CWW Cofounder/Artistic Director named Center for Art + Social Justice Fellow at Vermont College of Fine Arts

https://vcfa.edu/center-for-arts…/center-fellowships/. About the fellowship, our Artistic Director says: “I am honored to accept the Center for Arts + Social Justice Fellowship from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, which will support my book of Romani poetry in translation. I am a first-generation American of Romani Hungarian heritage, and I am translating the work of Romani poets such as Alexandre Romanès, Magda Szécsi, and Bronislawa Wajs (a.k.a. Papusza), many of whom have not yet been translated into English. Poetry can be a powerful vehicle to bear witness to authentic Romani stories that need to be told. History gives us evidence for the forced exodus of Roma from India, 500+ years of Romani slavery, and the Porajmos (genocide of Roma during WWII). Today, many Romani people are disenfranchised and continue to suffer from systemic and targeted racism. Meanwhile, the ‘G*psy’ image in pop culture has largely been written by non-Roma. Romani scholar Ian Hancock writes about how this is problematic and has resulted in the emergence of a fictitious ‘G*psy’ stereotype. Even in the face of oppression, the Romani people have remained resilient and have a vibrant and rich culture with a shared language and traditions that have endured centuries. Reading Romani poetry in translation is invaluable to our development of more multi-faceted perspectives and part of the work of anti-bias education. Personally, I agree with Edith Grossman’s assessment in her book Why Translation Matters, that ‘Translation always helps us to know, to see from a different angle, to attribute new value to what once may have been unfamiliar. As nations and as individuals, we have a critical need for that understanding and insight. The alternative is unthinkable.’” www.diananorma.com | Twitter: @DNSwrites | Instagram: @DianaNormaWrites

Delighted to Announce Our Disobedient Futures Authors

We are excited to announce that the authors for our forthcoming anthology Disobedient Futures have been selected. We are delighted to celebrate the following authors in our anthology:

Rasha Abdulhadi | Paul Daniel Ash | Madeleine Barnes | Rita Banerjee | Emma Bolden | Alex Carrigan | Kholoud Charaf | Marlena Chertock | Charlene Elsby | Ayokunle Falomo | Robin Hemley | Helen Hofling | Candace Jensen | Shirley Jones-Luke | Liz Kellebrew | Brian Leung | Krysia Wazny McClain | Adam McOmber | Diana Norma Szokolyai | Megan Otto | Martin Ott | Corine Previte | Thaddeus Rutkowski | Mark Salzwedel | Kyle Scott | David Shields | Margo Taft Stever | Bianca Stone | Ella Voss | Maya Williams | Ceceilia Woloch

Stay tuned for more details about Disobedient Futures!

With all the best,
The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Editors

Happy New Year 2021!

Many thanks and much love to everyone who worked with us this year. We are sending hope for a joyful New Year to all our students, writers, staff, and faculty. CWW simply could not be what it is without all of you.

We’ve been busy this year, despite everything, and we’re so grateful to everyone who has lent their time, art, and expertise to our community. Together, our staff and writers held virtual benefit readings on Facebook Live to raise funds for organizations like the Institute of International Education, the Boston Resiliency Fund, and Black Visions Collective. We got in a visit to AWP where we were able to read, write, and learn as a community. We organized a full season of summer virtual writing workshops with some beloved faculty to teach on specialized topics ranging from looking at inspiration in Spanish literature in translation to using yoga as a tool for creation and insight. And amidst these events, staff and volunteers have been hard at work behind the scenes editing our upcoming Disobedient Futures anthology, full of new speculative fiction and poetry from both new and returning writers in the CWW community.

There is so much we’ve accomplished this year that we can be proud of, and there is even more to look forward to in the future as the world around us brightens and heals.

Best wishes for 2021! We’ll see you there!

Happy Holidays from Cambridge Writers’ Workshop

Holiday Greetings from the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. We wanted to wish you a safe, happy, and holiday season. We know this year hasn’t been easy but through grit, determination, and positivity, let’s finish this year strong! Thank you for your continuous support and we are looking forward to working with you in 2021!

Sincerely,

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop

Livestream Event: CWW Benefit Reading for the Institute of International Education * Friday, July 24, 8-9 pm EDT

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop
Institute of International Education Benefit Readig
July 24, 2020 8:00pm—9:00pm EDT on Facebook Live

ChagallPAC’s Fourth Friday Literary Salon Series & the Cambridge Writers Workshop present a livestream reading event to benefit International Students in the US via the Institute of International Education (IIE) on July 24, 2020 at 8:00-9:00 p.m. In light of recent pressures against allowing international students to stay in the United States during COVID-19, we would like to emphasize our support of international connection and study. Many of our own writing retreats are held abroad, and since we have come to understand firsthand the importance of international exchange, we hope to show solidarity with international students during this time by directing resources and attention to IIE.

