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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Register:

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

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

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

Class Schedule:

Featured Courses:

About David Shields:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Diana Norma Szokolyai:

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

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

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

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

         -break to refresh and change – 

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

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

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

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

         -break to refresh and change – 

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

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

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

About Rita Banerjee:

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

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

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

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

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

About Tim Horvath:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Juneteenth: A Statement in Support of Black Lives Matter

Dear Writers and Readers, 

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

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

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

Watch on Facebook Live

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

About Black Visions Collective:

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

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

Donate to the Black Visions Collective
Watch on Facebook Live

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

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

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

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

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

Watch on Facebook Live

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

About Black Visions Collective:

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

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

Donate to the Black Visions Collective
Watch on Facebook Live

Featured Authors:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Featured Authors:

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

Applications for our Summer in Paris (July 16-21, 2020) Writing Retreat are now live! Apply by May 30, 2020!


The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Writing Retreat will take place July 16-21, 2020 in Paris, France. The retreat offers participating writers of all genres and levels to work alongside award-winning authors and editors. Participating writers will hone their craft and expand their writing skills, while working on new or existing projects. There will also be time to explore the city of Paris in all of its historical, literary, and romantic charm. Situated in heart of Paris’ Montparnasse neighborhood, amongst the fresh and popular open air markets and charming boutiques, the hotel stay is full of Parisian charm.

Retreat activities will include craft of writing seminars and creative writing workshops, and a chance to explore the literary history of Paris. If you’re serious about writing and want to bask in some exquisite French culture this summer, join our retreat in Paris! Tuition is $3,875, which includes lodging in central Paris, creative writing workshops and writing seminars with our supportive and award-winning faculty of writers and editors, and daily breakfast.

Faculty includes internationally renowned authors, David Shields (personal essayist, documentary filmmaker), Diana Norma Szokolyai (poetry, nonfiction), and Rita Banerjee (poetry, nonfiction, fiction).

If you’d like to join us in Paris, please apply online by May 30, 2020, and include $10 application screening fee and a 5-10 page writing sample of poetry or prose. Please also include the following in your cover letter:

1. Full Legal Name
2. Contact & Address
3. Age & Nationality
4. Prior creative writing experience and publications
5. Creative writing goals for the retreat
6. Short one paragraph biography
7. Contact of Two Personal References (Name, Email, Address, Phone, Relationship to Applicant)

Due to limited seats, early applications are strongly encouraged.  Our Scholarship deadline is March 1, 2020, and thus, we encourage applicants to complete their applications by our priority deadline of March 1, 2020. Our Paris retreat tends to fill up quickly, so feel free to send in your application early.

Featured Faculty:

jUSEu2sSo4RfT2C6eSXb6-plQPuQlknv-LggVh9tpUs David Shields is the internationally bestselling author of twenty-two books, including Reality Hunger (named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications), The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead (New York Times bestseller), Black Planet (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), and Other People: Takes & Mistakes (NYTBR Editors’ Choice). The film adaptation of I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel was released by First Pond Entertainment in 2017. Nobody Hates Trump More Than Trump: An Intervention was published in 2018; The Trouble With Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power is forthcoming in March 2019. A recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships and a senior contributing editor of Conjunctions, Shields has published essays and stories in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Esquire, Yale Review, Salon, Slate, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, and Believer. His work has been translated into two dozen languages.

Diana Norma Szokolyai is a writer and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Her edited volume, CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing, will be released by C&R Press in May 2018.  She is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival) and Roses in the Snow (first runner-­up Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival). She also records her poetry with musicians and has collaborated with several composers including David Krebs (US), Robert Lemay (Canada), Claudio Gabriele (Italy), Peter James (UK), Jason Haye (UK), and Sebastian Wesman (Estonia). Diana Norma is a founding member of the performing arts groups Sounds in Bloom, ChagallPAC, and The Brooklyn Soundpainting Ensemble. 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. Her work has been recently reviewed by The London Grip and published in VIDA: Reports from the Field, The Fiction Project, Quail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, The Boston Globe, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, The Dudley Review and Up the Staircase QuarterlyThe Million Line Poem, The Cambridge Community Poem, and elsewhere, as well as anthologized in Our Last Walk, The Highwaymen NYC #2, Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Always Wondering, and Teachers as Writers.  She is currently at work on her next book and an album of poetry & music.  Diana Norma holds a M.A. in French (UCONN, La Sorbonne) and an Ed.M in Arts in Education (Harvard).

