Cambridge Writers’ Workshop presents Disobedient Futures – A Split This Rock Festival Reading – Friday, April 20, 2018

In honor of the Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation and Witness (April 19-21, 2018), the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop will be hosting its reading Disobedient Futures at the Colony Club in Washington D.C./ this Friday, April 20, 2018 from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm.  Disobedient Futures will feature readings from Rita BanerjeeAlex CarriganMarlena Chertock, and Christina M. Rau .

To get to the reading at the Colony Club, please take the Green line Metro towards Greenbelt and exit at the Columbia Heights Station, then walk to 3118 Georgia Ave NW, Washington DC 20010.

Featured Readers:

Rita BanerjeeRitaBanerjee is the editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018) and the author of the poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, March 2018), 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 Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mass Poetry, Hyphen Magazine, Los Angeles Review of BooksElectric Literature, VIDA, Objet d’Art, KBOO Radio’s APA Compass, and elsewhere. She is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop.   She is the judge for the 2017 Minerva Rising “Dare to Speak” Poetry Chapbook Contest, and she is currently working on a novel, a book on South Asian literary modernisms, and a collection of lyric essays on race, sex, politics, and everything cool.

Alexander Carrigan is the Communications and PR manager for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and has been with the organization since 2014. He is currently an associate editor with the American Correctional Association. 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).

Marlena Chertock has two books of poetry, Crumb-sized (Unnamed Press, 2017) and On that one-way trip to Mars (Bottlecap Press, 2016). She lives in Washington, D.C. and uses her skeletal dysplasia and chronic pain as a bridge to scientific poetry. Her poems and short stories have appeared in Breath & Shadow, The Deaf Poets Society, Noble/Gas Quarterly, Paper Darts, Rogue Agent, Wordgathering, and more. Marlena often moderates or speaks on panels at literary conferences and festivals. She serves as the Communications Coordinator for the LGBTQ Writers Caucus. Find her on Twitter at @mchertock.

 

Christina M. Rau is the author of the sci-fi fem poetry collection, Liberating The Astronauts (Aqueduct Press, 2017), and the chapbooks WakeBreatheMove (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and For The Girls, I (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). Her poetry has also appeared on gallery walls in The Ekphrastic Poster Show, on car magnets for The Living Poetry Project, and in various literary journals both online and in print. She is the founder of the Long Island reading circuit, Poets In Nassau, and has read and run workshops for various community groups nationwide. She teaches English and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College where she also serves as Poetry Editor for The Nassau Review. In her non-writing life, she teaches yoga occasionally and line dances on other occasions.

Our readers Rita BanerjeeMarlena Chertock, and Christina M. Rau will also be hosting a panel during Split This Rock, entitled Fantasy As Reality: Activism & Catharsis in Speculative Writing,” which will be held at National Housing Center Room B (1201 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005) on Saturday, April 21 from 9-10:30 am. The Fantasy As Reality is described below:

“This panel will demonstrate how non-realist poems and prose can offer a space for political critique and empowerment. We will ask audience members about their own speculative writing and reading experiences and offer prompts to those who wish to work on similar future writing. Speculative and science fiction are often stereotyped as futuristic, extraterrestrial, and fantastical romps through universes using space travel, time travel, and super-advanced technology centered on white cis males. However, women, non-binary, and activist writers of speculative literature are purposefully subverting this stereotype, diversifying and owning the fantastical worlds that they imagine. 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 other traditionally neglected voices. Sci-fi and fantasy characters and voices can—and should—represent the underrepresented to create a sense of community as well as to challenge injustices in our real world.”

We hope to see you at some of our events at Split This Rock !

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
National Housing Center Room B
1201 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

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.

RitaBanerjeeRita 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). She lives in Washington, D.C. and uses her skeletal dysplasia and chronic pain as a bridge to scientific poetry. Her poems and short stories have appeared in Breath & Shadow, The Deaf Poets Society, Noble/Gas Quarterly, Paper Darts, Rogue Agent, Wordgathering, and more. Marlena often moderates or speaks on panels at literary conferences and festivals. She serves as the Communications Coordinator for the LGBTQ Writers Caucus. Find her on Twitter at @mchertock.

 

Christina M. Rau is the author of the sci-fi fem poetry collection, Liberating The Astronauts (Aqueduct Press, 2017), and the chapbooks WakeBreatheMove (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and For The Girls, I (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). Her poetry has also appeared on gallery walls in The Ekphrastic Poster Show, on car magnets for The Living Poetry Project, and in various literary journals both online and in print. She is the founder of the Long Island reading circuit, Poets In Nassau, and has read and run workshops for various community groups nationwide. She teaches English and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College where she also serves as Poetry Editor for The Nassau Review. In her non-writing life, she teaches yoga occasionally and line dances on other occasions.

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.

