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Cave Canem and EcoTheo Collective are pleased to announce the 2023 Starshine and Clay Fellowship

an initiative providing financial and development support to emerging Black poets, and fundraising opportunities for Cave Canem. Named in honor of Cave Canem elder Lucille Clifton, the Starshine and Clay Fellowship was developed to speak to the mentorship Clifton offered Cave Canem Fellows during her tenure as Faculty at the Cave Canem Retreat.

Award: Two recipients will each receive $500 for a featured reading at the 2023 Wonder Festival in Jackson, Wyoming. Fellowship recipients will also receive a one-on-one consultation with Roger Reeves. Additionally, the fellows’ work will be published in the summer 2023 issue of EcoTheo Review.

Deadline: Applications must be received via Submittable by February 2, 2023, 11:59 pm EST.

Entry Fee: There is no entry fee for this fellowship application.

Judge: Roger Reeves

Deadline to submit application: February 6th 11:59PM (EST)

Workshop Period: March 9th - May 11th

Thursdays, 5:00PM - 8:00PM (CDT) | Public Reading May 8

Armory Learning Arts Center

1018 Madison Ave, Montgomery, AL 36104


Much of the work of poets such as Lucille Clifton, Mary Oliver, and Sharon Olds seems rooted in the lives of the poets themselves. How do these poets and others use their own lives to say something about their larger context, about a truth that resonates with or connects to the lives of others? This generative workshop will mine the self as a source for writing poems about the world outside the self.  We will examine the work of others then, using prompts and exercises, take a closer look at our physical and geographical selves as source material, to arrive at some poetic observations about how we live. We will experiment with forms (epistolary, narrative, fractured lyric, etc.) and explore the self as inspiration, or as Richard Hugo might call it, the "triggering town", moving beyond poetry that simply looks inward, but that uses the inward glance to do more than describe self.


Jacqueline Trimble lives and writes in Montgomery, Alabama. She is a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow and an Alabama State Council on the Arts Literary Fellow. Her poetry has appeared in various journals including Poetry, The Offing, and Poet Lore, and has also been featured by Poetry Daily. Trimble’s writing has been anthologized in The Night’s Magician, Southern Writers on Writing, and most recently The Beautiful: Poets Reimagine America. She has also written 13 episodes of Die Testament, a South African soap opera. Her debut poetry collection, American Happiness, was named the Best Book of 2016 by Seven Sisters Book Awards and won the Balcones Poetry Prize. Her latest collection, How to Survive the Apocalypse, was published in 2022. Trimble is Professor of English and Chair of the Department of Languages and Literatures at Alabama State University.

Deadline to submit application: February 19th 11:59PM (EST)

Workshop Period: March 22nd - May 24th

Wednesdays, 6:00PM - 9:00PM (EST) | Public Reading May 24

Cave Canem

20 Jay Street, 310A, Brooklyn, NY 11201


Shortening the distance between academia and authenticity, LOVE, Above All Things is designed to investigate the sweet spot connecting conventional craft and the writer’s voice. This series will focus on themes like love and forgiveness. This is a generative writing workshop where participants will build upon a single work for the first hour. The remaining time will be dedicated to analyzing and discussing artists ranging from bell hooks to Pusha T, Du Bois to Lizzo, in an effort to create new work that reflects us, and only us.

A graduate of Pratt’s MFA Writing in Activism Program and a Master of Social Work student at Stony Brook University, Falú works as a Social Worker, as well as a traveling teaching artist. An International Slam Champion and Cave Canem Fellow, she is published in several anthologies and is using her writing as activism work for several organizations. Falú’s other projects include “Niggas Die Everyday”, an art gallery and exhibit she co-curated and her one-woman show turned writing workshop, ‘Love, Above All Things’. She is the mother of two, a loyal Brooklynite and believes in fashion. Seriously.

Regional Workshop | Minneapolis | Laboratory Poetics with Danez Smith

Deadline to submit application: February 12th 11:59PM (EST)

Workshop Period: March 15th - May 17th

Wednesdays, 6:00PM - 9:00PM (CDT) | Public Reading May 17

Loft Literary Center

1011 Washington Avenue South

Poets often reach towards specific forms in order to propel or control a poem, they also might be reaching for a bit of challenge or exploration, but what if we go beyond sonnets or sestinas, and instead choose an experiment of our own design? While free verse poetry has always been a succulent wilderness to venture into in search of a poem, the constraints and encouragements of a bespoke form have allowed for reverberations that would not have been found unless constructed in the limits of invented form. “Constraint” doesn’t always mean limitation when it comes to form. Constraints are agreements between the poet and the form. A constraint can be used to hinder or control, but it can also encourage abundance and play. In this workshop, we will explore the wonders found in recently invented forms like the Bop, the burning haibun and the Molotov sonnet before turning our attention to forms we pattern ourselves. This workshop is for those looking to push the limits on their work as well as those looking to take the brakes off completely.

Danez Smith is the author of three collections including Homie and Don't Call us Dead. For their work, Danez was won the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry, the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and have been a finalist for the NAACP Image Award in Poetry, the National Book Critic Circle Award, and the National Book Award. Danez's poetry and prose has been featured in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The New Yorker, GQ, Best American Poetry and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Danez is a member of the Dark Noise Collective. Former co-host of the Webby nominated podcast VS (Versus), they live in Minneapolis near their people.

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