ritabanerjee

Rita 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, March 2018), which was nominated for the 2019 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize at the Academy of American Poets, featured on the Ruth Stone Foundation podcast, and named one of Book Riot’s “Must-Read Poetic Voices of Split This Rock 2018”, and was selected by Finishing Line Press as their 2018 nominee for the National Book Award in Poetry.  Banerjee is also the author of 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 is the co-writer and co-director of Burning Down the Louvre (2020), a documentary film about race, intimacy, and tribalism in the United States and in France.  She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and she is a recipient of a Vermont Studio Center Artist’s Grant, the Tom and Laurel Nebel Fellowship, and South Asia Initiative and Tata Grants.  Her writing appears in the Academy of American PoetsPoets & Writers, PANK, 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 the Director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and an Associate Scholar of Comparative Literature at Harvard.  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.  Her writing is represented by agents Jeff Kleinman and Jamie Chambliss of Folio Literary Management.

FAQ:

What Happens After I apply?
Once you apply, you can expect to hear from us within 10-14 days and know whether you were accepted into the program.

What is the process of paying tuition?
Once you are accepted into the program, you will need to pay a 30% tuition deposit to hold your seat within 3-5 days of acceptance. Please note that the deposit is non-refundable. The remainder of tuition will be due by May 30, 2020. Our standard and preferred method of payment is PayPal invoice, which does have a service fee. You can also mail us a check. Please email us if you prefer to send a check and we will give you the mailing address.

What is included in tuition?

    • lodging in central Paris
    • daily breakfast at the hotel
    • creative writing workshops
    • craft of writing seminars
    • a celebratory meet-&-greet dinner with faculty

Where will the program be held?
The program will be held at Hôtel du Midi Paris Montparnasse, 4 Avenue René Coty, 14th Arr., 75014, Paris, France.

What language is the program in?
The program is in English, but French or other non-anglophones are welcome as long as you can speak, read and write in English!

I’m local to Paris. Is there a tuition only option?
Yes. For more information, please inquire at directors@cambridgewritersworkshop.org.

What if the deadline has passed? Can I still apply?
Sometimes, we do have seats open after our deadlines have passed. Please apply or just email us directly at directors@cambridgewritersworkshop.org to check whether there is still availability.

Applications for our Spring in New Orleans Writing Retreat (March 19-22, 2020) are now live! Apply by March 10, 2020!

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is pleased to announce our fourth annual Spring in New Orleans Writing Retreat! Apply to the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Spring in New Orleans (March 19-22, 2020) Writing Retreat by March 10, 2020 on cww.submmittable.com! Known for its Spanish and French architecture, live jazz, Cajun food, and street festivals, New Orleans offers an inspirational and one-of-a-kind experience for writers. Our retreat features multi-genre workshops, as well as craft seminars and time to write. The faculty includes award-winning writers & playwrights: Stephen Aubrey, Rita Banerjee, and Diana Norma Szokolyai. All genres welcome. Genres include playwriting, nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. This year, we will also be exploring writing for live action roleplay (LARP) theater with an expert. The cost of the retreat is $1650, which includes tuition, lodging, and some meals. If you’d like to join us in NOLA, please apply by our priority deadline of March 1, 2020 by submitting 5-10 pages of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or a play with a $10 application fee, a cover letter, and references at cww.submittable.com. Please also include the following in your cover letter:
    1. Full Legal Name
    2. Contact Information (Email, Address, Phone)
    3. Age & Nationality
    4. Prior Workshop Experience and Publications
    5. Creative Writing Goals for the Retreat
    6. Short One-paragraph Biography
    7. Contact info of Two Personal References (Name, Email, Address, Phone, Relationship to Applicant)
Due to limited seats, early applications are encouraged. Our Scholarship Deadline for our 2020 retreats is March 1, 2020.  Thus, applications are encouraged by our priority deadline of March 1, 2020.  All applications will be reviewed through March 10, 2020.
apply

