Creative writing is a tool for knowing yourself, understanding the world, and connecting with other people. Led by author Seema Reza and accomplished guest writers—including poets, memoirists, novelists, and storytellers—these community workshops follow the model developed by Community Building Art Works (CBAW) over the course of a decade of bringing people together in military and hospital settings. Each workshop is designed to help participants put their personal stories on paper in a supportive environment.
Whether you’re just starting out or have been writing for years, you are welcome; no experience is required. Bring a pen, a notebook, and an open mind!
Thu. October 21 | 7pm
Poem Plus Prompt: Origin Stories
with Dilruba Ahmed
Dilruba Ahmed is the author Bring Now the Angels (Pitt Poetry Series, 2020), with poems featured in New York Times Magazine, Best American Poetry 2019, and podcasts such as The Slowdown with Tracy K. Smith and Poetry Unbound with Pádraig Ó Tuama. Her debut book of poetry, Dhaka Dust (Graywolf Press, 2011), won the Bakeless Prize. Ahmed’s poems have appeared in Kenyon Review, New England Review, and Ploughshares. Her poetry has also been anthologized in Literature: The Human Experience; Border Lines: Poems of Migration; The Orison Anthology 2020; and elsewhere. Ahmed is the recipient of The Florida Review’s Editors’ Award, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Prize, and the Katharine Bakeless Nason Fellowship in Poetry awarded by the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. Ahmed has taught with the MFA programs at Chatham University and Warren Wilson College. She also teaches classes online with Hugo House and The Writing Lab.REGISTER
Thu. November 18 | 7pm
Opening the Doors of Perception
with Hoa Nguyen
Born in the Mekong Delta and raised and educated in the Washington, DC area, Hoa Nguyen is the author of several books including Red Juice: Poems 1998–2008 and the Griffin Prize nominated Violet Energy Ingots. Now based in Toronto, Hoa teaches for Miami University’s low residency MFA program, as co-chair of Writing in the Milton Avery School for Fine Arts at Bard College, and as associated faculty for University of Guelph. She also leads reading-focused poetics workshops that take place in cyberspace and Toronto; founded in 1999, her workshops have grown to include an international following of hundreds of writers. Her latest collection of poems, A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure, published by Wave Books in 2021, is nominated for a National Book Award for Poetry. Her poetry has been recognized with a 2019 Neustadt International Prize for Literature nomination and a Pushcart Prize.REGISTER
Thu. December 16 | 7pm
Poetry in All Its Form
with Amber Flame
Amber Flame is an artist and performer, whose work has garnered artistic merit residencies with Hedgebrook, The Watering Hole, Wa Na Wari, Vermont Studio Center, and Yefe Nof. Flame served as the 2017-2019 poetry Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House in Seattle, and is a queer Black dandy mama who falls hard for a jumpsuit and some fresh kicks.REGISTER
Thu. January 20 | 7pm
Altered States: Expanding the Narratives of the Body
with Jennifer Patterson
Jennifer Patterson is a writer, breathwork facilitator, and herbalist committed to supporting people navigating trauma, depression, anxiety, and substance misuse through words, breath, and plants. She has a sliding scale healing arts practice in NYC working with individuals and groups in person (outside of COVID-19, that is) and virtually.REGISTER
Save the dates! We are planning for additional workshops on February 17, March 17, April 21, May 19, and June 16. Instructors and topics will be announced at a later date.