“IIE’s mission is to help people and organizations leverage the power of international education to thrive in today’s interconnected world.”

“We believe that when education transcends borders, it opens minds, enabling people to go beyond building connections to solving problems together. Our vision is a peaceful, equitable world enriched by the international exchange of ideas and greater understanding between people and cultures.”

IIE focuses on work that “advances scholarship, builds economies, and promotes access to opportunity.” They run over 200 programs for international students with more than 29,000 participants.

If you would like to join us in supporting IIE’s work, you can learn more about making a direct donation here.

Learn more about the authors who will be joining us and participating in our reading:

Stephen Aubrey is a Brooklyn-based writer and theater-maker. His fiction and essays have appeared in CRAFT Literary, Electric Literature, Publishing Genius, and The Brooklyn Review. As a co-founder and co-artistic director of The Assembly Theater Company, his plays have been produced at The New Ohio Theater, The Living Theater, The Ontological-Hysteric Theater, The Flea Theater, The Collapsable Hole, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival where his original play, We Can’t Reach You, Hartford, was nominated for the prestigious Fringe First Award. He is an instructor of English at Brooklyn College.   

Nandini Bhattacharya was born and raised in India and has called the United States her second continent for the last thirty years. Wherever she has lived, she has generally turned to books for answers to life’s big and small questions. Her short stories have been published in Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, Storyscape Journal, Raising Mothers, The Bacon Review, The Bangalore Review, OyeDrum, and Ozone Park Journal. She has attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Workshop and held residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, VONA, and Craigardan Writers Residency (forthcoming). She was first runner-up for the Los Angeles Review Flash Fiction contest (2017-2018), a finalist for the Fourth River Folio Contest for Prose Prize (2018), long-listed for the Disquiet International Literary Prize (2019 and 2020), and a finalist for the Reynolds-Price International Women’s Literary Award (2019). Love’s Garden is her first novel. She is currently working on a second novel about love, racism, xenophobia and other mysteries, titled Homeland Blues. She lives outside Houston with her family and two marmalade cats.

Elizabeth Devlin is a visual artist, poet, singer, and multi-instrumentalist. She is the curator of numerous art, music and literary events including the series: The Highwaymen NYC, Prose By Any Other, and Token Folk Acoustic.   As the Founding Director of Bessie’s, a private artist studio and salon, Devlin hosts art, community, literary and acoustic music events in Brooklyn.  Devlin has toured nationally and internationally for over a decade. An Autoharpist and singer-songwriter with avant-garde-folk sensibilities, she defies traditional song structures, weaving small worlds where magic and fantasies collide. Devlin’s third full-length album, Orchid Mantis, released in 2017, received 4.5/5 from Impose Magazine and is the follow-up to the previously released albums: For Whom the Angels Named, in 2011, Ladybug EP in 2011 and All Are Relative, in 2009.  In 2020, Devlin will release her second EP, Conscientious Objector.  Post-COVID, Devlin will continue to tour and will release her fourth full-length album, My Father’s Country.

Heather Thomas Loepp is pursuing an MFA in creative writing; meddling with her favorites: poetry, hybrid and the lyric essay. She has worked previously as a journalist, writing profiles on local artists, events, and the music scene—writing songs long before poetry in bands since childhood. Her poetry explores Native American mixed-blood identity, the camaraderie that can be found in poverty, and intergenerational trauma with humor & tenderness. She is working on publishing her first book of poems, entitled If I Were an Unhooked Rabbit. Heather spends her free time cooking elaborate meals for no one in her tiny house in the woods, where the fear of being mauled by a neighborhood cougar is a daily concern. Please send help or dinner guests. 

Diana Norma Szokolyai is the Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and co-founder of Chagall Performance Art Collaborative. Her books are CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing, Parallel Sparrows, and Roses in the Snow. Her poetry manuscript, Milk & Water, was a finalist for Hunger Mountain’s 2020 May Day Mountain chapbook series. Her poetry was also shortlisted for the 2018 Bridport Prize and received honorable mention in the 87th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition. Her work has been published in MER VOX Quarterly, VIDA, Quail Bell Magazine, The Boston Globe, Luna Luna Magazine, and has been anthologized in Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Teachers As Writers, and Die Morgendämmerung der Worte Moderner Poesie-Atlas der Roma und Sinti. Her poetry–music collaborations have hit the Creative Commons Hot 100 list and been featured on WFMU radio.

