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.

Los Angeles Book Festival – 1st Honorable Mention

Rita Banerjee’s chapbook, Cracklers at Night, just placed in the Los Angeles Book Festival!! Cracklers at Night, which was published by Finishing Line Press, received First Honorable Mention for Best Poetry Book of 2011-2012 at the Los Angeles Book Festival!  Awards for the Los Angeles Book Festival were distributed at a ceremony on March 3 at the Roosevelt Hotel, the home of the first Academy Awards, in Hollywood, California.  You can read more about Cracklers at Night and the LA Book Festival award here:

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop AWP Reading

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Reading
Time: 5-7:15 pm
Location: Danny’s Tavern, 1951 West Dickens Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647
Cost: Free

Learn about the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Writing Studio & Literary Salon in Brooklyn, NY and our Summer 2012 Eco-living and Writing Retreat at the Château de Sacy in France (Aug 22-31, 2012). /// The CWW featured writers include Rita Banerjee (author of Cracklers at Night and Co-Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop), Pattabi Seshadri (whose poetry has appeared in Cincinnati Review, American Letters and Commentary, & TYPO), Jessica Piazza (whose poetry collection Interrobang is forthcoming from Red Hen Press), Brandon Krieg (Founding Editor of The Winter Anthology), Rebecca Lindenberg (whose book Love, an Index is forthcoming as the first poetry imprint from McSweeney’s), Marc McKee (author of What Apocalypse?, Fuse, and Bewilderness), Tara Skurtu (whose poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Salamander, The Southeast Review, and Hiram Poetry Review), Derek JG Williams (who puts words in rows both long and short), Colleen O’Brien (whose poems and stories have appeared in North American Review, CutBank, Beloit Poetry Journal, and other journals) and Amanda Leigh Lichtenstein (Director of the MANENO (WORDS) poetry series in Zanzibar, Tanzania). /// Cambridge Writers’ Workshop * 922 Kings Highway * Brooklyn, NY 11223 * Twitter: CamWritersWkshp

Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure

During the month of February 2012, Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure, a wonderful on-line literary journal based out of Boston, MA, and dedicated to all sorts of literary cocktails, tonics, and remedies, published one of Rita Banerjee’s poem.  The following poem, “Expectation,” was published in their Valentine’s Day Potpourri:

     after Gustav Klimt 

She is a woman
of triangle and circle,
made of curled fog
and rolling squares—

I want to hold her there
on my tongue, and know
what the shape and shine
of gold tastes like.

– Rita Banerjee

Cambridge Writers’ Studio Opens in Brooklyn

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop (formerly based in Cambridge, MA) will be opening a writing studio in Brooklyn, NY on November 25, 2011.  The Cambridge Writers Workshop will be holding creative writing and craft classes at the studio, offer writing residencies, and will also provide information on upcoming on-line writing workshops and the CWW in Sacy, writing and eco-living retreat at the Chateau de Sacy scheduled for August 2012.  You can find out more about the programs and classes offered by the CWW by attending the studio launch here:

Cambridge Writers’ Studio Opening
Friday November 25, 2011 at 7:30 pm
922 Kings Highway, Brooklyn, NY 11223

Featuring live music, champagne toasts, flash writing prompts, open mics sessions, and electrified readings by Samantha Milowsky, Patrick Rosal, and co-directors Diana Norma Szokolyai and Rita Banerjee.  For information, please visit the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop websites here:  (Please Note that the CWW Brooklyn Studio is part of the 922 Studio Complex on the second floor above Norm’s Music).

Tupelo Press – Lines of Inspiration (Day 31)

The editors at Tupelo Press have created a wonderful poetry project entitled “The Million Line Poem.”  The project invites writers and poets of all creeds to come together on-line as a community to create an exciting, fun, and thought-provoking collaborative poem.  Here are two lines that were featured on Tupelo Press’s Lines of Inspiration for Day 31 of their collaborative poem project:


I bought a box of strawberries today. They were ripe & they were tart. I would like
to share them with you. But not the satisfaction—

– Rita Banerjee

You can read more about the Million Line Poem here:

A Night with Kali (Digitized)

The Brooklyn Art House Co-op has begun to digitize The Fiction Project (2011) collection.  So while the original edition of A Night with Kali can be found at the Brooklyn Art Library in New York, here is a copy of the novella for your reading pleasure: 

A Night with Kali focuses on the story of a young taxi driver from Kolkata named Tamal.  Part coming of age narrative, part mystery, Tamal deconstructs and reconstructs his various encounters with ghosts and the goddess Kali as the novella progresses.  Based on a true-life story, A Night with Kali is part of the “Nighttime Stories” genre of The Fiction Project (2011) collection.

In addition to the digital scan on-line, A Night with Kali is also available for reading at the Brooklyn Art Library, an archive of the Brooklyn Art-House Co-op.  The original novella can be read at:  Brooklyn Art Library, 103A N. 3rd St., Brooklyn, NY 11211 *  Tues-Sun: 12:00-8:00pm (Here is a wonderful preview and review of the Brooklyn Art Library).

The Fiction Project

Rita Banerjee recently produced a hand-made novella, entitled, A Night with Kali, for the Brooklyn Art House Co-op.  The book will be part of the Art House Co-op’s The Fiction Project (2011).  The novella was hand-written and hand-illustrated according to the Art House rules.  You can see scans of the project below:

A Night with Kali will be housed permanently at the Brooklyn Art Library (with portions available on line). However, the novella is being currently featured on the The Fiction Project (2011) tour.  You can view  A Night with Kali in person at the following exhibitions this summer:

June 10-12, 2011
12pm – 4pm
Seattle, WA Form/Space Ateller
2407 1st Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121
June 16-18, 2011
12pm – 5:30pm
San Francisco, CA Madrone Studios
1417 15th St
San Francisco, CA
July 14-17, 2011
12:00pm – 5:00pm
Chicago, IL Hyde Park Art Center
5020 South Cornell Avenue
Chicago, IL 60615
July 29-31, 2011 Winter Park, FL Full Sail University
3300 University Boulevard
Winter Park, FL 32792

Here’s an image of exhibition in action.  This photograph was taken on June 18, 2011 at Madrone Studios in San Francisco, California during the The Fiction Project (2011) tour.  The exhibition featured an area where readers could look up and check-out individual hand-made books from the Brooklyn Art House Co-op’s The Fiction Project (2011) and The Sketchbook Project (2011).  To the right of the library and reading section was a small stage and performance area for poets and writers to read from and perform portions of their hand-written books live.  The Fiction Project will continue its tour at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, IL and Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL this summer.  You can read Rita Banerjee’s novella A Night with Kali at any of these locations or at the Brooklyn Art Library after the tour.

(photo courtesy of Jeremie Korta)