Priority Deadline: March 1, 2020

Featured Faculty:

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.

ritabanerjee

Rita 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, March 2018), which was nominated for the 2019 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize at the Academy of American Poets, featured on the Ruth Stone Foundation podcast, and named one of Book Riot’s “Must-Read Poetic Voices of Split This Rock 2018”, and was selected by Finishing Line Press as their 2018 nominee for the National Book Award in Poetry.  Banerjee is also the author of 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 is the co-writer and co-director of Burning Down the Louvre (2020), a documentary film about race, intimacy, and tribalism in the United States and in France.  She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and she is a recipient of a Vermont Studio Center Artist’s Grant, the Tom and Laurel Nebel Fellowship, and South Asia Initiative and Tata Grants.  Her writing appears in the Academy of American PoetsPoets & Writers, PANK, 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 the Director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and an Associate Scholar of Comparative Literature at Harvard.  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.  Her writing is represented by agents Jeff Kleinman and Jamie Chambliss of Folio Literary Management.

Diana Norma Szokolyai is a writer and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Her edited volume, CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing, will be released by C&R Press in May 2018.  She is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival) and Roses in the Snow (first runner-­up Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival). She also records her poetry with musicians and has collaborated with several composers including David Krebs (US), Robert Lemay (Canada), Claudio Gabriele (Italy), Peter James (UK), Jason Haye (UK), and Sebastian Wesman (Estonia). Diana Norma is a founding member of the performing arts groups Sounds in Bloom, ChagallPAC, and The Brooklyn Soundpainting Ensemble. 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. Her work has been recently reviewed by The London Grip and published in VIDA: Reports from the Field, The Fiction Project, Quail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, The Boston Globe, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, The Dudley Review and Up the Staircase QuarterlyThe Million Line Poem, The Cambridge Community Poem, and elsewhere, as well as anthologized in Our Last Walk, The Highwaymen NYC #2, Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Always Wondering, and Teachers as Writers.  She is currently at work on her next book and an album of poetry & music.  Diana Norma holds a M.A. in French (UCONN, La Sorbonne) and an Ed.M in Arts in Education (Harvard).

   

FAQ:

What happens after I apply? Once you apply, you can expect to hear from us within 10-14 days and know whether you were accepted into the program.

What is the process of paying tuition? Once you are accepted into the program, you will need to pay a 30% tuition deposit to hold your seat within 3-5 days of acceptance. This amount is non-refundable. The remainder of tuition will be due by March 10, 2020. Our standard and preferred method of payment is PayPal invoice. You can also mail us a check. Please email us at directors [at]cambridgewritersworkshop.org and we will provide instructions for mailing.

What is included in tuition?

    • creative writing workshops
    • craft of writing seminars
    • lodging in NOLA
    • breakfasts & some other meals

I’m local to New Orleans. Is there a tuition only option?

Yes. For more information, please inquire at directors[at]cambridgewritersworkshop.org.

What are accommodations like?

During the retreat, we will be staying at the lovely Pelham Hotel. The hotel is centrally located and within walking distance to the French Quarter, Bourbon St, Convention Center and the Superdome. In this location, you will have access to museums, historical sites, malls, and many other exciting attractions!

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris 2019 Retreat Schedule Announced

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Writing Retreat will take place from July 17-22, 2019.  Situated in heart of Paris’ Montparnasse neighborhood, amongst the fresh and popular open air markets and charming boutiques, the hotel stay is full of Parisian charm and our classes will take place in a beautiful Moroccan themed room that opens to a courtyard that can also be used by our writers.  Retreat activities will include craft of writing seminars and creative writing workshops, literary tours of Paris. If you’re serious about writing and want to soak in some exquisite French culture this summer, join our retreat in Paris!   The faculty includes award-winning writers Kazim Ali, Rita Banerjee, and Diana Norma Szokolyai.  Genres include poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

The schedule for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Retreat (July 17-22, 2019) has been announced.  More details about classes and instructors follow below! À bientôt!