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Virtual Summer Writing Retreat * July 11 – August 1, 2020

Join us for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop’s Virtual Summer Writing Retreat each Saturday from July 11 – August 1, 2020. Our featured faculty includes David Shields, Tim Horvath, Rita Banerjee, and Diana Norma Szokolyai.  All of our classes will be held online, and students are encouraged to register for each class by 11 am EDT on the Friday before each class meeting.

How to Register:

Students can sign-up individually for each class for $100 per class, or join a course series for $200 or $300 per class unit. To register for class, please send in a short 1-5 page writing sample, 2 professional references, and a cover letter conveying your interest and a short bio of who you are as an author and where you are with you creative writing. This information will help our writing faculty get to know you as a writer and your writing goals. Writers of all genres (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, and film) are welcome to participate in our virtual summer writing retreat.

To join our Virtual Summer Writing Retreat, you will need access to broadband internet and a working video-camera and microphone on your computer. All classes will be taught on either Google Hangouts or Zoom. Invitations to class URLS will be sent out to all registered users before our classes begin, and instructors may share reading materials for class with registered students via Dropbox or Google Drive. All classes are first-come first-serve for registration, and in case a class fills to capacity, we will refund you in full.

More information regarding our faculty, scheduling, and how to register for classes follows below.  Sign up now for each class individually or as a package at cww.submittable.com!

Class Schedule:

Featured Courses:

About David Shields:

David Shields is the internationally bestselling author of twenty-two books, including Reality Hunger (recently named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade by LitHub), The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead (New York Times bestseller), Black Planet (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), and Other People: Takes & Mistakes (NYTBR Editors’ Choice). Nobody Hates Trump More Than Trump: An Intervention was published in 2018, The Trouble With Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power appeared in 2019. James Franco’s adaptation of I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel, which Shields co-wrote and co-stars in, was released in 2017 (available now on Amazon, iTunes/Apple TV, Vudu, Vimeo, Kanopy, and Google Play); Shields wrote, produced, and directed Lynch: A History, a 2019 documentary film about Marshawn Lynch’s use of silence, echo, and mimicry as key tools of resistance (rave reviews in the New Yorker, the Nation, and dozens of other publications; film festival awards all over the world; available now on all of the same platforms listed above). A recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships and a senior contributing editor of Conjunctions, Shields has published fiction and nonfiction in the New York Times MagazineHarper’sEsquireYale ReviewSalonSlateTin House, A Public SpaceMcSweeney’sBelieverHuffington PostLos Angeles Review of Books, and Best American Essays. His books have been translated into two dozen languages.

Join us from 1-3 pm EDT on Saturday July 11, 18, and 25 for David Shields’s Summer Writing Retreat series Six Prison Breaks (Beyond Traditional Narrative), or How to make your work reflect what it feels like to be alive now rather than what it felt like to be alive in 1920.”

In this class we’ll investigate the following topics through a combination of brief videotaped lecture, live lecture, handouts, and class discussion, exploring the myriad ways in which you might deploy similar strategies in your own work.

1. Class 1 – Saturday, July 11, 1 -3 pm EDT online

Brevity and Journal. We’ll read and discuss flash nonfiction, mini-essays, prose-poems, poeticized journals, thematized diaries. All these forms are a way to try to lean in to the velocity and interconnectedness of contemporary existence without, in any way, sacrificing depth, rigor, complexity, nuance, sophistication.

2. Class 2 – Saturday, July 18, 1 – 3 pm EDT online

Collage, Remix, Appropriation. In our second class, we’ll build off our first class and think about how to take these fragments, these crystallized moments, and build them into an entire book. We’ll also explore how these fragments might be yours, but they might also—when transformed—come from the culture at large.

3. Class 3 – Saturday, July 25, 1-3 pm EDT onlinePhoto,

Film, and Collaboration. The fractal elements need not be written. They might still image or cinematic montage. And they might arise from your collaboration with someone else. The point of all these gestures is to free yourself up from seeing a book or essay or story or novel as a dutifully linear operation. Maybe it could be a liberatingly open-ended text.

