CWW Presents: WORD — A Brooklyn Book Festival Reading

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop will be hosting a reading during the annual Brooklyn Book Festival in Brooklyn, New York. The reading will be held on Saturday, September 15 at WORD Bookstore (126 Franklin St. Brooklyn, NY 11222) from 7 pm to 8:30 pm. Come visit our reading to hear from ten amazing authors who will be sharing some of their latest work.

Check out our incredible reading list:

 

Stephen Aubrey is a Brooklyn-based writer and dramaturg. He is co-artistic director and resident playwright of The Assembly theater company. His plays have been produced at The New Ohio Theater, The Living Theater, The Flea Theater, The Collapsable Hole, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His writing has appeared in Electric Literature, Publishing Genius, and The Brooklyn Review. He teaches creative writing and literature in the CUNY system.

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.

Lisa Marie Basile is the author of APOCRYPHALand the chapbooks Andalucia and war/lock. She is the editor-in-chief of Luna Luna Magazine, and her poetry and essays have appeared in PANK, Tin House, Coldfront, The Nervous Breakdown, The Huffington Post, Best American Poetry, PEN American Center, Dusie, The Ampersand Review, and other publications. She’s been featured in the NY Daily News, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls and on Ravishly.com. She holds an MFA from The New School and is working on a poetic novella. Basile is the author of “Dispelling the Myth of the Poet” in CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

Madeleine Barnes is a poet and visual artist from Pittsburgh living in Brooklyn. She is a doctoral fellow at CUNY’s Ph.D. Program in English, and the recipient of a New York State Summer Writers Institute Fellowship, two Academy of American Poets prizes, and the Princeton Poetry Prize. Her second chapbook, Light Experiments, is forthcoming from Porkbelly Press this year, and her protest embroideries were recently featured in Boston Accent Lit. She serves as Poetry Editor at Cordella Magazine.

Alexander Carrigan is the Communications and PR manager for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and has been with the organization since 2014. He is currently an assistant editor with the American Correctional Association. He has had fiction, poetry, reviews (film, TV, and literature), and nonfiction work published in Mercurial StoriesPoictesme 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) and was one of the anthology’s assistant editors.

Elizabeth Devlin, with her haunting combination of lilting voice and enchanting Autoharp, is a self-produced NYC singer- songwriter. Devlin defies traditional musical structure with many of her songs, building miniature narratives and magical worlds where characters, fantasies and time collide. Devlin has toured nationally, internationally, & performs in venues throughout NYC’s 5 boroughs. “Orchid Mantis,” her newest full-length album, was released in February 2017 at Sidewalk Café’s Winter Anti-folk Festival in NYC.

Jonah Kruvant’s successful first novel, The Last Book Ever Written, a dystopian satire set in a futuristic society where creativity is illegal, was published by PanAm Books in April 2015. His work has also appeared in Digital Americana, On the Verge, Bewildering Stories, Fiction on the Web, the Scarlet Leaf Review, and LIMN Literary and Arts Journal. I received an MFA degree in Fiction from Goddard College. Read about my work, book tour, and blog at www.jonahkruvant.com.

Emily Smith is currently an MFA student in nonfiction at Columbia University. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, Buzzfeed, Brooklyn Magazine, and many others. She’s previously worked as a Contributing Blogger for Ploughshares and a reviewer at Kirkus Reviews. You can follow her on Twitter at @esmithwrites.

 

DianVersion 2a Norma Szokolyai recently received honorable mention  in the 87th Annual Writers’ Digest Writing Competition for her poem “Shadows of the Pantry,” based on the experiences of her grandmother in war-torn Hungary, which will be featured in the Writers’ Digest Collection forthcoming in November 2018. She is the editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, 2018). She’s also founding Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Her poetry chapbook, Parallel Sparrows, received honorable mention for Best Poetry Book at the 2014 Paris Book Festival and her first poetry collection, Roses in the Snow placed first runner-up for Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival. She is also author of 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, Snapdragon Journal, 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, Always Wondering, and Our Last Walk. Her poetry-music collaboration with Flux Without Pause, “Space Mothlight,” hit #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015, and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive.

Amanda TorontoAmanda Toronto received her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University where she focused on contemporary American literature, art, and religion. She lives with her family in New York City and is at work on her first novel.

