Thank you for your interest in Cave Canem!


DEADLINE TO APPLY: December 20, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST
DATES: Arrive June 7, depart June 13
NOTIFICATION: Applicants will be notified of submission status by April 3, 2020

Modifications to the retreat’s previous schedule and fee structure have been made to bring expenses into line with finite financial and human resources, and to ensure the program’s sustainability. These changes have the added benefit of reducing exhaustion for staff, fellows and faculty, and allowing staff more time to respond to fellows’ needs and ideas.

Fees are assessed on a sliding scale. Tuition is $1,050 and Room-and-Board is $590. Fellows pay $90 to $1,640 based on their household income, number of dependents, and other factors.

If accepted, please refer to this table and use the financial information form to calculate your fee. Please note that yellow-highlighted fields on the financial information form automatically compute dollar amounts based on the data you enter.

FACULTY: Major Jackson, Robin Coste Lewis, Evie Shockley and Frank X Walker
VISITING POET: francine j. harris
NUMBER OF PARTICIPATING FELLOWS: 40 — ten per workshop group


  • Opening Circle
  • All-participant Orientation
  • Four 3-Hour Faculty-led Workshops
  • Two Fellows Readings
  • Two Faculty Readings/Book Signings
  • Visiting Poet’s Craft Talk/Book Signing
  • Fellow-led workshops (optional)
  • All-participant Stewardship Conversation
  • Closing Ceremony


  • Adult black poets of African descent
  • Applicants 21 years of age or older

RETURNING FELLOWS: Registration information will be e-mailed.
Electronic notification of admission results will be sent by April 3, 2020.

Accepted applicants: A non-refundable deposit of $90 will be due by April 14, 2020, in order to secure your place. The remainder of your fee will be due by May 12, 2020, no exceptions.

APPLICATION GUIDELINES: Please read these guidelines carefully. 

Submissions that do not meet the requirements below will not be considered.

Your submission should comprise a cover letter and 6-8 pages of poems. Upload your poems as a single .doc, .docx or .rft document. Format as follows:

  1. Six-eight pages of poems. Your name and the title of your poem must appear on every page. Only one poem per page is permitted, though you may submit multiple-paged poems, with the title and your name appearing on every page.
  2. Insert hard page breaks between every page. See instructions below.
  3. Paginate your document. (Example: Page 2 of 8.)
  4. Use legible, 11-to-12-point font, preferably with serif.

Through Submittable, you will be directed to complete your payment of $20. Applications submitted without the fee will not be considered.

Cover letters should be typed into the corresponding box on Submittable. Include your full name, address, email address and telephone number. Write a maximum of 500 words explaining why you wish to attend the retreat and what you expect to accomplish.

One application per candidate. You are urged not to wait until the last day to apply in case you have technical difficulties submitting your application.

Inserting Page Breaks with Microsoft Word

  1. Select “Insert” on your menu bar.
  2. On the Insert menu, select “Break.”
  3. Select “Page Break” from the menu of Break Types.

QUESTIONS? Call or email Programs & Communications Assistant Natalie Desrosiers at 718.858.0000 and Monday-Wednesday, 11-6pm and Thursday, 11 – 4 pm.

Cave Canem Foundation, Inc.