About Diana Norma Szokolyai:

Diana Norma Szokolyai is a writer and yoga teacher. Her books are CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing, Parallel Sparrows, and Roses in the Snow. Her poetry manuscript Milk & Water, was a finalist for Hunger Mountain’s 2020 May Day Mountain chapbook series. Her poetry was also shortlisted for the 2018 Bridport Prize and received honorable mention in the 87th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition. Her work has been published in MER VOX Quarterly, VIDA, Quail Bell Magazine, The Boston Globe, Luna Luna Magazineand has been anthologized in Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Teachers As Writers, and Die Morgendämmerung der Worte Moderner Poesie- Atlas der Roma und Sinti. Her poetry – music collaborations have hit the Creative Commons Hot 100 list and been featured on WFMU-FM. She is co-founder and Artistic Director of Chagall Performance Art Collaborative and the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. She first learned yoga and meditation at the age of fourteen and continued to practice and learn a variety of styles of yoga over the next 24 years, until deciding to pursue her yoga teacher certification to deepen her practice. Diana Norma Szokolyai specializes in Hatha flow, Yin and meditation. Her teaching style focuses on supporting students to set intentions, find proper alignment, and engage not only with the physical, but also the philosophical and spiritual aspects of yoga. She teaches at Green Tea Yoga in Salem, MA.

Join us from 10 a.m. – 12 noon EDT on Saturday July 11 & 18 for Diana Norma Szokolyai’s Summer Writing Retreat series “YOGA MEETS WRITING: The Root & Heart Chakras”:

CLASS 1: July 11 10 a.m. – 12 noon: Yoga Meets Writing: The Root Chakra Session

10 a.m.- 10:45 a.m. Chakra Flow YogaIn Sanskrit, “chakra” means wheel or disk, and in yoga, we refer to seven chakras, or spiritual energy centers in the body. When the chakras are in balance, we feel vibrant, joyful, and serene. Chakra flow will incorporate a hatha flow, focusing on alignment and energizing asanas, as well as a calming yin flow. All Levels Welcome!  

         -break to refresh and change – 

11:00 a.m.- 12 noon Craft of Writing Seminar: ALL GENRES (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction)

After having practiced yoga for the first hour, in the second hour, we will discuss how the root chakra relates to our writing practice and rituals. The root chakra governs our feelings of security, and on the flip side, fear. We will discuss how these feelings influence our writing rituals and share practical information and best practices. We will also discuss how the root chakra can be used as a metaphor to dig deeper into the roots of our narratives. Looking at character backstories, etymology, and history, we will discover what is under the earth of our narratives and what grounds our storytelling craft. This second part will be part lecture, part discussion forum, and will also include writing exercises.

CLASS 2: July 18 10 a.m. – 12 noon: Yoga Meets Writing: The Heart Chakra Session

10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Chakra Flow Yoga
In Sanskrit, “chakra” means wheel or disk, and in yoga, we refer to seven chakras, or spiritual energy centers in the body. When the chakras are in balance, we feel vibrant, joyful, and serene. Chakra flow will incorporate a hatha flow, focusing on alignment and energizing asanas, as well as a calming yin flow. All Levels Welcome! 

         -break to refresh and change – 

11:00 a.m.- 12 noon Craft of Writing Seminar: ALL GENRES (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction)
After having practiced yoga for the first hour, in the second hour, we will discuss how the heart chakra governs our feelings of compassion, empathy, gratitude, but also on the flip side, jealousy and envy. We will talk about how these vulnerable feelings enter into our poems, narratives and stories through the speaker or characters. We will also discuss the question: “What is at the heart of a poem or narrative?” Sometimes, it takes a little opening up, or peeling back of our first draft to get to the heart moments of our writing. We will discuss revision strategies that can help us think more deeply about this sort of question.

CLASS 3: August 1, 2020 1-3 p.m.  Surrealist Literary Salon & Reading With Summer Writers Join us from 1 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday August 1, 2020 for Surrealist Literary Salon & Reading with Summer Writers

Come play Surrealist and OULIPO Literary Games with Diana Norma Szokolyai and Writers from the CWW Virtual Summer Retreat. After playing some fun and generative literary games, participants will be invited to read (5 min max) from any piece written during the games or over the course of the CWW Virtual Summer Writing Workshop. It is optional to read– feel free to just come for the literary games!

About Rita Banerjee:

Rita Banerjee is the Director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and Creative Executive Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop.  She’s the author of several books including CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, 2018), the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (FLP, 2018), which was nominated for the 2019 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize at the Academy of American Poets, the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (SPR, 2016), and the poetry chapbook Cracklers at Night (FLP, 2010).  She is the co-writer of Burning Down the Louvre (2021), a documentary film about race, intimacy, and tribalism in the United States and in France. Her work also appears in PANK, Nat. Brut., Poets & Writers, Academy of American Poets, Vermont Public Radio, and elsewhere.

