Amethyst Arsenic: “America Ode” Recording

AAAmethyst Arsenic, a wonderful magazine published out of Somerville, MA, and edited by Samantha Milowsky, Sam Cha, and Jade Sylvan, recently published the poem “America Ode” by Rita Banerjee in their Summer 2013 issue.  You can read and listen to a recording of the poem here:

Château de Verderonne Yoga & Writing Retreat

CWW-Verderonne2013RetreatCome join the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop for our second annual writing retreat in France. This year, we will stay at the Château de Verderonne & take classes at a lovely and spacious 17th century manor house on the grounds of the château.  A French chef will prepare all of our meals on site, and we will dine together in the large kitchen or on the terrace. Enjoy walks through the museum at your leisure, take refuge writing in the drawing rooms, or relax in the sprawling gardens.  Writers Diana Norma Szokolyai and Rita Banerjee will be your guides and help you create the space you need to nurture your writing projects. Certified yoga instructor and visual artist Elissa Lewis will guide participants in daily yoga and meditation exercises. The retreat is tailored for allowing participants to relax and access their creative process. We will offer the following options to those electing to participate: craft of writing seminars, creative writing workshops, manuscript review, yoga, meditation, French conversation groups, fine art workshops, and excursions to Paris, Chantilly, and nearby medieval towns.  Apply by June 30, 2013:

More Information: Poets & Writers * Cambridge Writers’ Workshop

Feature in VIDA: Women in Literary Arts

VIDAOn March 4, 2013, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts published the 2012 VIDA COUNT which cataloged the number of women writers being published in the nation’s top literary, journalistic, and academic periodicals.  You can read more about their findings and assessments by Amy King here:

Also in VIDA news this week, writers Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai are featured guests on HER KIND, a blog powered by VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.  Check out their interview, “Community as Cathartic: A Conversation with Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai,” which was moderated by Rosebud Ben-Oni.

Boston Conservatory Performance

conservatoryBoston Conservatory Performance
Featuring Dennis Shafer, Diana Norma Szokolyai & Rita Banerjee

Judson Evans and the Garden hosts the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop & Chagall Performance Art Collaborative for an evening of poetry reading with interdisciplinary performance of poetry, music, and movement.  Poetry performance intertwined with the live composing art of Soundpainting will feature poets Diana Norma Szokolyai and Rita Banerjee (CWW directors), and Soundpainter Dennis Shafer as well as Boston Conservatory students.

Saturday March 9, 8:30 pm
(Soundpainting workshops start at 7:00 pm)

The Boston Conservatory
Theatre Building Room 401
31 Hemenway Street, Boston, MA 02115
T-Stop: Hynes Convention Center, Green Line

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop AWP 2013 Reading

CWW-AWP2013ReadingCambridge Writers’ Workshop AWP 2013 Reading
Friday March 8, 5-7 pm
Crossroads, 496 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02215

Featured readers include Rita Banerjee (author of Cracklers at Night (Finishing Line Press) and Co-Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop), Diana Norma Szokolyai (author of Parallel Sparrows (Finishing Line Press) and co-director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop), Pattabi Seshadri (whose poetry has appeared in Cincinnati Review, American Letters and Commentary, & TYPO), Ian Singleton (whose short story collection, Cussing, is forthcoming and whose work has been published in Asymptote, Midwestern Gothic, and Ploughshares), Leah Umansky (who is a contributing writer for BOMB Magazine and The Rumpus, and author of Domestic Uncertainties (BlazeVOX Books)), Gregory Crosby (who is co-creator of the EARSHOT Reading Series and Co-Editor of Lyre Lyre), Arto Vaun (whose first book is Capillarity (Carcanet Press) and whose first album is coming out in March), Lisa Marie Basile (who is the editor of Patasola Press and the author of Triste (Dancing Girl Press) and war/lock (forthcoming from Hyacinth Girl Press)), and Jane Chakravarthy (whose work has been published in The Fox Chase Review and who is working on her next book False Legend and Awakenings).

AWP 2013 Panel – Revival of the Literary Salon with the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop

CWW-March7RevivalofLiterarySalonRita Banerjee will be chairing the panel, “Revival of the Literary Salon with the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop” at the 2013 AWP Conference, which is to be held in Boston, MA from March 6-9, 2013.  More information on the panel is listed below:

Revival of the Literary Salon with the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop
Panelists: Rita Banerjee (Chair), Diana Norma Szokolyai, Jessica Piazza, Samantha Milowsky, and Jade Sylvan

March 7, 2013 * 9:00-10:15 am * Room 202
Hynes Convention Center * 900 Boylston Street  Boston, MA 02115

How do writers create viable writing communities outside of the MFA paradigm? We will explore how the revival of salon culture has created new spaces for literary communities and debates. Having opened its Brooklyn studio in 2011, the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop holds writing workshops, literary cabarets, residencies, and retreats abroad. Panelists will discuss how new local and international literary salons help create viable communities of artists and push the conversation of cutting edge art. For more information, please visit:

Rita Banerjee, Tara Skurtu, & The Feather Merchants

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop & ChagallPAC Present:
A literary music salon of poems, feathers, & folk!

