Happy New Year 2019 -💖- the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop

Happy New Year 2019 from all of us here at the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop! We are looking forward to another year filled with inspiring and creative writing workshops and retreats, readings and a variety of other ways to connect with new and old CWW writers and artists. Thank you to all of our CWW participants, teachers, friends and all of you who helped make this year creatively productive and inspiring.

2018 was a wild ride but looking back on the events of the past year we are overwhelmingly grateful for the ways we were able to connect with new and old friends through writing and art. Over the past year CWW held retreats and workshops in Europe and the United States, and connected with other writers at readings and events throughout the country.

We kicked the year off at AWP 2018 in Tampa, FL. This year’s AWP marked several important moments for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. It was there we released our first ever anthology, CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing, published by C&R Press. The anthology featured over fifty writers sharing their personal writing manifestos, essays on the craft of writing, and writing exercises to show where the field of literature is heading in the 21st century. This release coincided with a reading at the Spontaneous Reading Party, where CREDO authors Rita BanerjeeJanine HarrisonKevin McLellan,  Nell Irvin PainterAnca L. Szilágyi, and Diana Norma Szokolyai shared their work along with other authors from C&R Press and Women’s National Book Association. It was also during this event that we announced our call for submissions for our next anthology, Disobedient Futures. The speculative literature anthology asks writers to imagine what the future cultures of America and the world might look like, and submit their work on the following topics: Disobedient Women, Disobedient Class, Disobedient Tribes, and Disobedient Futures. Submissions will be accepted until February 14, 2019.

We also continued to host our national and international writing retreats in 2018. In April, we traveled to New Orleans, LA, where Rita Banerjee, Diana Norma Szokolyai, and literary agent Natalie Kimber held writing workshops on subjects like finding a literary agent and Rasa theory, all while participants enjoyed staying in a house in the famous Algiers Point neighborhood. In July, we traveled to Paris, France, where we were joined by authors Kathleen Spivack and Kristina Marie Darling for poetry and memoir writing workshops in one of the most famous literary cities in the world. In August, we returned to Granada, Spain with author Tim Horvath to use the diverse and unique city to aid in our writing processes.

It was also in 2018 that we held several great literary readings and events. Earlier in the year, CWW Creative Director Rita Banerjee released her new poetry collection Echo in Four Beats. This included a workshop on Literary Manifestos and What’s at Stake? in Weehawken, NJ, followed by a launch party that same night, which included writers Dallas Athent and Jonah Kruvant. That same month, Banerjee was a part of the literary panel “Fantasy As Reality: Activism & Catharsis in Speculative Writing,” which was part of the Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation and Witness (April 19-21, 2018) in Washington, D.C., along with poets Christina M. Rau and Marlena Chertock. The panel demonstrated how non-realist poems and prose can offer a space for political critique and empowerment. The panelists also held a reading entitled “Disobedient Futures,” which included CWW Communications and PR Manager Alex Carrigan.

On June 2nd, CWW’s Artistic Director, Diana Norma Szokolyai, was a featured performer at the Grolier Poetry Bookshop’s 90th Anniversary Celebration. She performed her poetry with musical collaborators Dennis Shafer (saxophone) and Audrey Harrer (harp). Cambridge Writers’ Workshop was also represented by readings given by faculty member Kathleen Spivack and contributor to CREDO, Kevin McLellan. That afternoon, Diana Norma Szokolyai also led a Writing Workshop on Literary Manifestos and Jumpstarting the Process of Writing inside the Grolier Poetry Bookshop  using exercises like her own “What’s At Stake” and Kathleen Spivack’s “Words as Inspiration” from CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing.

In September, the CWW also made an appearance at the Brooklyn Book Festival. Along with hosting a table at the event, the CWW held a reading at WORD Bookstore, featuring several CWW members and affiliates, including Rita Banerjee, Diana Norma Szokolyai, Alex Carrigan, Amanda Toronto, Emily Smith, Stephen Aubrey, Madeleine Barnes, Elizabeth Devlin, Jonah Kruvant, and Devynity Wray. These authors welcomed the festival by sharing some of their original poems, short stories, and play excerpts.

We wish to give a warm congratulations to the CWW Co-Directors Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai for some notable honors in 2018. Rita Banerjee’s book Echo in Four Beats was nominated for the National Book Award in Poetry by Finishing Line Press. Diana Norma Szokolyai’s poem “Shadows of the Pantry” was shortlisted for the prestigious Bridport Prize, received honorable mention in the 87th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, and will be published in 87th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition Collection.

