A WORKSHOP SERIES FOR STUDENTS OF ALL AGES AND BACKGROUNDS
Every winter, spring and summer, The Speakeasy Project hosts a four-week long workshop for students of all ages and backgrounds. These workshops are available in poetry and creative non-fiction. They are hosted completely online.
This program centers itself around small-group mentorship. Each group consists of one mentor and six students, while each month-long session consists of about six to ten mentors.
The syllabi for the program are crafted in a way that forces students to read and write every day. We believe strongly in the power of daily ritual towards the production of art.
DURING THE PROGRAM
Groups or "pods" will meet twice a week for a one-hour lecture period and a two-hour workshop period.
The lecture will consist of a small, prepared talk centered around the topic of the week and followed by discussion and Q&A. Previous weekly topics have been selfhood (identity, artistry, personhood, representation, the body, the mind), technique (form, space, breath, rhythm, movement), and/or other various thematics.
The workshop will consist of a small-group, open editing period for each student. Students are expected to not only engage with their mentors, but with their peers as well. This includes reading and writing comments for their peers' work before each workshop period. Workshop structures vary from mentor to mentor; however, we recommend that students submit at least two poems or one story each week for workshop.
At the end of the program, we collect work from students and mentors alike into a singular anthology.
We offer substantial scholarships to students based on need. Over 60-70% of our students receive partial to full scholarships for our programs. If you intend to apply for financial aid, please fill out the last three questions on the application. Please be mindful of other students when applying for assistance.
TIMES FOR LECTURES AND WORKSHOPS DURING THE SESSION ARE LISTED ON THE APPLICATION.
MEET THE MENTORS
Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and forthcoming spring 2017 from BOA Editions, Ltd. A Kundiman and Lambda Literary Fellow, Chen’s work has appeared in two chapbooks as well as in publications such as Poetry, The Massachusetts Review, The Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, Best of the Net, and The Best American Poetry. Chen helps edit Iron Horse and Gabby. He also works on a new journal called Underblong, which he co-founded with the poet Sam Herschel Wein. Chen received his MFA from Syracuse University and is currently pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing at Texas Tech University. He lives in Lubbock with his partner Jeff Gilbert and their pug dog Mr. Rupert Giles. For readings, workshops, and conversations about Tuxedo Mask, please send an email: chenchenwrites [at] gmail [dot] com.
Born to a Mexican mother and Jewish father, Rosebud Ben-Oni is a recipient of the 2014 NYFA Fellowship in Poetry and a 2013 CantoMundo Fellow; her most recent collection of poems, turn around, BRXGHT XYXS, was selected as Agape Editions' EDITORS' CHOICE, and will be published in 2019. She was a Rackham Merit Fellow at the University of Michigan, a Horace Goldsmith Scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is an Editorial Advisor for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Her work appears or is forthcoming in POETRY, The American Poetry Review, Tin House, Black Warrior Review, TriQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, Arts & Letters, among others; recently, her poem "Poet Wrestling with Angels in the Dark" was commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City. She writes weekly for The Kenyon Review blog, and teaches creative writing at UCLA Extension's Writers' Program. Find her at 7TrainLove.org
Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he has received fellowships from Callaloo, BOAAT, and The Watering Hole, and was the 2015 National College Slam (CUPSI) Best Poet. Julian is the curator of Winter Tangerine Review’s Lineage of Mirrors and is a poetry editor for Freezeray Magazine. He is a cofounder of the Afrolatinx poetry collective Piel Cafe. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Nepantla, Rattle Poets Respond, Ninth Letter, Vinyl, Puerto del Sol, and African Voices, among others. He is a candidate for an MFA in Poetry at The University of Mississippi.
Christopher Soto (b. 1991, Los Angeles) is a poet based in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of Sad Girl Poems (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2016) and the editor of Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color (Nightboat Books, 2018). He cofounded the Undocupoets Campaign and worked with Amazon Literary Partnerships to establish grants for undocumented writers. In 2017, he was awarded “The Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism” by Split This Rock and he was invited to teach a “Poetry and Protest Movements” course at Columbia University, as part of the June Jordan Teaching Corp. In 2016, Poets & Writers honored Christopher Soto with the “Barnes & Nobles Writer for Writers Award.” He frequently writes book reviews for the Lambda Literary Foundation. His poems, reviews, interviews, and articles can be found at The Nation, The Guardian, The Advocate, Los Angeles Review of Books, American Poetry Review, Tin House, and more. His work has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and Thai. He has been invited to speak at university campuses across the country. He is currently working on a full-length poetry manuscript about police violence and mass incarceration. He received his MFA in poetry from NYU, where he was a Goldwater Hospital Writing Workshop Fellow.
Camonghne Felix, M.A. has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, Poets House and is an alumnus of the NYU Arts Politics M.A. program and the Bard MFA program. The 2012 Pushcart Prize nominee is the author of the chapbook Yolk, was recently listed by Black Youth Project as a "Black Girl from the Future You Should Know," and has been published in various publications, including Poetry Magazine, Academy of American Poets, Buzzfeed Reader, Teen Vogue, PEN America, The Brooklyn Rail, The Offing and The Shallow Ends. A political strategist during the day, Camonghne represents high profile individuals, nonprofits, and advocacy organizations in all media and government interactions, helping clients influence the local and national issues that matter most to their communities. Her debut collection of poems, Build Yourself a Boat, was a 2017 University of Wisconsin Press Brittingham & Pollak Prize finalist, a 2017 Fordham University Poets Out Loud semi-finalist, and is forthcoming from Haymarket Books in 2019.
Shira Erlichman is a visual artist, writer and musician. A three time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work can be found in The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed Reader, and PBS NewsHour’s Poetry Series, among others. She was awarded fellowships from the Millay Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, and AIR Serenbe. She is the author of Odes to Lithium (Alice James Books, 2019) and her first picture book Be/Hold (Penny Candy Books, 2019). Israeli-born, raised in Massachusetts, she lives with her partner and big orange cat in Brooklyn. Be/hold is her first picture book. Learn more at www.officialshira.com
George Abraham is a Palestinian-American Poet, Activist, and Engineering PhD Candidate at Harvard University. He is the author of two chapbooks: al youm (the Atlas Review, 2017), and the specimen’s apology (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019). He is the recipient of fellowships from Kundiman, the Watering Hole, and Brooklyn Poets, as well as the honor of "Best Poet" at the 2017 College Union Poetry Slam Invitational. His poetry and nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Tin House, Rattle, Nashville Review, the Rumpus, Washington Square Review, Puerto del Sol, and anthologies such as Bettering American Poetry, Nepantla, and the Ghassan Kanafani Palestinian Literature Anthology.
Donald Edem Quist is author of the essay collection, Harbors—Foreword INDIES Bronze Winner and International Book Awards Finalist. His writing has appeared in AGNI, North American Review, The Rumpus Cleaver, The Nervous Breakdown, Vol. 1 Brooklyn and several other print and online publications. He’s creator of the online micro essay series, PAST TEN, and co-host of the Poet in Bangkok podcast. He’s received fellowships from Sundress Academy for the Arts and Kimbilio Fiction. He earned his MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is currently a Gus T. Ridgel fellow in the English PhD program at University of Missouri.
Thoughts, Questions, Concerns?
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