Thank you for your interest in Cave Canem!

The Cave Canem Community Relief Fund offers one-time emergency grants of $500 to fellows, faculty, and alumni who are experiencing financial hardship. The fund is currently seeded with $10,000, and Cave Canem will select two applications via lottery each week until it is depleted. Individuals who wish to donate to the fund may do so here.

Cave Canem will begin processing applications in November 2020. The names of applicants will not be published and all submitted information will be kept confidential.


Process

  1. Complete, sign, and date a W9 form.
  2. Complete the online Submittable form, including 1-3 sentences on what the emergency grant will be used for. (This information will be incorporated as data as Cave Canem makes long-term goals for how to best serve our fellowship and Black poets more broadly.)
  3. Each week two applications are chosen by lottery to receive an emergency grant. Grants are automatically disbursed via Zelle or Paypal.


Questions or concerns may be directed to Programs and Communications Manager Malcolm Tariq: mtariq@ccpoets.org.

Cave Canem, EcoTheo Review, and LOGOS Poetry Collective are pleased to announce the launch of the Starshine and Clay Fellowship, a new 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 (“won’t you celebrate with me”), 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: Four recipients will each receive $500, $500 for a LOGOS reading, a $500 travel stipend and free lodging to attend the Wonder in Wyoming conference, a one-on-one consultation with the final judge, and master classes and other opportunities provided by Cave Canem. Poets will also have their work published in the Summer 2021 issue of EcoTheo Review, with proceeds of the sale going to Cave Canem.

Deadline: Applications must be received via Submittable by January 31, 2021, 11:59 pm EST.

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

Judge: Gregory Pardlo

Eligibility: All adult Black writers who have not had a full-length book published by or currently under contract with a professional press. Authors of chapbooks and self-published books with a maximum print run of 500 may apply.

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, EcoTheo, or LOGOS Poetry Collective. If any of the selected poets fall under the above exclusions, they will be disqualified and a replacement will be chosen from among the finalists. As the poetry community is small and the contest is judged without knowledge of the submitter’s identity, acquaintance with the judge or participation in a workshop taught by the judge are not disqualifying criteria.

Guidelines:

  • 8-12 pages of unpublished poems. A poem may be multiple pages, but no more than one poem per page is permitted.
  • The fellowship welcomes poets writing from a variety of themes and perspectives, and poets writing on ecological, spiritual, and/or theological concerns are particularly encouraged to apply.
  • Submit manuscripts online via Submittable. Hard copy submissions will not be considered. One manuscript per poet allowed.
  • Author’s name should not appear on any pages within the uploaded document.
  • Upload manuscript as a .doc or .pdf document.
  • Manuscripts not adhering to submission guidelines will not be considered.
  • Post-submission revisions or corrections are not permitted.


Note:

  • Cave Canem fellows and alumni are welcomed to apply, but no more than two may receive this fellowship per cohort.
  • Please update your Submittable contact information if it is not updated with your email address and phone number. Cave Canem will use this information if we need to reach you.

Writing Down the Noise: "I" in Poetry
What elements or connections frame how we see ourselves in the mirror? How does the “I” move in the world? If there was a Wakandan tree of life, what would a poet put on its branches?  The etymology of the self is connected to the family you have or make, lovers, origin tales, music in the bones, the body electric, and how similar we are to myth, animal, or superhero. We are more than our multitudes but how do we capture this on the page?

In this 10-week online workshop, participants will look at the work of literary ancestors and contemporary poets, including Lucille Clifton, Natalie Diaz, Audre Lorde, Joy Harjo, Terrance Hayes, Airea D. Mathews, Ross Gay and others who explore what the “I” can contain. Through weekly in-session freewrites, peer review, and written feedback, poets will write in a variety of forms, including direct address, confessional, persona, and praise. In writing down the self, participants will learn craft, identify the spark in their own work, and create the loud voice of “I”.

    
Cynthia Manick is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press, 2016) and editor of Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation (Jamii Publishing, 2019) and The Future of Black: Afrofuturism and Black Comics Poetry (Blair Publishing, forthcoming 2021). She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, MacDowell Colony, and Château de la Napoule among others.  Winner of the Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry,  Manick was also awarded Honorable Mention for the 2019 Furious Flower Poetry Prize. She is Founder of the reading series Soul Sister Revue; and her poem “Things I Carry Into the World” was made into a film by Motionpoems, a organization dedicated to video poetry, and has debuted on Tidal for National Poetry Month. A performer at literary festivals, libraries, universities, and most recently the Brooklyn Museum, Manick’s work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day SeriesCallaloo, Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB), The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhereShe currently serves on the board of the International Women’s Writing Guild and the editorial board of Alice James Books..

Dates: Monday evenings, 6 – 9:00 pm, March 8, 15, 22, 29, Apr 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10, final reading May 17.  Please note that workshop will not be scheduled for April 5, as it is our office’s annual floating holiday.

Where: Virtual

Who’s eligible:

  • Adult, New York City-based poets of color at the early-to-intermediate stage of their writing endeavors.
  • Individuals who are not enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program.
  • Individuals who commit to attending all ten sessions.
  • Writers who have not published more than one collection of poetry with a commercial press.

Please note:  This is a 10-week commitment; if you anticipate absence from more than 2 sessions, please do not apply.

To Apply: Please upload a document (with your name on every page) including:

  • Maximum of 5 pages of poems (no more than one poem per page) written in any style.
  • Single-page cover letter that includes a bio and the following information, if applicable: (1) Cave Canem workshops you’ve attended, including instructor and year;  (2) previous publications and poetry prizes; and (3) what you wish to accomplish in the workshop.

Applications are due February 22, 2021. By submitting your application, you agree to the aforementioned terms of eligibility and commit to attending all ten sessions.

This is a tuition-free workshop. Selection is by lottery, with preference given to applicants who are not Cave Canem fellows and who have attended fewer than three workshops.


Questions?
Contact Della Green at 718.858.0000 or dgreen@ccpoets.org.


Portals into Language

As poets, language is both our inspiration and our medium, what we consume in order to create, what gets filtered through our creative imaginations and becomes uniquely our own. But what happens when we read and break down poems that come from elsewhere, that arrive into English from different languages and countries and cultures? How does a poem written in a completely different language with different rules and traditions break open our understanding of English, and how can we use that to forge new paths in our own writing, create new doors into new imaginations? In this workshop we will exam and analyze a range of poets in translation from non-US countries and non-English languages, venturing to a new location each week. We’ll look at the ways in which these poets bring their understanding of what a poem can do into English, how they expand our understanding of syntax and line, how their use and creation of metaphor is different from our own, how they build images in completely new (to us) ways. Each week we’ll have writing prompts derived from those readings in which we attempt to replicate some of the techniques we pull from the poems. Knowledge of a language other than English is not required.


Ariel Francisco is the author of A Sinking Ship is Still a Ship (Burrow Press, 2020) and All My Heroes Are Broke (C&R Press, 2017). A poet and translator born in the Bronx to Dominican and Guatemalan parents and raised in Miami, his work has been published in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, The Academy of American Poets, The New York City Ballet, and elsewhere.


Dates: Thursdays, 6 - 9:00 pm ET. March 18, 25, Apr 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, and May 20 (final reading).

Where: Virtual

Who’s eligible:

  • Adult, New York City-based poets of color beyond the beginning stage of their writing endeavors.
  • Individuals who are not enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program.
  • Individuals who commit to attending all ten sessions.
  • Writers who have not published more than one collection of poetry with a commercial press.

Please note:  This is a 10-week commitment; if you anticipate absence from more than 2 sessions, please do not apply.

To Apply: Please upload a document (with your name on every page) including:

  • Maximum of 5 pages of poems (no more than one poem per page) written in any style.
  • One-page cover letter that includes a bio and the following information, if applicable: (1) Cave Canem workshops you’ve attended, including instructor and year;  (2) previous publications and poetry prizes; and (3) what you wish to accomplish in the workshop.

Applications are due February 22, 2021. By submitting your application, you agree to the aforementioned terms of eligibility and commit to attending all ten sessions.

This is a tuition-free workshop, funded by The Jerome Foundation. The instructor will review applications and select up to 15 participants, with preference given to individuals who are not Cave Canem fellows and who have attended fewer than three workshops.

Questions? Contact Della Green (dgreen@ccpoets.org).

Cave Canem Foundation, Inc.