New Publications by Summer 2015 Paris Retreat Alumnae

issue18cover_front_300The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is proud to announce that one of our 2015 Summer in Paris Writing Retreat participant has had her work published in The Quotable. G. Evelyn Lampart’s story “Visions” is part of Issue 18 of the journal, a quarterly publication of quotable writers.

G. Evelyn Lampart is both a practitioner and a consumer of mental health services. In this  unique role, she runs an art program in the mental health clinic that served to help her heal. Evelyn is also a student at the Writers Studio in New York City. Her writing  appears in Rozlynan anthology, Nous 5, Dirty Chai,  R.KV.R.Y., Poetica, and The Quotable.

We’re also proud to announce that Kathleen Crisci’s “Sturm und Drang” won second place for essay/memoir in Epiphany Magazine‘s spring contest. It will appear in the next issue.

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Kathleen Crisci
received an MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2008. Since then, she has been published in Many Mountains Moving and Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, as well as in an anthology, DIRT, published by Seal Press in 2009. She is a co-founder of Uptown Writers, a venue for writers of all stripes in northern Manhattan. Currently, she is working on a novel.

Congrats to CWW Director Rita Banerjee, named finalist for Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Poetry Prize

RedHenLogoOn January 21, 2016, Red Hen Press announced the winner and finalists for its 2015 Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award.  Rita Banerjee’s poetry manuscript, “Echo in Four Beats,” was listed as a finalist for the 2015 Saltman Award.  Rita Banerjee is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, and her writing has been featured in Electric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, Queen Mob’s Tea House, and Riot Grrrl Magazine.  She is author of the poetry collection, Cracklers at Night, and her novella, A Night with Kali, is forthcoming in 2016.  The contest was judged by Carl Phillips, and information about Red Hen Press and the 2015 winners and finalists can be found here.

November 2015 Pre-Thanksgiving Yoga and Writing Cleanse Review


Last weekend, the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop continued its tradition of hosting a Pre-Thanksgiving Yoga and Writing Cleanse, this time at Sacred Sounds Yoga in Manhattan. Just like with previous years, the CWW offered participants the chance to cleanse their minds and bodies through yoga, and come out feeling rejuvenated and ready to write later on in the two-hour session.

The event commenced on Saturday, November 21st, at two p.m. Located on Bleecker Street, Sacred Sounds Yoga was our generous host for the weekend. After being provided with yoga mats, blocks, blankets, and bolsters, we were ready to begin. The first hour of the Yoga and Writing workshop consisted of our yoga instructor, Elissa Lewis, guiding us through not only a wide variety of yoga exercises and poses, but also breathing techniques geared towards achieving a sense of peace and tranquility.  Elissa made sure that with every pose, we concentrated on our breathing.

For those of us who were either new to yoga or returning after a period of prolonged absence, Elissa explained each exercise and demonstrated the transition from one pose to another. Some of the poses we did included downward facing dog, warrior II, peaceful warrior; low lunge, high lunge, lunge twist, cow pose, and cat pose.

We concluded the yoga portion by writing how we felt after doing yoga. What was the one central emotion or thought surrounding us? I must say, as a fellow participant,  it was so relaxing and revitalizing that when it came time to say “Namaste,” and move on to the writing portion, we were more than ready to get our creative juices flowing.

In the second half of our Saturday cleanse, Jessica Reidy demonstrated how to write creatively by incorporating the sense of sight, of smell, of touch, and of taste. To aid us with this particular workshop, Jessica had pears, which she cut up and handed out to us.

To start the exercise off, Jessica read a poem written by an author who used the very same techniques we were about to.  We were asked what we thought the poem was about and what really stood out to us. After that discussion, we moved along to the pears.

With our pears on hand, we were asked to examine them. What did they look like? Did they trigger any particular memory? What did they smell like? How about their touch? What did they taste like? As we explored each sense, we took notes, assigning words to the different categories we had just talked about. We were then asked to – with the use of our notes – write for about ten minutes, and thus create either a poem or a story that captured the essence of the pear. It didn’t necessarily have to be a memory or anything connected to our own lives. It just needed to be a creative piece.

With the little time we had left over after writing, a few of us (including myself) shared our pieces. After each person read, Jessica asked those of us who had listened what had jumped out at us from the story or poem. And was there any particular detail we wished the writer would expand upon?

The yoga and writing festivities continued onto Sunday, November 22nd, the second and final day of the workshop. Once again, Elissa did an hour of yoga, and Jessica did an hour of writing.

After two fun-filled days of yoga and writing, guests who attended the cleanse found themselves not only with a renewed sense of self and a clear mind, but also really great ideas for future stories, as well as extremely helpful writing tools. As with all of our workshops and retreats, we sincerely hope that those who joined in on the fun had a wonderful time, and of course, that they join us for any writing retreats we have in the future.


Jessica leading the writing workshop.

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is coming to AWP 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota!

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop will be tabling at the Association of Writers and Writing Program (AWP)’s 2015 conference in Minneapolis, MN this April from April 9 to April 11. We’ve got some exciting plans for the event, so anyone who is in Minneapolis for the event should come see us. Last year’s event was a great success for us, allowing us to promote our CREDO anthology and advertise our Château de Verderonne retreat, and we hope we can have an even better experience this year.

