by Jennifer Brown
Hi everyone. I got back from Tin House Summer Writers Workshop on Monday. It was a great experience. A whole week devoted to learning the craft of writing spent with like-minded souls. I have a long post about it on my personal blog HERE in case you are interested.
Hope everyone is having a great summer and that the writing is going well.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
I should change the title. It's more than that. Cave Canem provides a safe space, a home, for fellowship and poetry amongst black poets. After multiple applications, I was accepted to attend their yearly retreat at the University of Pittsburgh at the end of June this year. The format is pretty intense. The 54 poets comprised of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year poets are split into about 8 workshop groups. We were each responsible for turning in a new poem by 10 am every day to be workshopped that afternoon with a different member of the faculty which included: Cornelius Eady, Toi Dericotte, Carl Phillips, Claudia Rankine, Ed Roberson, and Colleen McElroy.
The biggest surprise for me was the amount of personal revelation/lution that would take place. Cave Canem was not just a summer writing retreat for me, it was life changing. Really. There is something magical about stepping outside of the minority experience and into an instant family. Not any old family, but a family of poets. It was like being dipped in everything I was most passionate about. I think every poet of color should get that experience. Luckily, other organizations are following the trail blazed by Cave Canem:
Kundiman: for Asian American poets.
CantoMundo: for Latina/o poets.