Join us from 10 am – 12 pm EDT on Saturday July 25 and August 1 for Rita Banerjee’s Summer Writing Retreat class “Emotion & Suspense in Theatre, Poetry, and (Non)Fiction”:

Plato argues that human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.  And before staging Kalidasa’s The Recognition of Śākuntalā, the director challenges his actress-lover: “As though in a painting, the entire audience has had their emotion colored through your melody.  So now—what shall we perform to sustain the mood?”  In this class, we will explore how creating vivid emotional worlds between characters and within storylines can build suspense, sustain drama, and lure the reader deeper in. Whether you’re currently working on a short story, novel, screenplay, theatrical play, lyrical essay, memoir, or narrative poem this class will help you craft a unique emotional landscape

1. Session 1 – Saturday, July 25, 10 am – 12 pm EDT online
Class seminar and writing session on rasa theory.

2. Session 2 – Saturday, August 1, 10 am – 12 pm EDT online
Workshop and sharing of writing featuring students’ rasa theory exercises.

About Tim Horvath:

Tim Horvath is the author of Understories (Bellevue Literary Press), which won the New Hampshire Literary Award for Outstanding Work of Fiction, and Circulation (sunnyoutside). His fiction has appeared in ConjunctionsAGNIHarvard Review, and many other journals, and his book reviews appear in Georgia ReviewThe Brooklyn Rail, and American Book Review. His novel-in-progress focuses on the lives of contemporary classical composers and musicians. He has taught Creative Writing in the Granada, Spain, program for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, and in the BFA and MFA programs at New England College, including the Institute of Art and Design.

Join us from 3:30-5:30 pm EDT on Saturday July 11, 18, 25 and August 1 for Tim Horvath’s Summer Writing Retreat series:

Class 1. Writing from the Senses in the Age of Social Distancing

We rely on our senses all the time, as humans to navigate the world, and as writers to draw readers into our characters’ lives and worlds. But what happens to writing in a time of social distancing, when we find ourselves in isolation, wary of touch, breathing into masks, longing for restaurants, and watching history unfold on screens? I’d suggest that it’s all the more important that we reconnect with our senses, both for our well-being and our creativity. In this class, we’ll aim to do so.

         Session 1 – Saturday, July 11, 3:30 – 5:30 pm EDT online

In Part One, we’ll explore the senses of sight and sound, looking at how writers use imagery and the sounds and rhythms of language to make scenes, stories, narrative essays, and poems come alive. We’ll read authors whose writing is so vivid we feel as though we can enter it, and writers whose voice is so powerful that it feels like music.

        Session 2 – Saturday, July 18, 3:30 – 5:30 pm EDT online

In Part Two, we’ll explore the senses of touch, smell, and taste, again delving into how they can enhance writing across genres. Again, we’ll read authors whose writing makes you feel the rush of a rodeo ride, or who transport you through scent and food into entire realms of association and memory.In each case, we’ll use these as springboards for our own writing, whether you’re starting from scratch or working on an ongoing project. It isn’t necessary to take both of these, as they will stand alone, although they will also fit together well.

Class 2. Hopscotching Across Languages: Drawing Inspiration from Spanish Language Literature in Translation

It is a given that writers must learn to read closely, with attention to nuance and craft, to unravel the methods by which other writers have managed to tell stories effectively and adapt them for their own purposes. In this class, we’ll focus on contemporary writers in Spanish.

         Session 1 – Saturday, July 25, 3:30 – 5:30 pm EDT online

In Part One, we’ll look at some canonical writers from the last century such as Borges,  Valenzuela, Puig, Uhart, and Cortázar, and explore how social and political conditions shaped the so-called “Latin American Boom.” Apart from an appreciation of their work on the page, what can we take away from their work? We’ll do some exercises that take the playful spirit of these writers and welcome it into our own writing.

        Session 2 – Saturday, August 1, 3:30 – 5:30 pm EDT online

In Part Two, we’ll look at how today’s Spanish language writers are both continuing and radically transforming that tradition today. In particular, we’ll examine writers such as Ariana Harwicz, Andrés Neuman, Cristina Rivera Garza, and Samanta Schweblin, each of whom bends narrative and language, and thus our understanding of reality itself. We’ll also explore the fraught, infinitely rich topic of translation, discussing its complexities and even comparing a passage or two in English and Spanish. What language choices did the translator have to make? What was lost and gained? As we look at translation, we’ll pose the further question of what we can learn from it as we seek to “translate” any event, image, idea, or experience into language. In this case, too, we will do some exercises that use these writers and concepts as points of departure. It isn’t necessary to take both of these, as they will stand alone, although they will also fit together well.