Rita Banerjee, Tara Skurtu, & The Feather Merchants

186.5 Hampshire Street, Inman Square, Cambridge, MA

For the first time at the Zeitgeist Outpost, Rita Banerjee, Tara Skurtu, and The Feather Merchants will create a salon atmosphere where poetry, music, & folk-salon hijinks meet! Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Co-Director poet Rita Banerjee will host the evening, and will offer interludes of poetry with poet Tara Skurtu. The Feather Merchants will play originals and arrangements of Steely, Johnny, and The Black Keys.

Rita Banerjee & Tara Skurtu – poets

The Feather Merchants: Cara Brindisi – vocals/acoustic guitar, Chelsea White – fiddle, Chris Houston – bass/vocals, Mike Harmon – drums, David Wang – violin

Château de Sacy Eco-living & Writing Retreat

Rita Banerjee will be teaching at the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop  Eco-living and Writing Retreat at Château de Sacy, one hour from Paris, France. Instructors include Patrick Rosal, Srikanth Reddy, Rita Banerjee, and Diana Norma Szokolyai. The program will take place from August 22-31, 2012. It will be all-inclusive including lodging & three home-cooked meals/day with organic and local food.  Application and guidelines available at:

Château de Sacy is located in the region of Picardy, one hour from Paris. This ecologically sustainable and artistic haven is nestled in the small village of Sacy-le-Petit, which dates back to prehistoric and Roman times. Sacy was close to an ancient road called “la voie royale,” which carried pewter all the way from England to Rome. There are many local legends involving horses, curses, and secret passageways that folks still talk about in Sacy-le-Petit.  The present owner of the château, Hermine Demoriane, is part of the same family that has lived there for over 200 years. Her love for art and ecologically sustainable living has transformed the estate into a venue for art residencies, exhibitions and volunteer organic gardening.

If you are serious about your writing, please join us. Here are some of the experiences you may have: Imagine waking up to church bells or the dame du château ringing the bell. Fresh organic fruit and homemade yogurt await you downstairs. Sun is pouring in through the stone walls, and you can smell the raspberries in the window. During the day, you spend hours focusing on shaping your work of writing. In specialized writing workshops, you receive feedback on your writing, try experimental methods that push the boundaries of your writing, and have the opportunity to share with other experienced writers. Your free moments of the day are spent on walks through the nearby forest trails, on bike rides to pick up farm eggs, or sketching beautiful poppies in the fields. Lunch and dinner will be served at the château by wonderful cooks, and you’ll be amazed at the no-waste kitchen Madame Demoriane keeps. For nearly every meal, organic vegetables and fruits are harvested from the “potager” (kitchen garden). Your days will be filled with refreshing meals, interesting conversations, and most importantly—creative writing! Day excursions will include a literary tour of Paris and local arts events. There will also be a reading for participants of the workshop to share their work and music by classical musicians in the evening.

Guidelines | Application

Brooklyn Lit Crawl 2012

Rita Banerjee will be reading at and co-hosting a Literary Cabaret for the first annual Brooklyn Lit Crawl on Saturday May 19, 2012.  The Literary Cabaret is sponsored by the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and will take place at 6 pm in Ceol Bar in Brooklyn.  More details below:

Brooklyn Lit Crawl 2012 Presents

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Literary Cabaret
Saturday May 19, 6:00 pm

Ceol Bar (21+)
191 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Come explore our literary treasure boxes and find dashes of dialogue, discussion quenchers, prompts ripe for picking, and other surprises.  Your hosts Diana Norma Szokolyai, Rita Banerjee, Gregory Crosby, and Leah Umansky will be calling up volunteer readers/performers to the mic every ten minutes for interludes of poetry, 45-second rants, character sketches, and the like. This is a literary masquerade where you don’t know which character from which century will make the next appearance!  More information here!

Mass Poetry Festival 2012

Poet Rita Banerjee will be reading at the 2012 Mass Poetry Festival in Salem, MA!  Rita Banerjee will be a panelist in the “On Writing and Craft” with the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop.  The panel will also feature writers Kathleen Spivack, Diana Norma Szokolyai, Samantha Milowsky, Arto Vaun, and Gregory Crosby.  The panel will take place from 2:45-3:45 pm on Saturday April 21, 2012 at the Salem Community Charter Room 4 .  More details follow below.

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop (CWW) is a writing studio that offers craft of writing classes, feedback sessions, and in-session writing exercises to emerging and established writers of all genres. The CWW aims to help writers open up their imagination and find a comfortable environment in which to write. In this session, entitled “On Writing and Craft” with the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, audience members will have a chance to hear and experience some of the writing that CWW participants and writers have produced in and for workshops over the course of the past year. (Examples include collaborative poems from The Blue Notebooks experimental writing projects, “Odradek” pieces, and ekphrastic poetry, and other writing produced from the CWW writing workshops.) The reading portion of the session will be followed by a discussion on “The Craft of Writing.” CWW participants will list some of th e books and exercises, which best helped motivate and sustain their own writing this past year. We will also go over CWW workshop experiences and the kinds of intellectual discussions and debates inspired by the salon atmosphere of the CWW studio in Brooklyn. During this conversation, audience members will be actively invited to ask questions or engage in the conversation on stage. Finally, in the last portion of the programming, audience members will be asked to write based on a prompt. Audience members will have 12 minutes to compose their written pieces, and those who wish to share will have 10-15 minutes to do so. The program will wrap up with a quick Q&A on the experience of writing in-session prompts and participating in writing projects as a larger collective.