 

Devynity Wray is a Black Expressionist (artist, writer, performer, and poet) who graduated from the Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music & Arts and Performing Arts with an Arts Regents Diploma. She also earned her Bachelor’s of the Arts Cum Laude in Africana, Puerto-Rican and Latino Studies from Hunter College.  Devynity was a slam team member with the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe in 2002 which placed 3rd that year at the National Poetry Slam Contest. Her poem “Black Girl Manifesto” has also been published in Hill Harper’s critically acclaimed Letters to a Young Sister. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Devynity’s work embodies an amalgam of her intimate experiences growing up as a woman of color in the inner city and the struggles of its inhabitants. She is currently working on projects in music, video and on the page that will piece all that she has to offer into coherent experiences for her audience.

 

We hope to see you there!

 

Summer in Paris 2018 Writing Retreat: Day Six

July 30 was the final day of the Summer in Paris 2018 writing retreat. Faculty and writers shared their work and discussed their writing goals for the future. The week was fueled by each individual’s creativity, collaboration, and exploration of the city around us. We ended the week feeling inspired and grateful to our new community of fellow writers.

We will bring all of the creative energy and inspiration from our Paris to our August retreat in Granada, Spain.

Summer in Paris 2018 Writing Retreat: Day Five

Sunday, July 29, was the last full day of our Summer in Paris writing retreat. In the morning, Kristina Marie Darling led the group in her second workshop of the week: “Grants, Residencies, and Publication.” Kristina shared her insights on applying for grants and residencies as well as submitting work to a range of publications. Kristina addressed topics such as compiling a writing dossier, choosing writing samples, and crafting personal statements. Writers left the workshop with a packet of resources to help them research residency and publication opportunities as well as well as sample application materials and strategies for effectively presenting their own writing to selection committees.

In the afternoon Kathleen Spivack held her second “Memory and Memoir” workshop where students continued to explore how memory could be used in writing. Where do fact and fiction collide? What is a memoir and where exactly do we focus? How do we locate ourselves in our writing, and where do we find the starting place and point of view? These are a few of the questions that guided the class discussion and writing.

 

That evening the group visited Puces de Clignancort, the largest Parisian outdoor flea market. Puces de Clignancort is an open air market filled with clothing, antiques, books, music, and art and can be found in the 18th arrondissement.

Summer in Paris 2018 Writing Retreat: Day Four

Saturday, July 28, was a full day for our retreat faulty and participants. In the morning our guest faculty member Kristina Marie Darling taught her “Prose, Poetry, and Micro-Fiction” workshop. This course focused on prose poetry, meaning prose that draws from the extensive tradition, formal repertoire and literary devices that readers associate with poetry. Questions explored in class included: How can poets effectively and economically use the tools of fiction in their craft? What formal variations on the prose poem are possible? And how can prose poems compliment work written in more traditional poetic forms? Students ended the class with drafts of their own prose poetry or micro-fiction.

In the afternoon, CWW director Rita Banerjee held her workshop “Flâneurs, Essays, and Provocateurs.” Before meeting for Rita’s workshop, the participants were given a writing assignment where they were asked to spend 30 minutes “flaneusing or flaneuring” around Paris or Versailles in order to observe as much as they could about the people, places, animals, things, order, disorder or culture they were saw around them. These observations and experiences were then translated into a central question or thought that then became the beginning of an essay. Students were then asked to write until they found a solution to their central question or until they discovered an epiphany hiding in their work.

Following Rita’s workshop, faculty and writers traveled to Versailles where they explored the palace and gardens of the Chateau de Versailles. The Chateau de Versailles is perhaps best known as the residence of Louis XIV, who installed the Court and government at Versailles in 1632. Versailles is considered one of the greatest achievements of French 17th century art. The group ended their evening with an illuminated fountain and firework show in the gardens.

Summer in Paris 2018 Writing Retreat: Day Three

The morning of Friday, July 27 began with the first session of guest faculty member Kathleen Spivack’s “Memory and Memoir” workshop. Kathleen’s class focused on how writers can work with memory, nostalgia, the other, and ourselves and explored the role of memory in writing.

In the afternoon the group traveled to Musée d’Orsay for Diana Norma Szokolyai‘s workshop, “Ekphrasis: When Writing Confronts Visual Art.” Prior to the ekphrasis workshop, writers were asked to ponder several questions: How does writing about visual art combine both creative and critical processes? How can we use ekphrasis to jumpstart our own creative process?  How can ekphrasis help us explore the emotional world and perspectives of the Other? And how does ekphrasis reveal deeply personal and internal reflection by examining a creation external to ourselves? In addition to these musings, participants also wrote poems inspired by various pieces of art.