With 2018 over, the CWW is now looking forward to what 2019 has in store. We are still looking for literary submissions to our Disobedient Futures anthology, so please read over our guidelines to find out how you can submit. We are also planning to once again host retreats in New Orleans and Paris, featuring Stephen Aubrey, Carly Dwyer, and Kazim Ali. More information about the retreats will be announced in the coming months.

We hope to see you sometime this year!

 

Summer in Paris 2018 Writing Retreat: Day Two

The morning of Thursday, July 26 began with a workshop led by CWW directors Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai. The workshop focused on CREDO: An Anthology Of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing, which CWW released in May. The anthology creates a bridge from the philosophical to the practical, presenting a triad of creative writing manifestos, essays on the craft of writing, and creative writing exercises.

Following the workshop, instructors and participants had some writing time to work on their personal projects and gather inspiration while exploring the city.

That evening, Rita was the featured Reader at Paris Lit Up at Culture Rapide. Paris Lit Up is a non-profit community organization that aims to intensify collaborative artistic practices through community events, performance and publication. Rita read from her new poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, March 2018) and CREDO (C&R Press, May 2018). She also shared excerpts from her new collection of essays on race, sex, politics, and everything cool, and her novel-in-progress about a Tamil-Jewish family in crisis during a post-authoritarian regime. 

Norma and several CWW participants also shared their work during the event as part of the open-mic portion of the event. The CWW has loved going to open-mic events in Paris in the past, and this evening was no exception.

With that, the second day came to a close, with everyone continuing to work on their projects and preparing for tomorrow’s workshops, where our guest faculty member Kathleen Spivack will start the day with her workshop, “Memory & Memoir.”

June 2: CREDO Workshop & Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Reading at the Grolier Poetry Festival – Harvard Sq., 1-4pm

On Saturday, June 2, the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop will celebratethe 90th Anniversary of the Grolier Poetry Book Shopat the Grolier Poetry Festival in Harvard Square. CREDOcontributing authors Kathleen SpivackKevin McLellan and the CWW’s co-director and CREDO editor, Diana Norma Szokolyai will read and perform. Diana Norma Szokolyai will also be teaching a CREDO workshop where copies of CREDO will be available for purchase. Stop by between 2:30-4:30 p.m.! Kevin McLellan will read his poetry,  Diana Norma Szokolyai will read with harpist singer songwriter Audrey Harrer accompanying. Then Audrey Harrer will perform her poetic songs on harp.

CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing will be available for purchase at a writing workshop Diana Norma Szokolyai will give at the festival at 3:30 p.m. and can also be purchased through C&R PressAmazon and Barnes and Noble.

At 6:20 – 6:40 p.m. Dennis Shafer and Diana Norma Szokolyai will perform as part of Sounds in Bloom (a poetry and music collaboration).

 

Celebrating CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing’s Publication Day!

CREDO-RitaBanerjee-DianaNormaSzokolyai

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is celebrating the publication of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing today!

CREDO (C&R Press, May 15, 2018) is edited by writers and CWW co-directors Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai and assistant editors Alexander Carrigan and Megan Jeanine Tilley. CREDO advocates for the empowerment of female, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized literary voices, with essays and manifestos that cover a wide range of subjects, including transgender poetics, world literature and aesthetics, collage and appropriation, and the politics of place. By presenting a triad of creative writing manifestos, essays on the craft of writing, and creative writing exercises, CREDO bridges the theoretical, political, and aesthetic perspectives on contemporary writing with practical and accessible writing advice. Our incredible CREDO contributing authors are some of the most exciting voices in contemporary poetry, fiction and non-fiction and will leave you feeling inspired.

Meet Our Contributing Authors!

Kazim Ali \ Forrest Anderson \ Rita Banerjee \ Lisa Marie Basile \ Jaswinder Bolina \ Stephanie Burt \ Alexander Carrigan \ Sam Cha \ Melinda J. Combs \ Thade Correa \ Jeff Fearnside \ Ariel Francisco \ John Guzlowski \ Rachael Hanel \ Janine Harrison \ Lindsay Illich \ Douglas Charles Jackson \ Caitlin Johnson \ Christine Johnson-Duell \ Jason Kapcala \ Richard Kenney \ Eva Langston \ John Laue \ Stuart Lishan \ Ellaraine Lockie \ Amy MacLennan \ Kevin McLellan \ E. Ce. Miller \ Brenda Moguez \ Peter Mountford \ Nell Irvin Painter \ Robert Pinsky \ Kara Provost \ Camille Rankine \ Jessica Reidy \ Amy Rutten \ Elisabeth Sharp McKetta \ David Shields \ Lillian Ann Slugocki \ Maya Sonenberg \ Kathleen Spivack \ Laura Steadham Smith \ Molly Sutton Kiefer \ Jade Sylvan \ Anca L. Szilágyi \ Diana Norma Szokolyai \ Marilyn L. Taylor \ Megan Jeanine Tilley \ Suzanne Van Dam \ Nicole Walker \ Allyson Whipple \ Shawn Wong \ Caroll Sun Yang \ Matthew Zapruder

