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"A Street in Brooklyn: Writing into the Urban Landscape"

"It was quite a time for loving. It was midnight. It was May." 

Gwendolyn Brooks, The Old-Marrieds

In this workshop, writers will primarily read and meditate on Gwendolyn Brooks' works as she "saw and heard in the street," a poet who, "could look first on one side and then the other (of her apartment on the corner). There was (her) material." 

Using Brooks' model of poet as writing the urban landscape, we will write our own poems and discuss the importance of being in a present environment while also considering the poetry of our everyday: public transportation, parks, apartments and houses, neighborhoods and neighbors. The scene and unseen. We will create and an archive of poems of our today: poetry that sings and a poetry that urges us to see and remember.

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, DeLana R.A. Dameron is a writer and arts and culture administrator living in Brooklyn, NY. Dameron is the author of Weary Kingdom and her debut collection How God Ends Us was selected by Elizabeth Alexander for the 2008 South Carolina Poetry Book Prize. Dameron holds a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She has conducted readings, workshops and lectures all across the United States, Central America and Europe. For more information, visit

Dates: Tuesdays, 6-8:30 pm. September 19 & 26; October 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31. 

A public reading will take place on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 6:30 pm.

Where: Cave Canem Foundation, 20 Jay Street, Suite 310-A, Brooklyn, NY

Who's eligible:

  • Poets of color living in New York City’s five boroughs.
  • Poets at the early-to-intermediate stage of their writing endeavors.
  • Individuals who commit to attending all 8 sessions
  • Individuals who are not enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program
  • Individuals who are not Cave Canem fellows
  • Writers who have not  published more than one collection of poetry with a commercial press.

Up to 15 participants will be selected by lottery, with preference given to applicants who have attended fewer than three workshops. 

Deadline to Apply: Monday, August 28, 2017 at 11:59 pm EST. 

Notification: No later than Wednesday, August 30, 2017, by e-mail.

Fee: $30 - $240 (Choose the amount that’s right for you.)

To Apply:
Please upload a document including:

  • Maximum of three pages of poems, written in any style. No more than one poem per page. Include your name on every page.
  • In the cover letter box provided within Submittable:
  1. Title of poems being submitted.
  2. If applicable, Cave Canem workshops you’ve attended, including instructor and year.
  3. One-two sentences maximum about what you wish to accomplish in the workshop.

By submitting your application, you agree to the aforementioned terms of eligibility.

Payment by PayPal:
Once accepted, go to Scroll down to the payment box, and enter an amount between $30 and $240. You then will be prompted to complete your payment through PayPal.

Contact Programs & Communications Coordinator, Elizabeth Bryant at 718.858.0000 or


The Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize

Launched in 2015, the Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize is dedicated to the discovery of exceptional chapbook-length manuscripts by black poets.

Award: Winner receives $500, publication by Jai-Alai Books in 2018, 10 copies of the chapbook, a residency from April 2-6, 2018 at The Writer’s Room at The Betsy Hotel in Miami and a featured reading on April 4, 2018 at the O, Miami Poetry Festival.

Deadline: Manuscripts must be submitted no later than Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner announced by email on or before December 31, 2017. 

Entry Fee: $12. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Final Judge: Major Jackson. (Judge reserves the right not to select a winner or honorable mentions.)

First Readers: Cameron Awkward-Rich, Tameka Cage Conley, P. Scott Cunningham

Cave Canem uses a blind judging system to arrive at the contest winner and honorable mention(s).

Eligibility: This is not a first-book award. All unpublished, original collections of poems written in English by black writers are eligible. Simultaneous submission to other chapbook awards should be noted: immediate notice upon winning such an award is required. Winner agrees to be present in the continental United States at her or his own expense shortly after the book is published in order to participate in O, Miami 2018.

Exclusions: Current or former students, colleagues, employees, family members and close friends of the judge; current or former employees and members of the board of Cave Canem Foundation, Jai-Alai Books or O, Miami; and authors who have published a book or have a book under contract with Jai-Alai Books are ineligible.

If any of the selected authors fall under the above exclusions, they will be disqualified and a replacement chosen from among the finalists. As the poetry community is small and the contest is judged blind, acquaintance with the judge and participation in a workshop taught by the judge are not disqualifying criteria.