Book Tour for Rita Banerjee’s Echo in Four Beats & CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing

Interested in getting a signed copy of Rita Banerjee’s new poetry collection Echo in Four Beats (Finishing Line Press, March 2018) or edited volume CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press, May 2018) and meeting the author?  If so, check out the book tour and signing schedule for Echo in Four Beats and CREDO below:

Thursday July 28, 2018:

Paris Lit Up featuring Rita Banerjee
Culture Rapide * 8:45 – 11:00 pm
103 rue Julien Lacroix,75020 Paris, France

Saturday June 2, 2018

The Munich Readery Presents:
Rita Banerjee’s Echo in Four Beats
The Munich Readery * 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Augustenstr. 104, Munich, Germany

Saturday June 2, 2018:

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Reading &
CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos Workshop
Grolier Poetry Festival – 90th  Anniversary Celebration
Plympton Street, Between Mass Ave & Bow Street
Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA * 2:40 – 4:15 pm

Friday April 20, 2018:

Disobedient Futures
A Split This Rock Off-Site Reading
Colony Club * 5:30-7:30pm
3118 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010

Sunday April 8, 2018:

Echo in Four Beats Launch Party
Weehawken Writers and Artists Studio * 6-9 pm
10 Louisa Pl, Weehawken, NJ, 07086

Friday April 7, 2018:

Echo in Four Beats at First Fridays
The Zeitgeist Outpost * 7-8 pm
186 ½ Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

Tuesday March 27, 2018:

Public Reading & Q&A with Rita Banerjee
New Hampshire Institute of Art * 5:30-8:30 pm
148 Concord St, Manchester, NH 03104

Saturday March 10, 2018:

Echo in Four Beats Signing
Finishing Line Press Table (T743) * 1-2 pm
AWP 2018 Bookfair, Tampa Convention Center
333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602

Friday March 9, 2018:

Spontaneous Reading Party
Celebrating the Pre-Launch of CREDO
Centre for Women * 7:00 – 11:00 pm
305 S Hyde Park Ave, Tampa, FL 33606

Friday March 9, 2018:

CREDO Authors’ Signing
Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Table (T403) * 2-4 pm
AWP 2018 Bookfair, Tampa Convention Center
333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602

Friday March 9, 2018:

Echo in Four Beats Signing
Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Table (T403) * 1-2 pm
AWP 2018 Bookfair, Tampa Convention Center
333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602

Thursday March 8, 2018:

CREDO Editors’ Signing
C&R Press Booth (1036) * 2-3 pm
AWP 2018 Bookfair, Tampa Convention Center
333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602

Visiting Writer Rita Banerjee at the New Hampshire Institute of Art

Rita Banerjee will be a Visiting Writer at the New Hampshire Institute of Art this Spring.  She will be lecturing and giving workshops on topics such as “Rasa: Emotion and Suspense in Theatre, Poetry, and (Non)Fiction,” “Poetry and What’s at Stake,” and “Revising, Pitching, and Publishing” at NHIA on Tuesday, March 27.  In addition, she will be holding a discussion with Ayris editors and staff on Tuesday, March 27.  Rita Banerjee will also be reading from her debut poetry collection Echo in Four Beats at the French Hall Rotunda at NHIA from 5:30-7:30 pm on Tuesday, March 27, 2018.  The poetry reading and Q&A for Echo in Four Beats is free and open to the public.

Split this Rock 2018 Poetry Festival Panel feat. Rita Banerjee, Christina M. Rau, Marlena Chertock, and Alex DiFrancesco Announced!


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:

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.

Poets House: Rooms Are Never Finished: The Legacy of Agha Shahid Ali – April 21

aghashahidali
April 21, 2017 – 7:00PM
Poets House, 10 River Terrace, New York, NY 10282

Kazim Ali, Rita Banerjee, Amanda Golden, Shadab Zeest Hashmi, Patricia O’Neill, and Sejal Shah examine the life and work of Kashmiri poet Agha Shahid Ali (1949-2001). Celebrated for bringing the ghazal into English, Ali’s work explores cultural ties and divisions, the enduring qualities of love and friendship, and the difficulty of maintaining both. Admission: $10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poets House members.

The Reader as Critic: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about South Asian Literary Theory But Were Afraid to Ask – Rutgers University – April 20

Charulata (dir. Satyajit Ray, 1964)

A Lecture by Dr. Rita Banerjee
Department of African, Middle Eastern, South and South Asian Literatures and Languages

Thursday, April 20 * 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Rutgers University, Academic Building 6010
15 Seminary Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

The creation hymn from the Rig Veda begins with a series of provocative statements and spiky questions: “There was neither non-existence or existence then…The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe…Whence this creation has arisen…the one who looked down on it, in the highest heaven, only he knows – or perhaps, he does not know.” In explaining the origins of the Indus Valley civilization and the universe at large, the Rig Veda’s playful, interrogative style places the burden of understanding and interpretation on the reader. The creative power of the poet, non-dualism, uncertainty, and even atheism are hinted at in these opening lines of the Rig Veda. But what makes this seminal and foundational text of Indic philosophy and oral literature especially interesting is the emphasis it places on the critical distance and interpretive lens of the reader. From the Rig Veda onwards, this gesture towards hermeneutics repeats in canons of South Asian literary theory and literature from texts such as Bharata’s yaśāstra and Kālidāsa’s The Recognition of Śakuntalā in the classical period, to the manifestos and discussions of literary modernisms emerging in Bengali, Hindi, and Indian English little magazines and literatures in the 20th century. In this talk, we will examine why Indic literature continues to place the reader in the role of a critic, translator, debater, or connoisseur. What does placing the reader in the role of the critic convey about South Asian literary theory and intellectual culture? Does the emphasis on the reader as critic reveal the deconstructive, pluralistic, or matrix-like nature of South Asian literary theory? Come join us for a rousing debate and discussion on the structural gestures and intellectual goals of South Asian literary theory.