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Community Workshops

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Erica with participant.jpgSince 1999, nearly 1000 emerging poets have participated in Cave Canem’s community-based workshops, rare opportunities to work with accomplished poets for free or low-cost fees. Limited to an enrollment of 15, these ten-session workshops offer rigorous instruction, careful critique, and an introduction to the work of several poets—all within the welcoming environment of our Brooklyn, NY loft.

 

Spring 2021

Beginning/Intermediate Workshop

Writing Down the Noise: “I” and Poetry
Cynthia Manick

What elements or connections frame how we see ourselves in the mirror? How does the “I” move in the world? If there was a Wakandan tree of life, what would a poet put on its branches?  The etymology of the self is 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. We are more than our multitudes but how do we capture this on the page?

In this 10-week online workshop, participants will look at the work of literary ancestors and contemporary poets, including Lucille Clifton, Natalie Diaz, Audre Lorde, Joy Harjo, Terrance Hayes, Airea D. Mathews, Ross Gay and others who explore what the “I” can contain. Through weekly in-session freewrites, peer review, and written feedback, poets will write in a variety of forms, including direct address, confessional, persona, and praise. In writing down the self, participants will learn craft, identify the spark in their own work, and create the loud voice of “I”.

Dates: Mondays, 6 – 9:00 pm ET. March 8, 15, 22, 29, Apr 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10, and May 17 (final reading). Please note that workshop will not be scheduled for April 5.

Where: Virtual

Who’s eligible:
  • Adult, New York City-based poets of color at the early-to-intermediate stage of their writing endeavors.
  • Individuals who are not enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program.
  • Individuals who commit to attending all ten sessions.
  • Writers who have not published more than one collection of poetry with a commercial press.

Please note:  This is a 10-week commitment; if you anticipate absence from more than 2 sessions, please do not apply. Participants who attend at least 8 sessions will receive a $250 stipend.

To Apply: Please upload a document (with your name on every page) including:

  • Maximum of 5 pages of poems (no more than one poem per page) written in any style.
  • One-page cover letter that includes a bio and the following information, if applicable: (1) Cave Canem workshops you’ve attended, including instructor and year;  (2) previous publications and poetry prizes; and (3) what you wish to accomplish in the workshop.

Click here to apply. Applications are due February 22, 2021. By submitting your application, you agree to the aforementioned terms of eligibility and commit to attending all ten sessions.

This is a tuition-free workshop. Selection is by lottery, with preference given to applicants who are not Cave Canem fellows and who have attended fewer than three workshops.

Cynthia Manick is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press, 2016) and editor of Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation (Jamii Publishing, 2019) and The Future of Black: Afrofuturism and Black Comics Poetry (Blair Publishing, forthcoming 2021). She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, MacDowell Colony, and Château de la Napoule among others.  Winner of the Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry,  Manick was also awarded Honorable Mention for the 2019 Furious Flower Poetry Prize. She is Founder of the reading series Soul Sister Revue; and her poem “Things I Carry Into the World” was made into a film by Motionpoems, a organization dedicated to video poetry, and has debuted on Tidal for National Poetry Month. A performer at literary festivals, libraries, universities, and most recently the Brooklyn Museum, Manick’s work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day SeriesCallaloo, Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB), The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhereShe currently serves on the board of the International Women’s Writing Guild and the editorial board of Alice James Books.

 

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Intermediate/Advanced Workshop

Portals into Language
Ariel Francisco

As poets, language is both our inspiration and our medium, what we consume in order to create, what gets filtered through our creative imaginations and becomes uniquely our own. But what happens when we read and break down poems that come from elsewhere, that arrive into English from different languages and countries and cultures? How does a poem written in a completely different language with different rules and traditions break open our understanding of English, and how can we use that to forge new paths in our own writing, create new doors into new imaginations? In this workshop we will exam and analyze a range of poets in translation from non-US countries and non-English languages, venturing to a new location each week. We’ll look at the ways in which these poets bring their understanding of what a poem can do into English, how they expand our understanding of syntax and line, how their use and creation of metaphor is different from our own, how they build images in completely new (to us) ways. Each week we’ll have writing prompts derived from those readings in which we attempt to replicate some of the techniques we pull from the poems. Knowledge of a language other than English is not required.

Dates: Thursdays, 6 – 9:00 pm ET. March 18, 25, Apr 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, and May 20 (final reading).

Where: Virtual

Who’s eligible:
  • Adult, New York City-based poets of color beyond the beginning stage of their writing endeavors.
  • Individuals who are not enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program.
  • Individuals who commit to attending all ten sessions.
  • Writers who have not published more than one collection of poetry with a commercial press.

Please note:  This is a 10-week commitment; if you anticipate absence from more than 2 sessions, please do not apply. Participants who attend at least 8 sessions will receive a $250 stipend.

To Apply: Please upload a document (with your name on every page) including:

  • Maximum of 5 pages of poems (no more than one poem per page) written in any style.
  • One-page cover letter that includes a bio and the following information, if applicable: (1) Cave Canem workshops you’ve attended, including instructor and year;  (2) previous publications and poetry prizes; and (3) what you wish to accomplish in the workshop.

Click here to apply. Applications are due March 2, 2021. By submitting your application, you agree to the aforementioned terms of eligibility and commit to attending all ten sessions.

This is a tuition-free workshop, funded by the Jerome Foundation. The instructor will review applications and select up to 15 participants, with preference given to individuals who are not Cave Canem fellows and who have attended fewer than three workshops.

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 has been published in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, The Academy of American Poets, The New York City Ballet, and elsewhere.

 

 

 


Funder, New York City Fall and Spring Workshops: Jerome Foundation

Funders, Poetry Conversations Workshops: This program is funded in part by Poets & Writers through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; Amazon Literary Partnership; conEdison Consolidated Edison Company of New York; National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the Whiting Foundation.

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