GrolierOn Saturday, June 2, the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop will celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the Grolier Poetry Book Shop at the Grolier Poetry Festival in Harvard Square. CREDO contributing authors Kathleen Spivack, Kevin McLellan and the CWW’s co-director and CREDO editor, Diana Norma Szokolyai will read. Diana Norma Szokolyai will also be teaching a CREDO workshop where copies of CREDO will be available for purchase. Stop by between 1-4 p.m.!

CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing can be purchased through C&R Press, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

June 2: Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Celebrates the 90th Anniversary of the Grolier at the Grolier Poetry Festival – Harvard Sq., Cambridge, MA

On Saturday June 2, 2018, the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, the oldest poetry bookstore in the United States, will be celebrating its 90th Anniversary in Cambridge, MA. In order to celebrate 90 years of literary and intellectual activity, the Grolier will be hosting The Grolier Poetry Festival, featuring street performances, writing workshops, literary readings, food, and books in Harvard Square. The event was recently featured in The Boston Globe. The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is delighted to be featured at the Grolier Poetry Festival on May 19 in Harvard Square.  Join us for our featured readings, performances, and CREDO Workshop!  The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop’s new anthology CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing (eds. Rita Banerjee & Diana Norma Szokolyai, May 15, 2018) can be purchased through C&R Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. Information about our events and writers are posted below:

A 90th Anniversary Celebration
June 2, 2018, 12pm–8pm

Location: Outside Plympton St,
Between Mass Ave & Bow Street
Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA
1:00-2:00pm                
Welcome and Opening Remarks, Ifeanyi Menkiti, Proprietor, Director, Grolier Poetry Book Shop
 
Poets Read
David Ferry, Kathleen Spivack, and Lloyd Scwartz and Lillian Yvonne Bertram
 
2:00–2:20pm             
Michael Mack, Performs from Hearing Voices, Speaking in Tongues 
 
2:20–2:40pm             
Jim Vrabel, performs from John Berryman’s The Dream Songs
2:40–3:35pm
Poets Read
Fred Marchand • Harris Gardner • Patrick Sylvain • Martha Collins • Ruth Lepson • Dan Tobin • Monique-Adelle Callahan • Gail Mazur

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Group : Diana Norma Szokolyai, accompanied by Audrey Harrer, Harpist • Kevin McLellan

 3:35-4:15pm  (off stage)
Diana Norma Szokolyai leads a workshop based on CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writingthat she and Rita Banerjee edited. This newly released book will be available for purchase.

Featured Authors:

DianVersion 2a Norma Szokolyai is author of Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book, 2014 Paris Book Festival), Roses in the Snow (first runner­up, Best Poetry Book, 2009 DIY Book Festival), and a feminist rewriting of a classic fairytale for Brooklyn Art Library’s The Fiction Project, entitled Beneath the Surface: Blue Beard, Remixed. Szokolyai’s poetry and prose has been published in MER VOX Quarterly, VIDA Review, Quail Bell Magazine, The Boston Globe, Luna Luna Magazine, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and has been anthologized in Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Teachers as Writers & elsewhere. Her edited volume is CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, 2018). She’s founding Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Szokolyai is author of Introduction, and the essay “What’s At Stake?” in CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

Kathleen Spivack’s novel Unspeakable Things was released by Knopf in early 2016. Her previous book, the memoir With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Stanley Kunitz and Others was published by the University Press of New England in 2012. Her chapbook, A History of Yearning, won the Sows Ear International Poetry Chapbook Prize in 2010, and she recently received the Allen Ginsberg, Erika Mumford, and Paumanok awards for her poetry. Her book won the New England Book Festival and London Book Festival Prizes. Published in over 400 magazines and anthologies, Kathleen’s work has been translated into French. She has held grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; Massachusetts Artists Foundation; Bunting Institute; Howard Foundation; Massachusetts Council for the Arts and Humanities; is a Discovery winner and has been at Yaddo, MacDowell, Ragdale, Karolyi, and the American Academy in Rome. In Boston and Paris she directs the Advanced Writing Workshop, an intensive training program for professional writers. She has taught at conferences in Paris, Aspen, Santa Fe, Burgundy, Skidmore, and on the high seas, (Holland American Line). Spivak is the author of the Craft of Writing essays, “The Writing Exercise: A Recipe” and “Words As Inspiration” in CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

Kevin McLellan is the author of Ornitheology (The Word Works, 2018), Hemispheres (Fact-Simile Editions, 2018), [box] (Letter [r] Press, 2016), Tributary (Barrow Street, 2015), and Round Trip (Seven Kitchens, 2010). He won the 2015 Third Coast Poetry Prize and Gival Press’ 2016 Oscar Wilde Award, and his poems appear in numerous literary journals. Kevin lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. McLellan’s essay, “Attributes: A Prompt,” can be found in the Exercises section of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

 

CWW Spring in New Orleans 2018 Writing Retreat – Recap!

