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.

Diana Norma Szokolyai Poetry Performances & Workshop at CROSSING WATER FESTIVAL 9/10 – 9/15 2019

 

As CWW Artistic Director, I’m thrilled to be a part of the Crossing Water Festival, an interdisciplinary arts festival in and around the Beverly/Salem Bridge in Massachusetts. The arts festival features visual art, literary arts, music, dance, video projection art, & more.

Tuesday, September 10th at 7 p.m   Improbable Poetry Tour

 Salem Side of Bridge on the pier of Remond Park, 1 Bridge Street, Salem MA. 01970

Thanks to Colleen Michaels for inviting me to read along with other poets. The reading begins promptly at 7:00 pm with a performance of Lucille Clifton’s “Blessing the Boats” featuring poet Krysten Hill and choreographer Betsy Miller. Each poet will read a poem written about the theme: bridges. As we read, dancers will dance across the bridge in the background.

This is going to be visually sublime, and I cannot wait. I was out on the pier tonight, and the smell of the water and the sight of the sailboats against the pink sky while Dennis played with his jazz band was breathtakingly beautiful.

The following Events are all held on the Beverly Side of the bridge near the Harbormaster’s station. As you cross the bridge from Salem to Beverly, it’s on the right.

Friday, September 13th 8 p.m. Poetry-Music-Video Projection Installation & FILM SCREENING OF THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI

Beverly Side of Bridge, Beverly Harbormaster 11 Cabot St, Beverly, MA 01915

My poem “Space Mothlight” will be projected onto a 17 ft. pyramid opening before the film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is screened onto the pyramid, with a live film score!

Facebook Event 

Saturday September 14th at 3-5 p.m. MINDFULNESS WRITING WORKSHOP under the Pyramid (Free and open to all)
Beverly Side of Bridge, Beverly Harbormaster 11 Cabot St, Beverly, MA 01915

All Genres and Levels Welcome! We will be writing underneath the pyramid, working under a full moon, with the soothing water next to us. Come experiment with mindfulness exercises that will open up your creativity channels. Come with a writing utensil and your favorite notebook, but if you don’t have these, I’ll have writing materials.

Later on Saturday, in the same place, under the pyramid installation, I’ll perform my poetry in the following musical acts:

6-8 p.m. HOWL QUARTET (Experimental Contemporary Ensemble)

Performance Poet Diana Norma Szokolyai (Salem)

Saxophonist Etienne Rolin ( France)

Guitarist Brian Abbot (Canada)

Saxophonist Dennis Shafer (Salem)

8-9 p.m. RENDRGRAM (experimental Contemporary Art)

experimental music-art- installation exploring glitch art and rendering the digital world into the physical world…come see the music under the 18ft pyramid!

RendrGram Facebook Event

Sunday, September 15th, at 7:30 p.m. at AMES Hall Salem YMCA–METAMORPHOSES Performance

with Solo Saxophone/Dance/Poetry Interludes

Facebook Event for Metamorphoses

https://www.creativenorthshore.com/north-shore-events/chagallpac-metamorphoses-dance-performance/

Electric Metamorphoses and Movement: A Dance Choreography with Works for Saxophone by Dennis Shafer and ChagallPAC Artists

Choreography and Dance by Betsy Miller, Emily Beattie, Juliana Tilbury,  Rebecca Lang, Angelina Benitez, Jake Crawford, Becky Jo Roland

Poetry Performance: Diana Norma Szokolyai

Costume design by Lee Davis

Lighting/Projection by Siriphong Tipayakisorn

 

Bach’s Inventions + Poetry feat. Diana Norma Szokolyai, Tara Skurtu, Nicole Terez Dutton, Dennis Shafer, & Kathleen Spivack

Bach-GoesPopChagallPAC presents:
BACH’S INVENTIONS + POETRY
Saturday May 3, 2014 * 8pm *  $5/10

OUTPOST 186
186.5 Hampshire Street
Inman Square, Cambridge, MA
[ Central Square T-Stop ]

Join us for a night of poetry and beautiful musical interludes from Bach’s Inventions.  The interplay between baroque music and poetic voices will set you soaring.  Featured poets include CWW Executive Artistic Director Diana Norma Szokolyai, CWW Board Member Kathleen Spivack, and former CWW Board Member Tara Skurtu along with poet Nicole Terez Dutton.  Featured musicians include Brian Abbot on guitar, Jon Amon on sax, Tim Pence on guitar, Dennis Shafer on sax, Alec Watson on piano, and Jobey Wilson on tuba.  This event is featured in The Boston Globe and Tara Skurtu’s poetry is featured on WBUR.