Split this Rock 2018 Festival: Fantasy as Reality: Activism and Catharsis through Speculative Writing Panel feat. poets Rita Banerjee, Christina M. Rau, Marlena Chertock, and Alex DiFrancesco

Poets Rita Banerjee, Christina M. Rau, Marlena Chertock, and Alex DiFrancesco will be featured in the panel Fantasy As Reality: Activism and Catharsis Through Speculative Writing” at the 2018 Split This Rock Poetry Festival.  Split This Rock: Poems of Provocation & Witness will take place from April 19-21, 2018 in Washington, D.C.  You can read more about the festival here and the panel below:

Fantasy As Reality: Activism and Catharsis Through Speculative Writing
Split This Rock: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2018 Festival
Saturday, April 21, 2018 * 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Charles Sumner Museum and Archives Gallery G-4
1201 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Speculative literature, at its core, is about giving voice to “The Other.” Speculative writing, in prose or poetry, focuses on not only imagined realities of the future, past, and present, but also gives voice to bodies and individuals who are disabled, alien, marginalized, menial workers, and more. Terms like solarpunk and sco-speculation are becoming more used and explored. Often times, speculative and science fiction is stereotyped as futuristic, extraterrestrial, and fantastical romps through universes using space travel, time travel, and super-advanced technology involving mostly cis white males. However, women, non-binary, and activist writers of Speculative Fiction are purposefully  subverting this stereotype, diversifying and owning the fantastical worlds that they imagine. Sci-fi and fantasy characters and voices can and should represent the underrepresented to create a sense of community as well as rail against injustices in this world.

Christina M. Rau is the author of the sci-fi fem poetry collection Liberating The Astronauts (Aqueduct Press, 2017), and the poetry chapbooks WakeBreatheMove (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and For The Girls, I (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). Her poetry has appeared on gallery walls in The Ekphrastic Poster Show, on car magnets for The Living Poetry Project, and in various online and print journals. She is also a contributing writer for the sci-fi website Tea & Fiction and the SFPA blog Specpo. In her non-writing life, she practices yoga occasionally and line dances on other occasions.

Rita Banerjee is the author of Echo in Four Beats (2018), CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (2018), the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (2016), and Cracklers at Night (2010). She earned her doctorate from Harvard, and she is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Her writing appears in the Academy of American Poets, Poets & Writers, Nat. Brut., Painted Bride Quarterly, Hyphen Magazine, LARBElectric Literature, and elsewhere. Follow her at ritabanerjee.com or @Rita_Banerjee

Marlena Chertock has two books of poetry, Crumb-sized (Unnamed Press, 2017) and On that one-way trip to Mars (Bottlecap Press, 2016). Marlena often writes eco-speculative fiction describing forecasts of Earth’s future. Her poems and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Deaf Poets Society, Dear Robot: An Anthology of Epistolary Science Fiction, The Fem, Paper Darts, and Wordgathering. Find her at marlenachertock.com or @mchertock.

Alex DiFrancesco is a writer, activist, and baker. Their first novel, The Devils That Have Come to Stay, is an acid western that deals with social justice histories of the California Gold Rush. Their current project is a climate-change fiction sci-fi novel set in a future New York City, and deals largely with socio-economic disparity and alternative utopias. Their work has appeared in The Washington Post, Tin House, Brevity, Longreads, The Heart Podcast, and more. They have recently relocated from New York City to rural Ohio, where they are still adjusting to things like “Sweetest Day.” They are currently an MFA candidate at a consortium program in Northeast Ohio.

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Celebrate the Pre-Launch of CREDO with the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, C&R Press, and Women’s National Book Association at AWP 2018!

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is delighted to celebrate the pre-launch of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing at the Spontaneous Reading Party, at the AWP 2018 Conference in Tampa, Florida.

SPONTANEOUS READING PARTY presented by C&R PressWomen’s National Book Association and Cambridge Writers’ Workshop will take place on Friday, March 9 from 7-11 pm at the historic The Centre for Women Hyde Park Mansion.  The party will featuring readings from C&R Press authors and CREDO Contributors, and will feature a full bar and food.  The location for the party is less than one mile from the AWP Convention Center.

To register for free tickets to the Spontaneous Reading Party, please register via Eventbrite here.

From C&R Press, readers include: Brian LeungKristina Marie Darling, Earl Braggs, Katie RoginSybil BakerLaura Catherine BrownAriel FranciscoValerie TomaselliBrenna Womer, Erik Rasmussen and more.