This spring the Cambridge Writer’s Workshop held their retreat in the vibrant city of New Orleans. The weather was amazing and felt like a breath of fresh air to all of the snow we had experienced in this unusually long winter. We stayed in a gorgeous two-story house across the river from the French Quarter in Algiers’s Point.

The retreat started with a night of games and fun during orientation which helped stir everyone’s creative side!

Classes for this retreat showcased: “Rasa: Emotion & Suspense in Theatre, Poetry, and (Non)Fiction” taught by Rita Banerjee; “What’s At Stake?” taught by Diana Norma; and a two-part course on both finding a literary agent and building a literary platform taught by special lecturer Natalie Kimber, a literary agent from The Rights Factory. The classes were as fun as they were informative and educational.

In our free time, we played a group game of Werewolf, sought out local food and drink, saw local sites, listened to jazz in the French Quarter, and most importantly wrote!

The 48-hour Writing Bake Off has become a staple of the CWW, and this trip produced some amazing work by our writers! As per the usual rules each writer had 48 hours to write around twenty pages of work while incorporating elements as chosen by the fellow writers. This Bake-Off needed to include:

  • Pastel Colored Houses
  • The Powdered Sugar from the Beignets
  • Gentrification
  • Trumpets
  • A “Big Easy” Attitude
  • “Widow-Maker” Trees

Here are some excerpts of what our writers came up with.

Gina Anderson “The Baby Sitter”

I kicked open the door. The creature looked like a Doris Day reject. It held the baby outstretched over the crib readying to extract its soul. “Unhand that child!” I demanded. I’m sure my command came out in a chirpy, garbled mess instead of low demonish.

The woman lowered her palm over the tiny chest of the babe, swaddled up in a blue blankie, as a threat. She opened her mouth up in an unnatural yawn and let out a low hum. The move shut the door behind me and blasted me against it.

The babe was silent. It made no moves to protect itself. This demon babe was rumored to have unimaginable powers. Did the creature stun it with some sort of ability unnatural to this realm?

Very well. If it was going to fight dirty, then the crutches and the pants were coming off. I quickly unwrapped my bandaged legs and feet, releasing my claws, but also thoroughly confusing the possessed creature. I picked up one of the crutches and detached one of the components that doubled as a stake. I only had two left and I only had two shots at getting it right.

The creature stretched the face of its possessed body in that yawn again, but this time it spewed a chemical mist. I coughed to prevent the toxic fumes from entering my lungs. Hey, I’m a birdie with delicate sensibilities. Damn it! These guys just kept upping the threats.

 

Adi Hernández “Untitled Bake-Off”

Julio had been off sleeping, reading, and doing just about god-knows-what those three weeks nobody could find him, and in-between it all, he would find himself staring out through the window hoping he would one day go back to what he thought he could remember life to be. Since the accident, since the weather that day long ago, since his brother’s death, he stayed in the upper room of a pastel house that had somehow managed to stay intact. He had been stuck there, paging through the same three books he hadn’t read in a while, but he was beginning to think, maybe a trip outside could spare him from having to read them all over again. They made him sick to remember again.

To remember his hometown in Managua, Nicaragua. To remember the days when he and his brother would simply drop the bags of groceries they carried home to run off to the beach at the sight of a glimmer of water. To remember the nights outside their home eating papaya and waving off the heat those summer days created. To remember his mama and papa spending nights together cooking for the rest of the family just before they would have “uninvited” guests over. To remember his brother’s laugh when he fell into the pond searching for the sea serpent that supposedly lived there. To remember them again, and to realize they were too far to offer any help like he knew they would.

“It’s what I get… I guess.” he thought to himself.

Deb Jannerson “Poems”

first sight 

the only track in my discman’s 56-sleeve carrier that mentioned new orleans was about hookers.

i slipped the disc into its wide plastic mouth anyway, lit a funk ribbon between my ears as
the seventh-circle seraphim perched back from the trolley window, uninterrupted by its muffled bass.

removed from blood context, i offered myself to the necklace-strewn widowmaker branches, to the creaky car film-reeling academic excuses, to the jester-drunk women embracing on quarter corners.

agnostic phantoms marbled my barrier, warmth wet as a lover, leaned through anthony kiedis to hiss there is something here for you to find.