Juneteenth: A Statement in Support of Black Lives Matter

Dear Writers and Readers, 

Today, is Juneteenth which marks the end of slavery in the United States. However we realize that systemic racism and inequality continue in the United States. We, at the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, reject racism, prejudice and violence in all forms. We are heartbroken at the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other Black Americans who have lost their lives unjustly. This country is built on racist systems like slavery, disenfranchisement, redlining, and mass incarceration. We are living in a moment when systemic racism is coming to a head with the eruption of police brutality. Right now, we take a stand and say Black Lives Matter. 

As an arts organization centered around creative writing, we want to also say Black imagination matters and Black voices matter. The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop community would not be complete without the richness that our Black writers and writing retreat participants have brought. To meet this moment, we want to announce a reading we have coming up in support of Black Visions Collective and Black Lives Matter.

Friday, June 26, 2020 8-9 p.m. EDT

Watch on Facebook Live

The CWW’s Reading for Black Visions Collective is in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Our featured authors for our June 26 reading are Devynity Wray, Rita Banerjee, Alex Marzano-Lesnevich , Frederick-Douglass Knowles II, Maggie Downs, Tim Horvath, and Diana Norma Szokolyai. The writers featured in our reading were part of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Granada Writing Retreat. Granada is known as a multicultural city, where Roma, Catholics, Jews, and Muslims have all been a part of creating a culture in conversation. It is also the city of Frederico García Lorca, who was a queer poet and part of the anti-facist movement in Spain. He was assassinated by fascist dictator Franco’s firing squads for his antifascist beliefs. As a literary organization, we, the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, are a community of writers who stand unwaveringly against fascism globally and in support of ending systemic racism in the United States. #BlackLivesMatter

About Black Visions Collective:

“Since 2017, Black Visions Collective, has been putting into practice the lessons learned from organizations before us in order to shape a political home for Black people across Minnesota. We aim to center our work in healing and transformative justice principles, intentionally develop our organizations core “DNA” to ensure sustainability, and develop Minnesota’s emerging Black leadership to lead powerful campaigns. By building movements from the ground up with an integrated model, we are creating the conditions for long term success and transformation.

Black Visions Collective envisions a world in which ALL Black Lives Matter. We use the guidance and brilliance of our ancestors as well as the teachings of our own experiences to pursue our commitment to dismantling systems of oppression and violence. We are determined in our pursuit of dignity and equity for all.”

Donate to the Black Visions Collective
Watch on Facebook Live

We will continue our tradition of offering our diversity scholarship for our retreats for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ writers 

In this moment, we encourage everyone to read more Black authors and support African American literature. Some resources:

Cave Canem Poets
NAACP
Princeton University’s African American Studies Resources

June 26: Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Reading for Black Visions Collective * 8-9 pm EDT

Friday, June 26, 2020 8-9 p.m. EDT

Watch on Facebook Live

The CWW’s Reading for Black Visions Collective is in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The readers featured this evening were part of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Granada Writing Retreat. Granada is known as a multicultural city, where Roma, Catholics, Jews, and Muslims have all been a part of creating a culture in conversation. It is also the city of Frederico García Lorca, who was a queer poet and part of the anti-facist movement in Spain. He was assassinated by fascist dictator Franco’s firing squads for his antifascist beliefs. As a literary organization, we, the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, are a community of writers who stand unwaveringly against fascism globally and in support of ending systemic racism in the United States. #BlackLivesMatter

About Black Visions Collective:

“Since 2017, Black Visions Collective, has been putting into practice the lessons learned from organizations before us in order to shape a political home for Black people across Minnesota. We aim to center our work in healing and transformative justice principles, intentionally develop our organizations core “DNA” to ensure sustainability, and develop Minnesota’s emerging Black leadership to lead powerful campaigns. By building movements from the ground up with an integrated model, we are creating the conditions for long term success and transformation.

Black Visions Collective envisions a world in which ALL Black Lives Matter. We use the guidance and brilliance of our ancestors as well as the teachings of our own experiences to pursue our commitment to dismantling systems of oppression and violence. We are determined in our pursuit of dignity and equity for all.”

Donate to the Black Visions Collective
Watch on Facebook Live

Featured Authors:

Devynity Wray is a writer and visual artist from Queens, New York. Her work investigates the condition of Black people in America, her heritage and the legacy of her ancestors in contemporary form. Wray is a Hunter College graduate, a Nuyorican slam team poet and a Cambridge Writer’s Workshop alumna. 