From the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, we’re proud to feature our CREDO contributing authors Rita BanerjeeAlexander CarriganAriel FranciscoJanine HarrisonNell Irvin PainterAnca L. Szilágyi, and Diana Norma Szokolyai at the Spontaneous Reading PartyRead more about our featured CREDO authors below!

Rita Banerjee is the author of Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, February 2018), the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (Spider Road Press, 2016), and the chapbook Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press, 2010). She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA from the University of Washington. Her writing appears in the Academy of American PoetsPoets & Writers, Nat. Brut.The ScofieldThe Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mass Poetry, Hyphen Magazine, Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and elsewhere. She is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing, and the judge for the 2017 Minerva Rising “Dare to Speak” Poetry Chapbook Contest, and is currently working on a novel, a documentary film about race and intimacy in the United States and in France, and a collection of essays on race, sex, politics, and everything cool.  Banerjee teaches at Ludwig-Maxmilian University of Munich in Germany. Banerjee is author of the essays “CREDO” and “Rasa: Emotion and Suspense in Theatre, Poetry and, (Non)Fiction,” in CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

Alexander Carrigan is the Communications and PR manager for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and has been with the organization since 2014. He is currently a news copy editor for Rare.us. He has had fiction, poetry, reviews (film, TV, and literature), and nonfiction work published in Poictesme Literary Journal, Amendment Literary Journal, Quail Bell Magazine, Luna Luna Magazine, Rebels: Comic Anthology at VCU, Realms YA Literary Magazine, and Life in 10 Minutes. He lives in Alexandria, VA. Carrigan is the author of “First Person Perspective Flash Fiction Prompts” in the Exercises section of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

Ariel Francisco is the author of All My Heroes Are Broke (C&R Press, 2017) and Before Snowfall, After Rain (Glass Poetry Press, 2016). Born in the Bronx to Dominican and Guatemalan parents, he completed his MFA at Florida International University in Miami. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Academy of American PoetsThe American Poetry ReviewBest New Poets 2016Gulf CoastWashington Square, and elsewhere. He lives and teaches in South Florida. Francisco’s poems can be found in the Craft of Writing section of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

Janine Harrison, M.A., M.F.A., poet, nonfictionist, and fiction writer, teaches creative writing at Purdue University Calumet and leads the nonprofit organization, Indiana Writers’ Consortium.  Her work has been published or is forthcoming in A&UVeils, Halos, and Shackles (Kasva Press, 2016); and other publications. She is currently finishing her first poetry collection, The Weight of Silence.  Janine lives with husband, fiction writer Michael Poore, and daughter, Jianna, in NW Indiana. Harrison’s essay, “In Ink: Tattoo Images and Phrases,” appears in the Exercises section of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

Nell Irvin Painter is the Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, at Princeton University and author of several books including Sojourner Truth, A Life, A Symbol, The History of White People, and Standing at Armageddon: The United States: 1877-1919. In additiona to a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University, she holds a BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, both in painting. Her art school memoir is entitled Old In Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over. Painter’s essays, “Leaving My Former Life” and “You’ll Never Be A Painter!” appear in the Manifesto section of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

Maya Sonenberg is the author of the story collections Cartographies (winner of the Drue Heinz Prize for Literature) and Voices from the Blue Hotel.  26 Abductions, a chapbook of her prose and drawings was published in 2015 by The Cupboard, and her newest chapbook of prose and photographs, After the Death of Shostakovich Père, won the PANK [Chap]book contest and will appear in 2018. Other fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Fairy Tale ReviewWeb ConjunctionsDIAGRAM, New Ohio ReviewThe LiterarianLady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Hotel Amerika, and numerous other journals, both in print and online. Her writing has received grants from the Washington State Arts Commission and King County 4Culture. She teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Washington. Sonenberg is the author of “Beyond The Plot Triangle” in CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

Anca L. Szilágyi’s debut novel is Daughters of the Air. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming from Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, and Lilith Magazine, among other publications. She is the recipient of the inaugural Artist Trust / Gar LaSalle Storyteller Award, a Made at Hugo House fellowship, and awards from the Vermont Studio Center, 4Culture, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and the Jack Straw Cultural Center. The Stranger hailed Anca as one of the “fresh new faces in Seattle fiction.” Originally from Brooklyn, she currently lives in Seattle with her husband. Find her on Twitter @ancawrites. Szilagyi is the author of “Summer-Inspired Writing Prompts,” in CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).

