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 !

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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.

“Tongue Circling Stories” – Emily Shearer reviews Echo in Four Beats for Minerva Rising

Emily Shearer, Poetry Editor for Minerva Rising Press, reviews Rita Banerjee’s debut poetry collection Echo in Four Beats  on Minerva Rising.  In her review, entitled “Tongue Circling Stories: A Book Review of Echo in Four Beats by Rita Banerjee,” Shearer writes:

If you have been waiting for sounds to fall from Echo’s lips and stir you to wakefulness, do not wait until after tomorrow. Banerjee is here with a rallying cry to carpe the f*ck out of this diem. “There were no tomorrows left anymore,” she warns in “Après-demain,” and “. . . there isn’t a story i haven’t believed in,” from “Paper Men.”

Jaswinder Bolina, author of The 44th of July, Phantom Camera, and CarrierWave, has called this book “the first truly post-national book of poems [he’s] ever read.”

Banerjee’s scope is wide, and her reach does not exceed her grasp. While she looks for home, characterized as nothing more than a “constant state of momentary arrivals*,” she dwells in ocean, in moonlight, in making love to Thanatos as a lover worships the body next to her in bed. She explores the realms of water, whether shipwrecked Atlantis or sound inside a leaf-grown well. She revels in the oop! and wop of a didgeridoo and regales in the language of Hindu gods, Japanese frogs, and those the world over whose tongues circle the stories of these poems, “ready for what / it will allow: / to wait for sounds.”

Read the full review of Echo in Four Beats  here.

Echo in Four Beats Launch Party at the Weehawken Writers & Artists Studio

The Launch Party for Rita Banerjee’s Echo in Four Beats took place on Sunday, April 8 at the Weehawken Writers and Artists Studio.  The event included author signings, reading and performances from Echo in Four Beats, CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebooks for Creative Writing, and poetry and fiction performances from writers Dallas AthentJonah Kruvant, and the editors of Quiet Lunch.  A gallery of the Echo in Four Beats festivities follows below:

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:

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

April 8, 6-9 pm: Echo in Four Beats Launch Party at the Weehawken Writers and Artists Studio!

Sunday, April 8 * 6-9 pm
Weehawken Writers & Artists Studio
10 Louisa Pl., Weehawken, NJ 07086

Admission: Free

The Weehawken Writers & Artists Studio is delighted to host the launch party of Rita Banerjee’s debut poetry collection Echo in Four Beats !

Combining elements, rhythms, and personas from American jazz, blues, and ragtime, poet Rita Banerjee presents a modern-day spin on the love story of Echo and Narcissus in her debut full-length poetry collection, Echo in Four Beats . But in this story, told in four parts, Echo is more than just a fragment, she is a Sapphic voice that speaks, foretells, forestalls, and repeats.Echo in Four Beats, which was a finalist for the Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Award, the Three Mile Harbor Book Prize, the Aquarius Press/Willow Books Literature Award, was released by Finishing Line Press this March!

Books will be be available for purchase and signing by Rita!
Readings by: Rita Banerjee, Dallas Athent, Jonah Kruvant, and more!

About the Author:

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.

April 8, 2-4 pm: Literary Manifestos and What’s at Stake Workshop at the Weehawken Writers and Artists Studio

Literary Manifestos & What’s at Stake Workshop
Sunday, April 8 * 2-4 pm * Admission: $30

Weehawken Writers & Artists Studio
10 Louisa Pl., Weehawken, NJ 07086

The Weehawken Writers & Artists Studio is delighted to host a creative writing workshop on  Literary Manifestos & What’s at Stake Workshop!

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. In this creative writing workshop, writers will get a chance to create their own literary manifestos and discuss what’s at stake in their own writing, art, and craft. We will read literary manifestos and poetry from writers such as Allen Ginsberg, Sunil Gangopadhyay, Amiri Baraka, and Bianca Stone, and will explore how writers and readers become more invested in a work of writing, its performance, and its narrative by raising the stakes.

About the Instructor:

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.