Archives for March 2012

the box that rocks

The Box That Rocks: 30 years of Video Music Box and the Rise of Hip Hop Music and Culture is a new exhibition at MoCADA featuring remembrance of the pioneer music show featuring original hip hop artists before MTV and VH1. The opening reception on Saturday night was attended by many members of the community including […]

Going to New Orleans! Join us!

I am thrilled to announce our first-ever writing retreat in New Orleans!  We hope you can join us for 5 nights in October, and many more details and an application are here on the NYWC website.  This will be an unforgettable experience, in a place that is unlike anywhere else on Earth. My first “visit” […]

MoCADA Art Exhibit: The Box That Rocks

I’m not a native Brooklynite nor a native New Yorker. So, there are more than a few cultural phemomena that I can only half claim. But given my age (late 20s, if you’re curious), stumbling upon the birth of hip hop in the boroughs is perhaps the most romanticized one — in my head, anyway […]

Skills Like Doc

This prompt is inspired by the beginning of Mach Madness as well as a magnificent piece of short fiction called “Doc’s Story” by John Edgar Wideman, the award-winning writer of God’s Gym and Hoop Roots (and captain of the University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team in 1963). Wideman’s “Doc’s Story,” at least partially, focuses on a (mythical) […]

Celebrating Louis Reyes Rivera, Poet Laureate of Bed-Stuy

I was saddened to hear earlier this month about the passing of Louis Reyes Rivera, who read with us in 2008 at the Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival (pictured above, l. to r., Hal Sirowitz, Quincy Troupe, me, Amiri Baraka and Louis Reyes Rivera).  Louis’ influence on countless people can not be underestimated.  He […]

Writing at Rikers

NYWC Program Director Deborah Clearman leads a workshop for women at the Rose M. Singer facility on Rikers Island. I’ve been leading creative writing workshops for women in jail on Rikers Island for nearly a year. The largest penal colony in the world, Rikers is a bleak and eerie place, so cut off from everything […]

Running This Town x 10: NYWC Day May 18, 2012

On Friday, May 18, walk the dog, put the cat out, get a babysitter, call in sick and help us take over the city.  We will have 10 free workshops in iconic and community based New York City locations.  Show the world (and experience first hand) the power of community writing! Night and day, in […]

Their Eyes Were Watching God: Celebrating 75 Years

I first read Their Eyes Were Watching God a little over five years ago, and a month later, I enlisted a friend of mine for a trip Eatonville, Florida, the one-strip town (population 2,272) outside of Kissimmee that Zora Neale Hurston called home during adolescence. After 110 years, very few of the original structures remain of […]

Scar Stories

Today’s prompt was inspired by “A Story of a Scar,” a short story written by James Alan McPherson, the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and a current faculty member at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, not to mention the recipient of Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships. McPherson’s “Scar” is narrated by a man in the waiting […]

Friday 5: Top 5 Eat or Be Eaten Opening Lines

In like a lion… Welcome to March, regal beast it may be in these early days. To celebrate the wild entrance of what will soon be Spring, here’s a Friday Five devoted to take-no-prisoner entrances. These lines gripped me from the go,  like the tiny gazelle in the big game cat’s maw. They made me […]