 

Rita Banerjee is the Director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and Creative Executive Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop.  She’s the author of several books including CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, 2018), the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (FLP, 2018), which was nominated for the 2019 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize at the Academy of American Poets, the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (SPR, 2016), and the poetry chapbook Cracklers at Night (FLP, 2010).  She is the co-writer of Burning Down the Louvre (2021), a documentary film about race, intimacy, and tribalism in the United States and in France. Her work also appears in PANK, Nat. Brut., Poets & Writers, Academy of American Poets, Vermont Public Radio, and elsewhere.

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of THE FACT OF A BODY: A Murder and a Memoir, which received a Lambda Literary Award, the Chautauqua Prize, prizes in France and Canada, and was translated into nine languages. The recipient of fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, Yaddo, and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, as well as a Rona Jaffe Award, Marzano-Lesnevich has written for The New York TimesThe Boston GlobeOxford AmericanHarper’s, and many other publications. They live in Portland, Maine, and are an assistant professor at Bowdoin College. They are at work on a book about gender, from which an excerpt will appear in Best American Essays 2020.

Frederick-Douglass Knowles II is an Educator and Activist fervent in achieving community augmentation through literary arts. He is the inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of Hartford. His works have been selected as a finalist for the New England Association of Teachers of English (NEATE) Poet of the Year Award, as well as a nominee for a Pushcart Prize. He is a recipient of the Nutmeg Poetry Award, and the 2020 Connecticut of The Arts Fellow in Artist Excellence for Poetry/ Creative Non-Fiction. Frederick-Douglass is the author of BlackRoseCity, andan Associate Professor of English at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT.

Maggie Downs is an award-winning writer and essayist based in Palm Springs, California. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Palm Springs Life, and McSweeney’s, among publications, and has been anthologized in The Lonely Planet Travel Anthology: True Stories from the World’s Best Writers and Best Women’s Travel Writing. She is also the co-host of the radio show and podcast Open Book, with New York Times bestselling writer Tod Goldberg, and holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of California, Riverside-Palm Desert. Braver Than You Think: Around the World on the Trip of My (Mother’s) Lifetime, is her first book. Find out more at maggiedowns.com.

Tim Horvath is the author of Understories (Bellevue Literary Press), which won the New Hampshire Literary Award for Outstanding Work of Fiction, and Circulation (sunnyoutside). His fiction has appeared in ConjunctionsAGNIHarvard Review, and many other journals, and his book reviews appear in Georgia ReviewThe Brooklyn Rail, and American Book Review. His novel-in-progress focuses on the lives of contemporary classical composers and musicians. He has taught Creative Writing in the Granada, Spain, program for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, and in the BFA and MFA programs at New England College, including the Institute of Art and Design.

Diana Norma Szokolyai is a writer/educator. Her books are CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative WritingParallel Sparrows, and Roses in the Snow. Her poetry manuscript Milk & Water, was a finalist for Hunger Mountain’s 2020 May Day Mountain chapbook series. Her poetry was also shortlisted for the 2018 Bridport Prize and received honorable mention in the 87th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition. Her work has been published in MER VOX Quarterly, VIDA, Quail Bell Magazine, The Boston Globe, Luna Luna Magazineand has been anthologized in Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Teachers As Writers, and Die Morgendämmerung der Worte Moderner Poesie- Atlas der Roma und Sinti. Her poetry – music collaborations have hit the Creative Commons Hot 100 list and been featured on WFMU radio. She is co-founder and Artistic Director of Chagall Performance Art Collaborative and the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop.

May 22: Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Benefit Reading for the Boston Resiliency Fund * Facebook Live, 8-9 pm EDT

As part of ChagallPAC’s Fourth Fridays Literary Salon Series, the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop presents a COVID-19 Benefit Reading on May 22nd at 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EDT. We are excited to have this event featured and broadcast on Creative Northshore Facebook Live Channel.

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop COVID-19 Benefit Reading will support the Boston Resiliency Fund, which raises money for providing food to Boston’s children, families and seniors, providing technology to Boston Public Schools for remote learning, and to provide support to first responders, front-line workers, and healthcare workers so they can effectively do their job and promote public health.

During our reading, we will be raising awareness for the cause and ask our audience members to make donations via the link that we have provided below. We are looking forward to supporting this cause and being able to give back to our community. We encourage our audience members to donate to the Boston Resiliency Fund with the link below. Please tune in to our Facebook Live event!