8/28/05

with two more weeks until the
begrudging unlock of the ivory tower, i
regressed into the house of the soot eagle

where i unset through the ticking, then
shattered offscreen.

in a vertiginous spot of mirror-image cruelty:
it really will be a canal street! the
sourdough words would not mix with
her fault-ridden lips.

my brain disappeared, impotent.

i had left its dormant shadow on
the opposite end of the interstate, and
almost expected it to survive.

 

Gary Zeiss “Thank You for Riding with Jesus”

I rode with Jesus the other day. Ten glorious, spirit filled miles. They were fun-filled, too. Yes, I was touched by the son of God himself, and sitting in the back seat of his 2014 Blue Passat (7EAD313), I felt as if I were being whisked away from all my cares.

Jesus asked if I believed in him. How could I say no?  He was sitting there, in the flesh, right in front of me. He would move his hands and the car would turn. He would move his feet

and the car would accelerate or slow down. Of course, Jesus was right there with me, every moment of this journey.

Good thing I became a believer quickly. The 405 was in one of its usual crowding phases, and Jesus was pulling motorcycle like lane splits. Give him this — he could drive like hell. While I was in his holy presence, the day seemed to get brighter. It was if the darkness relented to the holy glory of dawn.

I definitely felt as if I was being touched by an angel — and not just any angel, but the big J. We got off the 405 at La Tijera.

Jesus laid on the horn at the driver in front of us.

No effect.

“No turn on red” I said, pointing to the sign.

“That’s for you folks, not the son of God!” he laughed, almost rear-ending the Explorer with Utah plates that was standing at the light.

I almost thought I heard him mutter a curse word or two at the careful driver in front of us. I knew just then, What Would Jesus Do in traffic?  He’d be just like one of us — pissed off

at the slow driver in front of him, impatient, and ready to honk and curse at a moment’s notice. I felt very close to Jesus at that moment.

Matthew Bargas “Credo: On Truth”

“What is truth,” Pontus Pilate asked. The answer may not be as simple as most would think. In

this day and age of fake news and real news the question is just as relevant as it ever was. Our digital technology can fabricate anything, creat compelling arguments supporting or condemning anything anything, and who is to decide what is real and what is fake.

Aside from science and math, are there any universal truths, or are all truths relative? We hold these truths to be self evident? Really? What does that mean. If life liberty and pursuit of happiness are self evident why is there so much death and destruction, so much oppression, so much misery in our world. How about the divine right of kings? That ‘truth’ was believed by everyone centuries ago. Who knows what everyone will believe in the future?

And there is this excerpt from the song, Wonderful from the musical Wicked:

“We believe all sorts of things that aren’t true. We call it history. A man is called a traitor or a liberator. A rich man is a thief or a philanthropist. Is one a crusader or an invader. It’s all in which label is able to persist. There are precious few at ease with moral ambiguities. So act as though they don’t exist.”

 

Rachel Kurasz “Widow Maker Trees”

I ran into my house and locked the door. I was fine, I just drank too much, I told myself. The wind howled, branches were scratching at my door. I went to my bedroom and laid down on the bed hoping to get a good night’s sleep and deal with the hangover in the morning. The scratching sounds continued and sounded as if they were right at my bedroom door.

I was scared, I was drunk, and I finally decided I needed to say the prayer, fuck it, being foolish was better than ending up like that poor woman’s corpse.

“As I lay me down to sleep I pray…” Shit. “As I lay me down to sleep I pray…” Fuck.

The scratches grew louder.

“As I lay me down to sleep I pray…” I was so drunk and scared that I had completely forgotten the damn prayer. I kept repeating the first line over and over again. And then I saw it. I saw a small branch crawling through the space in the door frame. I prayed faster.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip full of fun, food, and productivity! The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop’s new anthology CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing (eds. Rita Banerjee & Diana Norma Szokolyai, May 15, 2018) can be pre-ordered form C&R Press here!  Until next time, stay wonderful NOLA!

–Rachel Kurasz, CWW Media & Communications Intern

Literary Manifestos and What’s at Stake Workshop at the Weehawken Writers and Artists Studio – April 8, 2-4 pm

Literary Manifestos & What’s at Stake Workshop
Sunday, April 8 * 2-4 pm * Admission: $30

Weehawken Writers & Artists Studio
10 Louisa Pl., Weehawken, NJ 07086

The Weehawken Writers & Artists Studio is delighted to host a creative writing workshop on  Literary Manifestos & What’s at Stake Workshop!  To sign-up for the workshop, please register on Meetup.com!

