisible visible. These poetic contributions reframed the narrative around the book by focusing on houselessness, incarceration, and femme, trans, and LGBTQ-identifying people.  

In addition to these poems, on March 1, 2023, Ellison’s birthday, a public program will feature the poets in discussion at the Schomburg. In late spring, the Catlett sculpture, located across the street from Ellison’s West Harlem residence, will be the site of a live reading of the poems.

March 8, 2023
AWP | Off the Chain: Fellowship Reading
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (PT)
Town Hall Seattle
1119 8th Ave., Seattle, Washington 98101

In-Person Registration
Live-stream Registration

Experience Cave Canem’s signature off-site reading sponsored by Poetry Foundation. Featuring: Quenton Baker; Malika Booker; Teri Ellen Cross Davis; Yolanda J. Franklin; Elisabeth Houston; Bettina Judd; Shayla Lawz; Aurielle Marie; Maya Marshal; Arisa White; and more!

March 11, 2023     
AWP | Duende & The Harlem Arts Salon
3:20 p.m. – 4:35 p.m. (PT)
Seattle Convention Center, Summit Building
Ballroom 1, Level 5
900 Pine St., Seattle, Washington 98101

AWP Conference Registration
Live-stream Registration

In 2004, the successful San Diego art gallerist, Margaret Porter Troupe returned to Harlem with her husband, the award-winning poet, Quincy Troupe. Inviting their extensive, international circle of friends as featured guests, Margaret opened their historic apartment, with its sumptuous collection of art, to the public. This created perhaps the most exciting gathering of writers/artists since the Stein siblings in early-twentieth century Paris. Those fortunate enough to have gained entrance would have found themselves under the voices of Maryse Condé, Ta-Nehisi Coates or the grandee herself, Toni Morrison.

Cave Canem is privileged to host The Troupes in celebration of their contributions to literature and culture. 

Event Agenda: The first half of the program will be Margaret in conversation with Dante Micheaux on the history of the Harlem Arts Salon. The program’s second half will be Quincy reading from his recently published collected works, Duende: Poems from 1966—Now.

April 27, 2023   
I bhFad igCéin (Far Afield): Cave Canem and Poetry Ireland[CANCELLED]
7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (ET)
Irish Arts Center
726 11th Ave., New York, New York 10019

In-Person Registration
Live-stream Registration

Join Poetry Ireland Residency Fellow, Nithy Kasa, and Cave Canem Fellow, Safia Jama at the Irish Arts Center.

May 8, 2023
Regional Workshop Reading | Montgomery: “The Self” with Jacqueline Trimble
5:00PM – 8:00PM (CT)
Armory Learning Arts Center
1018 Madison Ave., Montgomery, Alabama 36104

In-Person Registration
Livestream Registration

Join the final Cave Canem Spring Workshop session in Montgomery, Alabama, for a public reading from students and Jacqueline Trimble.

May 17, 2023
Regional Workshop Reading | Minneapolis: “Laboratory Poetics” with Danez Smith
6:00PM – 9:00PM (CT)
Loft Literary Center
1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415

In-Person Registration
Livestream Registration

Join the final Cave Canem Spring Workshop session in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for a public reading from students and Danez Smith.

May 24, 2023
Regional Workshop Reading | NYC: “LOVE, Above All Things” with Falú
6:00PM – 9:00PM (EST)
Cave Canem
20 Jay St., 310A, Brooklyn, NY 11201

In-Person Registration
Livestream Registration

Join the final Cave Canem Spring Workshop session at Cave Canem Headquarters for a public reading from students and Falú.

June 12, 2023    
Janice Harrington, Duriel Harris, & Frank X Walker
7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (ET)
University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg Village Hall
150 Finoli Dr., Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601
In-Person Registration
Live-stream Registration

Cave Canem invites you to join our community for an intimate reading on the University of Pittsburgh’s Greensburg campus, showcasing members of our Faculty and enjoying a reception with our Fellows.

June 15, 2023          
Major Jackson, Tracie Morris, & Special Guest
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (ET)
Alphabet City, City of Asylum
40 West North Ave,, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212

In-Person Registration
Live-stream Registration

A reading from the decorated Faculty and Guest Poet of Cave Canem’s 26th Retreat for Black poets.