Black Writers Program: Past Offerings

TO TELL THE TRUTH: EXPLORING VOICE IN CREATIVE NONFICTION led by Takiyah Jackson
In this creative nonfiction-centered workshop, writers will explore how voice can be used to compel and pull readers into true and authentic stories. Writers will respond to prompts that focus on the voice and the structural craft moves of mentor texts including works by Nikki Giovanni, Damon Young, Jaquira Diaz, and Kiese Laymon. The final workshop will be guided by a theme that is prevalent in Black creative nonfiction: writing to the children of the future—inspired by James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, Imani Perry’s Breathe: A Letter to My Sons, and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me.
*Wednesdays from 7-9 p.m. EDT
*Runs October 28 – November 18, 2020
*Open to 12 participants

THE WORDS BETWEEN US: A WRITING WORKSHOP FOR BLACK WOMXN led by Alisha Acquaye
Black feminine wordplay is both the declaration of our existence, and the exploration of the complexity in our lived experiences. Our pens can be our greatest weapon of resistance. The Words Between Us is a 7-week creative writing series. Each week we’ll write to a different theme revolving around Black womxnhood, and receive media lists filled with poetry, essays, music videos, photography, movies, tv shows and more from Black womxn creatives. The media lists will serve as a compass and conversation starter for our creativity, meant to be enjoyed on our own. As we write to original prompts in workshop, we’ll imagine and unravel new realities within us.
*Mondays from 5-7 p.m. EDT
*Runs November 9 – December 21, 2020
*Open to 12 Black womxn

I AM MUSIC led by Alisha Acquaye
In this deep dive writing workshop, we’ll interpret, analyze and pull inspiration from our favorite Black muses, and use their art as mirrors into self. Each week we’ll zoom in on a specific artist who influences Black contemporary sounds. Through curated media lists (essays, music videos, performances, interviews, music reviews and more), group discussions and imaginative writing prompts, we’ll use music as a guide to writing through our complex emotions, ideas and fantasies. Workshop title inspired by Timbaland and Magoo’s song “I Am Music” featuring Aaliyah and Static Major.
*Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m. EDT
*Runs November 25 – December 23, 2020
*Open to 12 participants

BLACK LIVES IN PICTURES & WORDS led by John Maney
This is a workshop for poets and photography aficionados! Each week participants will look at esteemed Black photographers Gordon Parks, Jamel Shabazz, and Carrie Mae Weems; discuss their work in social contexts; and write in response to their photographs. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn basic photography principles and how to write ekphrastic poetry. By the final week, participants themselves will become the photographers of discussion and prompt writing responses for each other.
*Saturdays from 1-3 p.m. EDT
*Runs November 28 – December 19, 2020 
*Open to 12 participants

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Past Black Writers Program Events and Panels

INSIDE THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY with Jennifer Baker, Kaitlyn Greenidge, and Quressa Robinson

Thursday, November 5, 2020 from 7-8:30 p.m. ET

The publishing industry can be hard to decipher from the outside looking in. But how do you “get in”? Where do you start as a writer? How do you get published in the first place? Join our panelists as they walk through their experiences as Black women navigating through the publishing world, their points of access, and what it means to be a “professional” in the industry today.

EXCITE STRATEGIES: Craft and Revision for Poets with Angel Nafis
Tuesday, November 17th from 7-8:30pm EST

First drafts are the seed of any great piece — but what happens after that initial burst of creativity? How do you revise a poem and know when it’s truly complete? What are the tools that all poets need to have at their disposal to craft a compelling, completed poem? Join poet Angel Nafis as she takes you through an interactive journey that answers all these questions and more!

 

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