We’ll be tabling at Table 954 near the AWP Event Stage. There, you will be able to find information regarding our upcoming yoga and writing retreats and other opportunities. You’ll be able to find info regarding our upcoming retreats in Paris and Granada. We’ll also have updates on our CREDO anthology and information for those who want to become members of the CWW or who want to apply for internships. Some of the people who will be sitting at our table will also be selling copies of their books and will be doing author signings, including CWW member Jonah Kruvant and CWW intern Alex Carrigan.

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We’ll also be hosting an offsite reading event during the conference. “Books and Bones:  A Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Reading” is a poetry and fiction reading at Boneshaker Books on Saturday, April 11 from 3-5 pm. We’ve got twelve readers who will come and share some of their best work with our captive audience. Below are our profiles on each of the readers:

IMG_7596Anca L. Szilágyi is a Brooklynite living in Seattle. The longer she lives in Seattle, the stronger her Brooklyn accent seems to get. Her writing has appeared in GastronomicaFairy Tale Review, Cicada, and the Ploughshares blog, among other publications.

mbgmdrbvox_qe83kocogslibryphqly9vlj7nuf1f1uA writer, teacher, and student of the world, Jonah Kruvant received his Bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College, his Master’s degree in Teaching from Fordham University, and his MFA degree from Goddard College. After living abroad in four different countries, Jonah settled in New York.


Current ThumbnailMicah Dean Hicks is a Calvino Prize-winning author of fabulist fiction. His work has appeared in places like Witness, New Letters, Indiana Review, New Orleans Review, and Baltimore Review. His story collection, Electricity and Other Dreams, was recently published by New American Press and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. He attends the creative writing PhD program at Florida State University, where he studies fiction and folklore.

mm93kgAlex Carrigan has been an editorial and PR intern for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop since May 2014. He holds a B.S. in Mass Communications: Print/Online Journalism and a minor in World Cinema from Virginia Commonwealth University. When he is not working for Cambridge, he is also the Staff Film Reviewer and a regular contributor for Quail Bell Magazine. He has had work published in Poictesme Literary JournalAmendment Literary Journal, and Realms Magazine. He currently lives in Virginia and is looking for a career in publishing and art criticism.

10888391_10106225841395751_4542817941090068017_nMichele Nereim received her MFA from Florida State University. Her essay about the insanity of Florida football appeared on NPR, and, this past year year, she moved to Houston where she is working on her novel and her CRW Ph.D. at the University of Houston. Florida is her weird, colorful muse.


B (1)Bianca Stone is a poet and visual artist. She is the co-founder and editor of Monk Books, as well as the author of  Someone Else’s Wedding Vows (Tin House/Octopus Books 2014), and Antigonick (New Directions 2012, a collaboration with Anne Carson. She lives in Brooklyn.

jungleJessica Piazza is the author of two full-length poetry collections from Red Hen Press: Interrobang–winner of the AROHO 2011 To the Lighthouse Poetry Prize and the 2013 Balcones Poetry Prize – and Obliterations (with Heather Aimee O’Neill, forthcoming), as well as the chapbook This is not a sky (Black Lawrence Press.) She holds a Ph.D. in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California and is currently a contributing editor for The Offending Adam and a screener for the National Poetry Series. She is the co-founder of Bat City Review in Austin, TX and Gold Line Press in Los Angeles, and she teaches for the Writing Program at USC and the online MFA program at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. In 2015 she started the “Poetry Has Value” project, hoping to spark conversations about poetry and worth. Learn more at

burnquistJess Burnquist was raised in Tempe, Arizona. She received her MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Arizona State University. Her work has appeared in The Washington PostTime.comPersonaClackamas Literary Review, and various online journals.(See more at She is a recipient of the Joan Frazier Memorial Award for the Arts at ASU. Jess currently teaches high school in San Tan Valley and has been honored with a Sylvan Silver Apple Award. She resides in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area with her husband, son, and daughter.

IMG_4254Dena Rash Guzman is the author of Life Cycle—Poems (Dog On A Chain Press, 2013.) Her work can be found online and in print at The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Ink Node, Gertrude and others, as well as in anthologies from the United States to the People’s Republic of China. She is a disability rights advocate and a beekeeper. She resides in Oregon.

standing pic by edward brydonLeah Umansky is a poet, collagist and teacher in New York City. She is the author of the Mad Men inspired chapbook, Don Dreams and I Dream and the full-length collection Domestic Uncertainties.  Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such places as Forklift, Ohio, POETRY, and Coconut Poetry. She is also the curator of the Couplet reading series and her Game of Thrones inspired poems have recently been translated into Norwegian by Beijing Trondheim.


SMSheila McMullin is Assistant Editor for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts where she writes the column “Spotlight On!” celebrating literary magazines that publish a diverse representation of writers. She is Managing Editor and Poetry Editor for ROAR Magazine, as well as Communications and Outreach Coordinator for District Lit. She works as an after-school creative writing and college prep instructor and volunteers at her local animal rescue.  She holds her M.F.A. from George Mason University. Follow her on Twitter @smcmulli.


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Brenda Peynado has work appearing in The Threepenny Review, Mid-American Review, Black Warrior Review, Pleiades, Cimarron Review, Colorado Review, 3rd Place in Glimmer Train‘s Fiction Open Contest, and others. She received her MFA from Florida State University and her BA from Wellesley College. Last year, she was on a Fulbright Grant to the Dominican Republic, writing a novel. This year she is a PhD student at the University of Cincinnati.

We hope you come visit us at the book fair and come to our reading. It will be a week of literature, poetry, performance, and culture, so we hope to see you there.