DianVersion 2a Norma Szokolyai is author of Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book, 2014 Paris Book Festival), Roses in the Snow (first runner­up, Best Poetry Book, 2009 DIY Book Festival), and a feminist rewriting of a classic fairytale for Brooklyn Art Library’s The Fiction Project, entitled Beneath the Surface: Blue Beard, Remixed. Szokolyai’s poetry and prose has been published in MER VOX Quarterly, VIDA Review, Quail Bell Magazine, The Boston Globe, Luna Luna Magazine, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and has been anthologized in Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Teachers as Writers & elsewhere. Her edited volume is CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, 2018). She’s founding Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Szokolyai is author of Introduction, and the essay “What’s At Stake?” in CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).Celebrate the Pre-Launch of CREDO with the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, C&R Press, and Women’s National Book Association at AWP 2018!

CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018) Now Available for Pre-Order!

Rita Banerjee’s edited volume CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018) is now available for pre-order!  The cover illustration has been designed by Eugenia Loli, and the anthology is edited by writers Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai and assistant editors Alexander Carrigan and Megan Jeanine Tilley.  You can now  pre-order CREDO on the C&R Press Website here and on Amazon.com!

Here is some information about the CREDO:

CREDO. I believe. No other statement is so full of intent and subversion and power. A Credo is a call to arms. It is a declaration. A Credo is the act of an individual pushing back against society, against established stigmas, taboos, values, and norms. A Credo provokes. It desires change. A Credo is an artist or community challenging dogma, and putting oneself on the front line. A Credo is art at risk. A Credo can be a marker of revolution. A Credo, is thus, the most calculating and simple form of a manifesto.

CREDO creates a bridge from the philosophical to the practical, presenting a triad of creative writing manifestos, essays on the craft of writing, and creative writing exercises. CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing is a raw look at what motivates authors today.

Contributing Authors:

Kazim Ali \ Forrest Anderson \ Rita Banerjee \ Lisa Marie Basile \ Jaswinder Bolina \ Stephanie Burt \ Alexander Carrigan \ Sam Cha \ Melinda J. Combs \ Thade Correa \ Jeff Fearnside \ Ariel Francisco \ John Guzlowski \ Rachael Hanel \ Janine Harrison \ Lindsay Illich \ Douglas Charles Jackson \ Caitlin Johnson \ Christine Johnson-Duell \ Jason Kapcala \ Richard Kenney \ Eva Langston \ John Laue \ Stuart Lishan \ Ellaraine Lockie \ Amy MacLennan \ Kevin McLellan \ E. Ce. Miller \ Brenda Moguez \ Peter Mountford \ Nell Irvin Painter \ Robert Pinsky \ Kara Provost \ Camille Rankine \ Jessica Reidy \ Amy Rutten \ Elisabeth Sharp McKetta \ David Shields \ Lillian Ann Slugocki \ Maya Sonenberg \ Kathleen Spivack \ Laura Steadham Smith \ Molly Sutton Kiefer \ Jade Sylvan \ Anca L. Szilágyi \ Diana Norma Szokolyai \ Marilyn L. Taylor \ Megan Jeanine Tilley \ Suzanne Van Dam \ Nicole Walker \ Allyson Whipple \ Shawn Wong \ Caroll Yang \ Matthew Zapruder

Editors:

ritabanerjeeRita Banerjee the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018).  She is the author of the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, March 2018), which was a finalist for the Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Award, Three Mile Harbor Poetry Prize, and Aquarius Press / Willow Books Literature Award, the novella “A Night with Kali” in Approaching Footsteps (Spider Road Press, 2016), and the poetry chapbook Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press, 2010). She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her writing appears in the Academy of American PoetsPoets & Writers, Nat. Brut.The ScofieldThe Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mass Poetry, Hyphen Magazine, Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, AWP WC&C Quarterly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Riot Grrrl Magazine, The Fiction Project, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere.  She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington.  She is an Associate Scholar of Comparative Literature at Harvard and teaches at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany.  She is the judge for the 2017 Minerva Rising “Dare to Speak” Poetry Chapbook Contest, and she is currently working on a novel, a documentary film about race and intimacy, a book on South Asian literary modernisms, and a collection of lyric essays on race, sex, politics, and everything cool.