Donate to the Boston Resiliency Fund – https://bit.ly/2WoktmD
Watch on Facebook Live – https://bit.ly/2WO9MJ7

Featured Authors:

Rita Banerjee is the Director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and Creative Executive Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop.  She’s the author of several books including CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, 2018), the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (FLP, 2018), which was nominated for the 2019 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize at the Academy of American Poets, the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (SPR, 2016), and the poetry chapbook Cracklers at Night (FLP, 2010).  She is the co-writer of Burning Down the Louvre (2021), a documentary film about race, intimacy, and tribalism in the United States and in France. Her work also appears in PANK, Nat. Brut., Poets & Writers, Academy of American Poets, Vermont Public Radio, and elsewhere.

Madeleine Barnes is a poet, visual artist, and doctoral fellow at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Her debut poetry collection, You Do Not Have To Be Good, was Trio House Press’ open reading selection, and will be published in July 2020. She is the author of three chapbooks, most recently Women’s Work, forthcoming from Tolsun Books in 2021. She serves as Poetry Editor at Cordella Magazine, a publication that showcases the work of women and non-binary writers and artists. She’s the recipient of two Academy of American Poets poetry prizes, the Princeton Poetry Prize, the Gertrude Gordon Journalism Prize, and the Three Rivers Review Poetry Prize. She teaches at Brooklyn College. Visit her at madeleinebarnes.com

Ariel Francisco is the author of A Sinking Ship is Still a Ship (Burrow Press, 2020),  All My Heroes Are Broke (C&R Press, 2017) which was named one of the 8 Best Latino Books of 2017 by Rigoberto Gonzalez, and Before Snowfall, After Rain (Glass Poetry Press, 2016). Born in the Bronx to Dominican and Guatemalan parents, he was raised in Miami and completed his MFA at Florida International University. He now lives in Brooklyn and is completing a masters in literary translation. He was named one of the Five Florida Writers to Watch in 2019 by The Miami New Times. You can contact him at Ariel.Francisco.305@gmail.com for publication solicitations, manuscript consultations, translations, and reading opportunities.

GM Palmer lives with his family on a poodle farm in North Florida. His poems, stories, and reviews have appeared in The Hopkins Review, Literary Matters, Tahoma Literary Review, and elsewhere. Links to his work can be found on Twitter @gm_palmer.

 

 

 

Diana Norma Szokolyai is a writer/educator. Her books are CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative WritingParallel Sparrows, and Roses in the Snow. Her poetry manuscript Milk & Water, was a finalist for Hunger Mountain’s 2020 May Day Mountain chapbook series. Her poetry was also shortlisted for the 2018 Bridport Prize and received honorable mention in the 87th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition. Her work has been published in MER VOX Quarterly, VIDA, Quail Bell Magazine, The Boston Globe, Luna Luna Magazineand has been anthologized in Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Teachers As Writers, and Die Morgendämmerung der Worte Moderner Poesie- Atlas der Roma und Sinti. Her poetry – music collaborations have hit the Creative Commons Hot 100 list and been featured on WFMU radio. She is co-founder and Artistic Director of Chagall Performance Art Collaborative and the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop.

COVID-19: A Message from the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop

Dear Writers and Readers,

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop team wanted to take a moment to recognize the unprecedented challenges we are facing together globally. If you are struggling with loss, grief, or just stress right now, we want you to know that you are not alone. During this pandemic, we have been trying to act responsibly with regards to our programming.

We cancelled our Spring in New Orleans Writing Retreat (March 19-22, 2020) because of the threat COVID-19 posed in New Orleans. Over the last 8 years, since we began our retreat programming in 2012, we have never had to cancel a writing retreat, but we felt this was necessary for the health and safety of everyone. We are continually assessing the COVID-19 situation as it unfolds, and at this time, we are making the decision to also cancel our Summer in Paris Writing Retreat (July 16-21, 2020). We feel that it is the most responsible course of action at this time.

With that said, we are looking towards the future and how we can adapt to the current situation. Keep a look out for an online series of writing workshops that will launch over the summer. Cambridge Writers’ Workshop faculty will be giving writing workshops that will combine asynchronous and synchronous learning via lectures, seminars, and creative writing workshops over video conference.

We are also currently reading through submissions for our Disobedient Futures anthology, and will be announcing our list of accepted authors by the end of Summer 2020.

We will also be hosting readings on the fourth Fridays of each month over the summer, starting with our COVID-19 Benefit Reading on May 22, 2020 at 8 p.m EDT. Our May 22 Reading will support COVID-19 response efforts. Stay tuned for more details.

Sincerely,
Cambridge Writers’ Workshop