Schedule:

Writing about Space and Place (with Kazim Ali)
We experience place through multiple present tense lenses– sensory perception, kinesthetic observation, relationship of inner reality to outer surroundings– as well as through history, language, geography, botany, biology and zoology.

Craft Seminar:
We will look at a number of writers who have engaged space and place in their work and discuss what techniques and forms they developed, often very site-specific. Writers discussed will include Layli Long Soldier, Craig Santos Perez, Cristina Peri Rossi and Georges Perec

Generative Workshop:
Using techniques of walking meditation, we will experience the surrounding neighborhood of the conference venue (including the Cemeterie Montparnasse) as a launch point to generate work and provide feedback and critique to one another.

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 James Baldwin to Lauren Elkin to Edmund White to David Shields to Yoko Tawada redefine the environment they inhabit and create a space for electric art.

Featured Faculty:

Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom to Muslim parents of Indian, Iranian and Egyptian descent. He received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Albany-SUNY, and an M.F.A. from New York University. His books encompass several volumes of poetry, including Inquisition, Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth DayAll One’s Blue; and the cross-genre text Bright Felon. His novels include the recently published The Secret Room: A String Quartet and among his books of essays are the hybrid memoir Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. Ali has taught at various colleges and universities, including Oberlin College, Davidson College, St. Mary’s College of California, and Naropa University. He is currently a professor of Literature and Writing at the University of California, San Diego.

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, March 2018),which was named one of Book Riot’s “Must-Read Poetic Voices of Split This Rock 2018”, was nominated for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and was selected by Finishing Line Press as their 2018 nominee for the National Book Award in Poetry.  Banerjee is also the author of 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 she is a recipient of a Vermont Studio Center Artist’s Grant, the Tom and Laurel Nebel Fellowship, and South Asia Initiative and Tata Grants. 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, Tahoma Literary Review, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. She is the Director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, an Associate Scholar at Harvard, and the judge for the 2017 Minerva Rising “Dare to Speak” Poetry Chapbook Contest. 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.

Diana Norma Szokolyai is an author, educator, interdisciplinary artist and artistic director. Her books are CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing(edited anthology), Parallel Sparrows(poetry + photography), Roses in the Snow (poetry + photography), and Blue Beard, Remixed (poetry + short story + art). Her poetry was shortlisted for the 2018 Bridport Prize and received honorable mention in the 87thAnnual Writer’s Digest Competition (2018). She also performs her poetry with music and her collaboration with Project 5 a.m., “Space Mothlight,” hit #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015 and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive. She is Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, where she leads writing retreats, and Co-Director of Chagall Performance Art Collaborative. She holds an Ed.M in Arts in Education from Harvard University and an M.A. in French from the University of Connecticut.

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Writing Retreat (July 17-22, 2019) – Apply by June 15, 2019!

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Writing Retreat will take place July 17-22, 2019 in Paris, France. The retreat offers participating writers of all genres and levels to work alongside award-winning authors and editors. Participating writers will hone their craft and expand their writing skills, while working on new or existing projects.

There will also be time to explore the city of Paris in all of its historical, literary, and romantic charm. Situated in heart of Paris’ Montparnasse neighborhood, amongst the fresh and popular open air markets and charming boutiques, the hotel stay is full of Parisian charm and our classes will take place in a beautiful Moroccan themed room that opens to a courtyard that can also be used by our writers.

Retreat activities will include craft of writing seminars and creative writing workshops, literary tours of Paris. If you’re serious about writing and want to soak in some exquisite French culture this summer, join our retreat in Paris! Tuition is $3250, which includes lodging in central Paris, daily creative writing workshops and writing seminars, daily breakfast, and a walking tour of “literary” Paris.

Faculty includes internationally renowned author Kazim Ali (fiction, poetry), Diana Norma Szokolyai(poetry, nonfiction), Rita Banerjee (poetry, nonfiction, fiction).

Schedule:

Writing about Space and Place (with Kazim Ali)
We experience place through multiple present tense lenses– sensory perception, kinesthetic observation, relationship of inner reality to outer surroundings– as well as through history, language, geography, botany, biology and zoology.

