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: http://cww.submittable.com

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:  http://www.losangelesbookfestival.com/

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
Website: http://cambridgewritersworkshop.org/

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