The day ended with more explorations around Paris, individual writing time, and preparations for Kristina Marie Darling’s class on “Prose Poetry and Micro-Fiction,” Rita Banerjee’s class on, “Flaneurs, Essays, and Provocateurs,” and a trip to Versailles.

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.”

Summer in Paris 2018 Writing Retreat: Day One

Wednesday, July 25, marked the first official day of our 2018 Summer Writing Retreat in Paris! The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop directors and faculty prepared for the arrival of writers and scouted the neighborhood for the group.

 

During their exploration, Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai enjoyed galettes from La Crêperie Bretonne and stumbled upon a poem on Blvd Edgar Quinet.

 

Paris faculty, Kristina Marie Darling and Kathleen Spivack, arrived and instructors and participants had an orientation and luncheon together on the patio at La Baraka (authentic Moroccan restaurant.)

Following dinner, the group paid a visit to Amorino for some gelato and settled in at Hôtel Denfert-Montparnasse, home of the retreat for the next week.

Apply by Friday, June 15 for our 2018 Summer Retreats in Paris and Granada!

Applications close this Friday, June 15, for our 2018 Summer Writing Retreats in Paris, France and Granada, Spain. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to study with award-winning faculty in an inspiring and supportive community of writers. Scholarships are available. Apply today!

CWW-2018ParisRetreat

Summer in Paris

Our Paris retreat will be held from July 25-July 30 with faculty Kathleen Spivack, Kristina Marie Darling, Rita Banerjee, and Rita Banerjee. Students will stay in the heart of the Montparnasse neighborhood, enjoy classes in a beautiful Moroccan-themed room with an open-air courtyard, and take literary tours of Paris.

 

CWW-Paris2018Schedule

Memory/Memoir (with Kathleen Spivack)

We will be working with memory, memoir, the other, and ourselves as we explore the role of memory in our writing. We will focus on new work or, if you prefer, working on projects you bring to the class.

How can we use memory? Where do fact and fiction collide? What is a memoir and where exactly do we focus? How do we locate ourselves in our writing and where do we find the starting place and point of view? There are many ways of approaching memory/memoir in our writing and we will explore a few of them.

Prose Poetry and Micro-Fiction with (Kristina Marie Darling)

In this course, we will focus on prose poetry, meaning prose that draws from the extensive tradition, formal repertoire and literary devices that readers associate with poetry. We will work toward a set of drafts that enact the full range and diversity inherent in this exciting literary form. Questions we will address in this class include: How can poets effectively and economically use the tools of fiction in their craft? What formal variations on the prose poem are possible? How can prose poems complement work written in more traditional poetic forms? Readings will include work by Rochelle Hurt, Carol Guess, Kerri Webster, Joanna Ruocco, Jenny Boully, Sarah Vap, G.C. Waldrep, Suzanne Scanlon, and other writers as determined by student interest.

Grants, Residencies, & Publication (with Kristina Marie Darling)

This workshop will walk students through the basics of writing convincing and persuasive applications to fellowships, residencies, grants, and other opportunities.  We will begin with a discussion of strategies for researching those professional opportunities that best fit one’s chosen project. We will also address such topics as crafting personal statements, writing compelling project proposals, choosing the writing sample, and compiling your dossier as a whole.  Students will leave the workshop with a packet of resources for researching residencies and grants, as well as sample application materials and strategies for effectively presenting their own writing to selection committees.

Ekphrasis: Writing Confronts Visual Art (with Diana Norma Szokolyai)

The word “ekphrasis” comes from the Greek, referring to a literary response to a visual scene, or more commonly, a work of art. By engaging in the imaginative act of reflecting on the action of a work of visual art, the writer expands the meaning of the art. After reading literary examples and holding a discussion about applying the practice of ekphrasis to our own writing, our classroom will be one of the most beautiful museums in Paris: The Musée D’Orsay.

Flâneurs, Essays, and Provocateurs (with Rita Banerjee)

An essay is an attempt.  A trial. A test. In this class, we will explore how evocative essays are attempted and constructed.  We will explore how being a flâneur and an essayist are intimately combined. And we will study how essayists from Montaigne to John McPhee to Richard Rodriguez to David Shields to Teju Cole and Lauren Elkin redefine the environment they inhabit and create a space for electric art.