Headshot.McCarrenPark,WillamsburgDiana Norma Szokolyai is a writer and Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. Her edited volume,CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing , will be released by C&R Press in May 2018.  She is author of the poetry collections Parallel Sparrows (honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival) and Roses in the Snow (first runner-­up Best Poetry Book at the 2009 DIY Book Festival). She also records her poetry with musicians and has collaborated with several composers including David Krebs (US), Robert Lemay (Canada), Claudio Gabriele (Italy), Peter James (UK), Jason Haye (UK), and Sebastian Wesman (Estonia). Diana Norma is a founding member of the performing arts groups Sounds in Bloom, ChagallPAC, and The Brooklyn Soundpainting Ensemble.  Her poetry-music collaboration with Flux Without Pause, “Space Mothlight,” hit #16 on the Creative Commons Hot 100 list in 2015, and can be found in the curated WFMU Free Music Archive. Her work has been recently reviewed by The London Grip and published in VIDA: Reports from the Field, The Fiction Project, Quail Bell Magazine, Lyre Lyre, The Boston Globe, Dr. Hurley’s Snake Oil Cure, The Dudley Review and Up the Staircase QuarterlyThe Million Line Poem, The Cambridge Community Poem, and elsewhere, as well as anthologized in Our Last Walk, The Highwaymen NYC #2, Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History, Always Wondering, and Teachers as Writers.  She is currently at work on her next book and an album of poetry & music.  Diana Norma holds a M.A. in French (UCONN, La Sorbonne) and an Ed.M in Arts in Education (Harvard).  Diana Norma Szokolyai is represented by Nat Kimber (The Rights Factory).

Pre-Order CREDO on the C&R Press website here or on Amazon.com!

Applications Open for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Granada Writing Retreat (August 1-6, 2018)!


The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Granada Writing Retreat will take place from August 1-6, 2018 in Spain. Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Andalucía, Granada is one of the gems of Spain and has inspired writers from Washington Irving to Salman Rushdie to Ali Smith. Let the old city stimulate your writing with its winding streets, Moorish history, and evocative landscapes. Or, indulge in delicious Andalucían cuisine and traditional Arab baths. Work on your existing manuscript, or look to the beauty and warmth of Granada to inspire all-new projects.  Faculty includes Tim Horvath (fiction), Rita Banerjee (poetry, fiction), and Diana Norma Szokolyai (poetry, nonfiction).  If you’d like to join us in Granada, please apply online at cww.submittable.com by July 1, 2018. More info: cww.nyc 

Applications Open for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Summer in Paris Writing Retreat (July 25-30, 2018)!

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Spring in New Orleans Writing Retreat will take place from July 25-30, 2018.  Situated in heart of Paris’ Montparnasse neighborhood, amongst the fresh and popular open air markets and charming boutiques, the hotel stay is full of Parisian charm and our classes will take place in a beautiful Moroccan themed room that opens to a courtyard that can also be used by our writers.  Retreat activities will include craft of writing seminars and creative writing workshops, literary tours of Paris. If you’re serious about writing and want to soak in some exquisite French culture this summer, join our retreat in Paris!   The faculty includes award-winning writers Kathleen SpivackRita Banerjee, and Diana Norma Szokolyai.  Genres include poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. If you’d like to join us in Paris, France, please apply online at cww.submittable.comby April 30, 2018. More info: cww.nyc 

Applications Open for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Spring in New Orleans Writing Retreat (April 13-16, 2018)!

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Spring in New Orleans Writing Retreat will take place from April 13-16, 2018. Known for its Spanish and French architecture, live jazz, cajun food, and street festivals, New Orleans offers an inspirational and one-of-a-kind environment for creative writers. During the retreat, we will be staying in the lovely Algiers Point neighborhood, just a short ferry ride away from the Historic French Quarter.  Our retreat features multi-genre workshops, as well as craft seminars and time to write.  The faculty includes award-winning writers and literary agent Rita BanerjeeDiana Norma Szokolyai, and Natalie Kimber. There will one-on-one consultations with our literary agent, and workshop genres include nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. If you’d like to join us in New Orleans, please apply online at cww.submittable.com by March 20, 2018. More info: cww.nyc 

 

The Scofield (Issue 3.1) Launches feat. Rita Banerjee on James Baldwin

The Scofield, Issue 3.1 on “Kōbō Abe & Home” launched this week and features the work of Rita Banerjee on James Baldwin.  On Baldwin, Banerjee writes:

In The Devil Finds Work, James Baldwin takes an incisive and illuminating look at the movies, both American and European, and examines the black gaze on the white body, the black gaze on the black body, and what it means to be black and still maintain a dynamic sense of subjecthood in America and in Europe. In the collection of essays, Baldwin traces the origins of his own critic’s eye to the inimical tension between his parents, his father’s violent relationship towards him as a young boy, and his unexpected allies and mentors in teachers like Bill Miller, a young white woman, who took him, as a child to see Uncle Tom’s Cabin and A Tale of Two Cities and who shed light on the relationship between racism and classism in America.

Read the full issue here.