  • Submit manuscripts online via Submittable. Hard copy submissions will not be considered.
  • One manuscript per poet allowed.
  • Upload manuscript as a .doc or .pdf document. Include a title page with the title only and a table of contents. Author’s name should not appear on any pages within the uploaded document.
  • Cover letter should include author’s brief bio (200 words, maximum) and list of acknowledgments of previously published poems.
  • Manuscript must be paginated, with a font size of 11 or 12, and 25-30 pages in length, inclusive of title page and table of contents. A poem may be multiple pages, but no more than one poem per page is permitted.
  • Manuscripts not adhering to submission guidelines will not be considered.
  • Post-submission revisions or corrections are not permitted.

About O, Miami
O, Miami builds literary culture in Miami, FL. In collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, O, Miami produces a visiting writer series, a publishing imprint, a poets-in-the-community workshop program, and the O, Miami Poetry Festival, which has the annual goal of every single person in Miami-Dade County encountering a poem during the month of April. For more, visit

Jai-Alai Books, which operates under the non-profit organization O, Miami, is a small press dedicated to the advancement of Miami’s literary identity. Launched in 2014 and winner of  the 2014 Knight Arts Challenge from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the press publishes titles in a variety of genres. For more information visit

About the Betsy Hotel
Situated at the edge of the Atlantic, The Betsy – South Beach offers wide-ranging programs that embrace the richness of global arts and culture, and it is host hotel for a myriad of regional arts-centric festivals and programs. Since its opening in 2012, The Betsy Writer’s Room has hosted over 300 authors, artists, and thought leaders, including notable poets W.S. Merwin, Nikky Finney, and Robert Haas. Each room at the hotel has a small library of poetry and other books, and a poetry bookmark is placed on each guest’s pillow every night.  Poetry programs are inspired by the work of mid-century poet Hyam Plutzik, three time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and father of Betsy owner Jonathan Plutzik.   For more information on The Betsy Writers Room:  For more information on The Betsy-South Beach:    

"Writing and Revising in 3-D"

In this workshop we will focus on the vectors of Rhythm (& Meter), Music, and Meaning; how they converge and how to skillfully employ various techniques, such as structural coherence, tension/resolution and the principle of alternation both within and across vectors in ways that are empirically proven to have both physiological and psychological impact on the readers of our poems. We will learn to employ these techniques as "Tools not Rules," while both reading and writing in 3D (subtext, text and metatext) to enhance our abilities to both generate and revise our poems.

Joel Dias-Porter (@Diasporter) was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. He represented Washington, DC as either a team member or an individual competitor at the National Poetry Slam for six consecutive years from 1994-1999. He made the individual finals five years in a row and in 1998 and 1999 was also Heads Up Haiku Slam Champion. His work can be found in Time Magazine, POETRY, Mead, The Offending Adam, Best American Poets 2014, Callalloo, Ploughshares, Antioch Review, Red Brick Review, Asheville Review, and Beltway Quarterly. His work has also been anthologized in Resisting Arrest, Gathering Ground, Love Poetry out Loud, Meow: Spoken Word from the Black Cat, Short Fuse, and Role Call, Def Poetry Jam, 360 Degrees of Black Poetry, Slam (The Book), Revival: Spoken Word from Lollapallooza, Poetry Nation, Beyond the Frontier, Spoken Word Revolution, and Catch a Fire. He has performed on the "Today Show," "SlamNation" and in the film "Slam." He is a Cave Canem fellow. He currently lives in Atlantic City, NJ. 

Dates: Wednesdays, 6-9 pm. September 13, 20, & 27; October 4, 11, 18 & 25; November 1 & 8.

A public reading will take place on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 6:30 pm.

Where: Cave Canem Foundation, 20 Jay Street, Suite 310-A, Brooklyn, NY

Who’s eligible:

  • Adult black poets of African descent living in New York City’s five boroughs.
  • Individuals who commit to attending all ten sessions.
  • Individuals who are not enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program.
  • Individuals who are not Cave Canem fellows.
  • Writers who have not  published more than one collection of poetry with a commercial press.

Deadline to Apply: Monday, August 21, 2017 at 11:59 pm EST.  

Notification: No later than Friday September 1, 2017, by e-mail.

To Apply:
Please upload a document including:

  • Maximum of five pages of poems (no more than one poem per page) written in any style.
  • Contact information on every page: name, telephone number, and postal and e-mail addresses.
  • Brief bio (maximum 200 words) that includes the following information, where applicable:
    • List all Cave Canem workshops you’ve attended.
    • List your publications and any poetry prizes you have won.
    • One-two sentences about what you wish to accomplish in the workshop.
By submitting your application, you agree to the aforementioned terms of eligibility.

Contact Programs & Communications Coordinator, Elizabeth Bryant at 718.858.0000 or