CREDO. I believe. No other statement is so full of intent and subversion and power. A Credo is a call to arms. It is a declaration. A Credo is the act of an individual pushing back against society, against established stigmas, taboos, values, and norms. A Credo provokes. It desires change. A Credo is an artist or community challenging dogma, and putting oneself on the front line. A Credo is art at risk. A Credo can be a marker of revolution. A Credo, is thus, the most calculating and simple form of a manifesto. In this creative writing workshop, writers will get a chance to create their own literary manifestos and discuss what’s at stake in their own writing, art, and craft. We will read literary manifestos and poetry from writers such as Allen Ginsberg, Sunil Gangopadhyay, Amiri Baraka, and Bianca Stone, and will explore how writers and readers become more invested in a work of writing, its performance, and its narrative by raising the stakes.

About the Instructor:

Rita BanerjeeRitaBanerjee is the editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018) and the author of the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, March 2018), the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (Spider Road Press, 2016), and the poetry chapbook Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press, 2010). She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her writing appears in the Academy of American PoetsPoets & Writers, Nat. Brut.The Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mass Poetry, Hyphen Magazine, Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. She is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop.   She is the judge for the 2017 Minerva Rising “Dare to Speak” Poetry Chapbook Contest, and she is currently working on a novel, a book on South Asian literary modernisms, and a collection of lyric essays on race, sex, politics, and everything cool.

Visiting Writer Rita Banerjee reads at the New Hampshire Institute of Art this Week!

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop’s Executive Creative Director Rita Banerjee will be a Visiting Writer at the New Hampshire Institute of Art this Spring.  She will be lecturing and giving workshops on topics such as “Rasa: Emotion and Suspense in Theatre, Poetry, and (Non)Fiction,” “Poetry and What’s at Stake,” and “Revising, Pitching, and Publishing” at NHIA on Tuesday, March 27.  In addition, she will be holding a discussion with Ayris editors and staff on Tuesday, March 27.  Rita Banerjee will also be reading from her debut poetry collection Echo in Four Beats at the French Hall Rotunda at NHIA from 5:30-7:30 pm on Tuesday, March 27, 2018.  The poetry reading and Q&A for Echo in Four Beats is free and open to the public.

Earlier this week, Rita Banerjee’s poetry debut Echo in Four Beats was featured on New Hampshire Weekly’s The Hippo.  In the article, entitled “Echo Speaks,” journalist Angie Sykeny interviews Rita Banerjee about her new collection of poems, and discusses gender roles, feminism, and speech acts with the author.  Here’s a short excerpt from the interview below:

The New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester welcomes a special guest writer, Rita Banerjee, on Tuesday, March 27, for a reading, signing and discussion of her debut collection of poetry, Echo in Four Beats, released earlier this month.

What is the idea behind Echo in Four Beats? 
It dreams of a common language. What happens when people from different backgrounds and places of power, with different ideas of masculinity and femininity, come together … and figure out how to connect, despite language barriers, and despite defined roles? How do they find ways to support that female agency and the female gaze? 

What would you like readers to take away from Echo in Four Beats?
I would like readers to kind of interrogate their own power and find where and how they can express their own voice. It doesn’t have to be in proper English to express ourselves and our complicated identities in an honored form. I hope people will read [the poems] and be able to relate, but I hope it also invites response, and that they will try to express themselves in that form. 

And you can read “Echo Speaks” on The Hippo here.

ritabanerjeeRita Banerjee is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing  (C&R Press, May 2018).  She is the author of the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, February 2018), which was a finalist for the Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Award, Three Mile Harbor Poetry Prize, and Aquarius Press / Willow Books Literature Award, the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (Spider Road Press, 2016), and the poetry chapbook Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press, 2010). She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her writing appears in the Academy of American PoetsPoets & Writers, Nat. Brut.The ScofieldThe Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mass Poetry, Hyphen Magazine, Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere.  She is an Associate Scholar of Comparative Literature at Harvard and teaches at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany.  She is the judge for the 2017 Minerva Rising “Dare to Speak” Poetry Chapbook Contest, and she is currently working on a novel, a documentary film about race and intimacy, a book on South Asian literary modernisms, and a collection of lyric essays on race, sex, politics, and everything cool.

CREDO Signings at AWP 2018 in Tampa – Editors: Thurs, March 8 * 2-3 pm * Authors: Booth 1036 & Friday, March 9 * 2-4 pm * Table T403

CREDO-RitaBanerjee-DianaNormaSzokolyaiIn celebration of the publication of  CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018) will have signings for both the editors and contributing authors of CREDO!


