• Home

[VIRTUAL] Writing Racial Justice Poetry Workshop

“Writing Racial Justice Poetry Workshop with Marwa Helal” on left; Marwa Helal headshot on right

In collaboration with PEN America, the NYC Literary Action Coalition will host “Writing Racial Justice Poetry,” a virtual writing workshop, on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at 7pm ET. This workshop will be open to the network of coalition writers.

Our contemporary moment calls for artists and writers to be engaged with their communities in dynamic ways. Many writers, including poets, use their craft to address anti-Black violence, anti-Asian hate crimes, mass incarceration, and many other issues manifested by the institutions that uphold white supremacy. However, writing about racial injustice can be ethically and creatively challenging. How does a poet use their craft to challenge white supremacy in a way that is not performative or detrimental to people’s lived experiences? How can poetry be used in support of communities and racial justice movements?

This workshop, led by poet, journalist, and educator Marwa Helal, will address how to incorporate elements of racial justice, violence, and struggle in poetry in an ethical, creative, and responsible way. Helal is the author of Ante body (Nightboat Books, 2022), Invasive species (Nightboat Books, 2019), the chapbook I AM MADE TO LEAVE I AM MADE TO RETURN (No Dear, 2017) and a Belladonna chaplet (2021). She is the winner of BOMB Magazine’s Biennial 2016 Poetry Contest and has been awarded fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, New York Foundation of the Arts, