Thank you for your interest in Cave Canem!

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 2019, 10 copies of the chapbook, a residency in April 2019 at The Writer’s Room at The Betsy Hotel in Miami and a feature reading at the O, Miami Poetry Festival.
Deadline: Manuscripts must be submitted no later than Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner announced by email on or before December 31, 2018.
Entry Fee: $12. Entry fees are non-refundable.
Final Judge: Dawn Lundy Martin. Judge reserves the right not to select a winner or honorable mentions.
First Readers: Camonghne Felix and Alan King. 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 All unpublished, original collections of poems written in English by Black writers are eligible.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 acknowledgment 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

About Jai-Alai Books 

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:

"Procedures, Discomforts and Retellings"

Participants will discuss what provokes/inspires them to write. Is it identity? Mothers? Politics? Language? Bullshit? Culturally one might write as one's ancestors might have spoken.  Perhaps some are not meant to write in a linear fashion. To be “roundabout” or circular may be closer to how one's ear is innately tuned.  During this workshop, participants will examine/dismantle, misread/fail for the sake of finding out what to write about and what momentarily terrifies to the point of stopping altogether.  Through a number of restraints and recipes, participants will modify their “engines.” Expect no finished work. as the procedures explored will be durational and dependent upon individual comfort levels.  Participants will read new and not so new works by Celina Su, Tusiata Avia, Clarence Major, Harryette Mullen and dg nanouk okpik, among others. Additionally, participants will listen to and view a number of recordings by performance based artists and musicians who utilize spoken word.   

A writer, vocalist and sound artist, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs is the author of TwERK (Belladonna, 2013). Her interdisciplinary work has been featured at the Brooklyn Museum, the Poesiefestival in Berlin, Museum of Modern Art, the QOW conference in Slovakia, the International Poetry Festival in Bucharest,  the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, the 56th Venice Biennale and in Beijing as a Red Gate Artist in Residence.  As a curator and director, she has staged events at BAM Café, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, The David Rubenstein Atrium, The Highline, Poets House and El Museo del Barrio. LaTasha is the recipient of numerous awards; of them include New York Foundation for the Arts, Barbara Deming Memorial Grant, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, the Japan-US Friendship Commission, Creative Capital and the Whiting Foundation Literary Award. She lives in Harlem. 

Guidelines: This workshop is open to adult poets of color at the early-to-intermediate stage of their writing endeavors. Selection is by lottery, with preference given to applicants who have attended fewer than three workshops.The deadline to submit is August 12 at 11:59 pm EST. Applicants will be notified by August 20, 2018.

Suggested Donation: $30 - $240

Dates: Tuesday evenings, 6 - 8:30 pm; October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; November 6, 13; Culminating Reading: Tuesday, November 27, 6:30 - 8:30 pm. 

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

Who’s eligible

  • Adult 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 eight sessions.
  • Writers who have not published more than one collection of poetry with a commercial press.

To Apply:

Please upload a document including: 

  • Maximum of 5 pages of poems (no more than one poem per page) written in any style.
  • Include your name on every page.  
  • Brief bio (maximum 200 words) that includes the following information, where applicable:  

                 1. One-two sentences about what you wish to accomplish in the workshop.                

                 2. Any publications and any poetry prizes you have won.                

                 3. Any Cave Canem workshops you’ve attended.  

By submitting your application, you agree to the aforementioned terms of eligibility and commit to attending all eight sessions.

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 Della Green at 718.858.0000 or

Cave Canem Foundation, Inc.