CREDO Editors
 Rita Banerjee & Diana Norma Szokolyai will be signing copies at the C&R Press Booth (Booth 1036) on Thursday, March 8 between 2-3pm!  For more information see the C&R Press Author signing page here.

CREDO contributing authors will be signing copies at the CWW table, T403 near the left-most entrance, on March 9 between 2-4pm! 

Editor Rita Banerjee will be signing for CREDO and her new poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, March 2018) at the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Table (T403) from 1-2 pm on Friday, March 9, 2018.  She will also be signing for Echo in Four Beats at the Finishing Line Press Table (T743) from 1-2 pm on Saturday, March 10, 2018.

Editor Diana Norma Szokolyai will be signing for CREDO and her poetry collections at the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Table (T403) from 1:30-2:30 pm on Saturday, March 10, 2018.

 

Here’s more about CREDO:

CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing is now available for Pre-Order on the C&R Press Website here and on Amazon.com!  CREDO is edited by Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai and assistant editors Alexander Carrigan and Megan Jeanine Tilley.

CREDO. I believe. No other statement is so full of intent and subversion and power. A Credo is a call to arms. It is a declaration. A Credo is the act of an individual pushing back against society, against established stigmas, taboos, values, and norms. A Credo provokes. It desires change. A Credo is an artist or community challenging dogma, and putting oneself on the front line. A Credo is art at risk. A Credo can be a marker of revolution. A Credo, is thus, the most calculating and simple form of a manifesto.

CREDO creates a bridge from the philosophical to the practical, presenting a triad of creative writing manifestos, essays on the craft of writing, and creative writing exercises. CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing is a raw look at what motivates authors today.

Contributing Authors:

Kazim Ali \ Forrest Anderson \ Rita Banerjee \ Lisa Marie Basile \ Jaswinder Bolina \ Stephanie Burt \ Alexander Carrigan \ Sam Cha \ Melinda J. Combs \ Thade Correa \ Jeff Fearnside \ Ariel Francisco \ John Guzlowski \ Rachael Hanel \ Janine Harrison \ Lindsay Illich \ Douglas Charles Jackson \ Caitlin Johnson \ Christine Johnson-Duell \ Jason Kapcala \ Richard Kenney \ Eva Langston \ John Laue \ Stuart Lishan \ Ellaraine Lockie \ Amy MacLennan \ Kevin McLellan \ E. Ce. Miller \ Brenda Moguez \ Peter Mountford \ Nell Irvin Painter \ Robert Pinsky \ Kara Provost \ Camille Rankine \ Jessica Reidy \ Amy Rutten \ Elisabeth Sharp McKetta \ David Shields \ Lillian Ann Slugocki \ Maya Sonenberg \ Kathleen Spivack \ Laura Steadham Smith \ Molly Sutton Kiefer \ Jade Sylvan \ Anca L. Szilágyi \ Diana Norma Szokolyai \ Marilyn L. Taylor \ Megan Jeanine Tilley \ Suzanne Van Dam \ Nicole Walker \ Allyson Whipple \ Shawn Wong \ Caroll Sun Yang \ Matthew Zapruder

Visit the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Table (T403) at AWP 2018 Bookfair, and learn about CREDOour Spring and Summer 2018 retreats, internships and more!

Celebrate the Pre-Launch of CREDO with the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, C&R Press, and Women’s National Book Association at AWP 2018!

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is delighted to celebrate the pre-launch of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing at the Spontaneous Reading Party, at the AWP 2018 Conference in Tampa, Florida.

SPONTANEOUS READING PARTY presented by C&R PressWomen’s National Book Association and Cambridge Writers’ Workshop will take place on Friday, March 9 from 7-11 pm at the historic The Centre for Women Hyde Park Mansion. The party will featuring readings from C&R Press authors and CREDO Contributors, and will feature a full bar and food.  The location for the party is less than one mile from the AWP Convention Center.

To register for free tickets to the Spontaneous Reading Party, please register via Eventbrite here.

From C&R Press, readers include: Brian LeungKristina Marie Darling, Earl Braggs, Katie RoginSybil BakerLaura Catherine BrownAriel FranciscoValerie TomaselliBrenna Womer, Erik Rasmussen and more.