CWWGranadaPoster2018FINAL

Summer in Granada

Our Granada retreat will run from August 1-August 6 with faculty Tim Horvath Diana Norma Szokolyai, and Rita Banerjee. Intellectual, diverse, and artistic, Granada will always have creative opportunities and events to experience. No matter how you choose to spend your time, this city is full inspiration. The retreat offers multi-genre workshops, as well as craft seminars and time to write.

CWW-Granada2018Schedule (2)

Leyendo Intensamente: Reading Spanish Language Literature (in Translation) as a Writer (with Tim Horvath)

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. Beginning with now-canonical figures like Borges, Valenzuela, and Cortázar, we’ll look at the history of mid-twentieth century literature in Spanish, and explore how social and political conditions shaped the dissemination of that literature through the Western world. We’ll then look at how today’s writers are both continuing and radically transforming that tradition in light of contemporary issues. In particular, we’ll examine writers such as Valeria Luiselli, Andrés Neuman, Cristina Rivera Garza, and Samanta Schweblin, each of whom bends narrative, language, and thus our understanding of reality itself. We’ll also explore the fraught, infinitely rich topic of translation, discussing its complexities and the ways that understanding the innumerable decisions involved in bringing a work into another language can shed light on the act of “translating” any experience or concept from mind or world onto the page, i.e. writing itself.

The Poetry of Flamenco (with Diana Norma Szokolyai)

In this class, we will explore the fantastically concise and heel-­to-­floor transmission of passion through the lyrics of flamenco music. Packed with intense rhythms, rhymes, and imagery to match the intensity of the music, flamenco songs are a form of poetry developed by Romani people to express the deepest human experiences of love, death, and oppression. We will examine symbols and structures in the poetry of flamenco, learning the distinctions between siguiriya, tango, playera, soleá, and carcelera. Complementary to the class, we will visit an authentic flamenco performance and get a tour of the Museo Cuevas del Sacromonte, where Romani people have traditionally lived in cave dwellings and practiced the art of flamenco.

Character Development & the Law of Desire (with Rita Banerjee)

Femme fatales, gumshoe detectives, star-crossed lovers, wicked stepmothers, wise fools, empathetic anti-heroes: dynamic and archetypal characters can be key to making a good story or lyrical piece tick and pulling in the reader deeper into your creative work. In this workshop, we will discuss how dynamic and archetypal characters can help structure stories, propel narratives forwards, and how each character’s desire provides interesting ethical dilemmas and emotional spectrums to narratives and verse. We will learn about the building blocks of creating strong, unforgettable characters, discuss the connection between desire and plot, and learn how playing with persona can help liberate nonfictional stories and lyrical poems.

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer 2018 Retreats featured in India’s The Hindu

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is delighted to have its 2018 Summer in Paris and Summer in Granada, Spain Writing Retreats featured in the Indian newspaper The Hindu.  In the article, Artists’ and writers’ retreat throw open doors for a creative vacation,” journalist Sujatha Shankar Kumar writes:

Accomplished writers Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai started the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop (CWW) in 2008 as a literary writing forum set in Cambridge. “At its heart, CWW has a bi-fold model — French literary salon and the Bengali adda,” says Banerjee, explaining how they nurture non-hierarchical, productive and liberal spaces where writers perform and debate their work. Retreats in New Orleans, Paris and Granada have morning classes and afternoon tours, as Banerjee says, “We wanted writers to get snapshots of culture.” Their upcoming retreat in Granada (August 1 to 6) has Banerjee teaching the Law of Desire (how desire creates conflict) and creating memorable characters. Tim Horvath will explore ‘the five senses’ in Spanish, and Szokolyai will impart the history of flamenco and Roma literature. The fee includes tuition, lodging, a flamenco show, a tapas tour of the city and breakfast.

Read the full article and Kumar’s review of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop here.

June 15, 2018 is the deadline to apply for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop 2018 Summer in Paris and Summer in Granada Writing Retreats and Scholarships.  Our multi-genre faculty includesKathleen Spivack,Kristina Marie DarlingTim Horvath Rita Banerjee, and Diana Norma Szokolyai.  So many sure to get in your applications at http://cww.submittable.com by then!

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).