Craft Seminar:
We will look at a number of writers who have engaged space and place in their work and discuss what techniques and forms they developed, often very site-specific. Writers discussed will include Layli Long Soldier, Craig Santos Perez, Cristina Peri Rossi and Georges Perec

Generative Workshop:
Using techniques of walking meditation, we will experience the surrounding neighborhood of the conference venue (including the Cemeterie Montparnasse) as a launch point to generate work and provide feedback and critique to one another.

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.

Featured Faculty:

Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones

Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom to Muslim parents of Indian, Iranian and Egyptian descent. He received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Albany-SUNY, and an M.F.A. from New York University. His books encompass several volumes of poetry, including Inquisition, Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth DayAll One’s Blue; and the cross-genre text Bright Felon. His novels include the recently published The Secret Room: A String Quartet and among his books of essays are the hybrid memoir Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. Ali has taught at various colleges and universities, including Oberlin College, Davidson College, St. Mary’s College of California, and Naropa University. He is currently a professor of Literature and Writing at the University of California, San Diego.

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, March 2018),which was named one of Book Riot’s “Must-Read Poetic Voices of Split This Rock 2018”, was nominated for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and was selected by Finishing Line Press as their 2018 nominee for the National Book Award in Poetry.  Banerjee is also the author of 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 she is a recipient of a Vermont Studio Center Artist’s Grant, the Tom and Laurel Nebel Fellowship, and South Asia Initiative and Tata Grants. 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, Tahoma Literary Review, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. She is the Director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, an Associate Scholar at Harvard, and the judge for the 2017 Minerva Rising “Dare to Speak” Poetry Chapbook Contest. 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.

Diana Norma Szokolyai is a writer and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Her edited volume, CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing, will be released by C&R Press in May 2018.  She is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival) and Roses in the Snow (first runner-­up Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival). She also records her poetry with musicians and has collaborated with several composers including David Krebs (US), Robert Lemay (Canada), Claudio Gabriele (Italy), Peter James (UK), Jason Haye (UK), and Sebastian Wesman (Estonia). Diana Norma is a founding member of the performing arts groups Sounds in Bloom, ChagallPAC, and The Brooklyn Soundpainting Ensemble. 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. Her work has been recently reviewed by The London Grip and published in VIDA: Reports from the Field, The Fiction Project, Quail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, The Boston Globe, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, The Dudley Review and Up the Staircase QuarterlyThe Million Line Poem, The Cambridge Community Poem, and elsewhere, as well as anthologized in Our Last Walk, The Highwaymen NYC #2, Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Always Wondering, and Teachers as Writers.  She is currently at work on her next book and an album of poetry & music.  Diana Norma holds a M.A. in French (UCONN, La Sorbonne) and an Ed.M in Arts in Education (Harvard).

If you’d like to join us in Paris, please apply online by June 15, 2019, and include $10 application screening fee and a 5-10 page writing sample of poetry or prose.  Please also include the following in your cover letter:

1. Full Legal Name
2. Contact & Address
3. Age & Nationality
4. Prior creative writing experience and publications
5. Creative writing goals for the retreat
6. Short one paragraph biography
7. Contact of Two Personal References (Name, Email, Address, Phone, Relationship to Applicant)

(Due to limited seats, early applications are encouraged, but check for rolling admission after deadline, depending on availability). More information available at cww.nyc

apply

Deadline: June 15, 2019

Greg Bem reviews CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing in the new issue of Rain Taxi

In the Spring 2019 issue of Rain Taxi, Seattle writer Greg Bem reviews Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai’s CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).  In the review, Bem writes:

The relationship between the writer and their practice is ongoing, and this collection feels like a generous gift to those who already write, those who may be dabbling, and those who may be completely stuck in either newness or crisis. In CREDO, this relationship the individual has with their act is explored via three different forms of writing-on-writing: manifestos, statements on craft, and writing exercises. Each section in the anthology contains contributions from different writers, fifty in all, who are connected to one another via the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, an ongoing project which serves to “create a global network of creative writers, artists, and intellectuals who actively bridge their private aesthetic philosophies with their public forms of art.” The spread is, to some degree, diverse; the writers come from different styles and backgrounds and identities, and we see intricate and personal relationships between the writers and their works through the book’s three sections.

To read the full review, visit Rain Taxi here.