From the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, we’re proud to feature our CREDO contributing authors Rita BanerjeeAlexander Carrigan, Janine Harrison, Kevin McLellan,  Nell Irvin PainterAnca L. Szilágyi, and Diana Norma Szokolyai at the Spontaneous Reading PartyRead more about our featured CREDO authors below! Authors will be reading in the following order:

Rita Banerjee is the author of Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, February 2018), the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (Spider Road Press, 2016), and the chapbook Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press, 2010). She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA from the University of Washington. Her writing appears in the Academy of American PoetsPoets & Writers, Nat. Brut.The ScofieldThe Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mass Poetry, Hyphen Magazine, Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and elsewhere. She is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing, and the judge for the 2017 Minerva Rising “Dare to Speak” Poetry Chapbook Contest, and is currently working on a novel, a documentary film about race and intimacy in the United States and in France, and a collection of essays on race, sex, politics, and everything cool.  Banerjee teaches at Ludwig-Maxmilian University of Munich in Germany. Banerjee is author of the essays “CREDO” and “Rasa: Emotion and Suspense in Theatre, Poetry and, (Non)Fiction,” in CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

DianVersion 2a Norma Szokolyai is author of Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book, 2014 Paris Book Festival), Roses in the Snow (first runner­up, Best Poetry Book, 2009 DIY Book Festival), and a feminist rewriting of a classic fairytale for Brooklyn Art Library’s The Fiction Project, entitled Beneath the Surface: Blue Beard, Remixed. Szokolyai’s poetry and prose has been published in MER VOX Quarterly, VIDA Review, Quail Bell Magazine, The Boston Globe, Luna Luna Magazine, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and has been anthologized in Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Teachers as Writers & elsewhere. Her edited volume is CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, 2018). She’s founding Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Szokolyai is author of Introduction, and the essay “What’s At Stake?” in CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

Nell Painter is the Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, at Princeton University and author of several books including Sojourner Truth, A Life, A Symbol, The History of White People, and Standing at Armageddon: The United States: 1877-1919. In additiona to a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University, she holds a BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, both in painting. Her art school memoir is entitled Old In Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over. Painter’s essays, “Leaving My Former Life” and “You’ll Never Be A Painter!” appear in the Manifesto section of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

Maya SonenbergMaya Sonenberg is the author of the story collections Cartographies (winner of the Drue Heinz Prize for Literature) and Voices from the Blue Hotel.  26 Abductions, a chapbook of her prose and drawings was published in 2015 by The Cupboard, and her newest chapbook of prose and photographs, After the Death of Shostakovich Père, won the PANK [Chap]book contest and will appear in 2018. Other fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Fairy Tale ReviewWeb ConjunctionsDIAGRAM, New Ohio ReviewThe LiterarianLady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Hotel Amerika, and numerous other journals, both in print and online. Her writing has received grants from the Washington State Arts Commission and King County 4Culture. She teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Washington. Sonenberg is the author of “Beyond The Plot Triangle” in CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

Anca L. Szilágyi’s debut novel is Daughters of the Air. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming from Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, and Lilith Magazine, among other publications. She is the recipient of the inaugural Artist Trust / Gar LaSalle Storyteller Award, a Made at Hugo House fellowship, and awards from the Vermont Studio Center, 4Culture, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and the Jack Straw Cultural Center. The Stranger hailed Anca as one of the “fresh new faces in Seattle fiction.” Originally from Brooklyn, she currently lives in Seattle with her husband. Find her on Twitter @ancawrites. Szilagyi is the author of “Summer-Inspired Writing Prompts,” in CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

Alexander Carrigan is the Communications and PR manager for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and has been with the organization since 2014. He is currently a news copy editor for Rare.us. He has had fiction, poetry, reviews (film, TV, and literature), and nonfiction work published in Poictesme Literary Journal, Amendment Literary Journal, Quail Bell Magazine, Luna Luna Magazine, Rebels: Comic Anthology at VCU, Realms YA Literary Magazine, and Life in 10 Minutes. He lives in Alexandria, VA. Carrigan is the author of “First Person Perspective Flash Fiction Prompts” in the Exercises section of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

Janine Harrison, M.A., M.F.A., poet, nonfictionist, and fiction writer, teaches creative writing at Purdue University Calumet and leads the nonprofit organization, Indiana Writers’ Consortium.  Her work has been published or is forthcoming in A&UVeils, Halos, and Shackles (Kasva Press, 2016); and other publications. She is currently finishing her first poetry collection, The Weight of Silence.  Janine lives with husband, fiction writer Michael Poore, and daughter, Jianna, in NW Indiana. Harrison’s essay, “In Ink: Tattoo Images and Phrases,” appears in the Exercises section of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

Kevin McLellan is the author of Ornitheology (The Word Works, 2018), Hemispheres (Fact-Simile Editions, 2018), [box] (Letter [r] Press, 2016), Tributary (Barrow Street, 2015), and Round Trip (Seven Kitchens, 2010). He won the 2015 Third Coast Poetry Prize and Gival Press’ 2016 Oscar Wilde Award, and his poems appear in numerous literary journals. Kevin lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. McLellan’s essay, “Attributes: A Prompt,” can be found in the Exercises section of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).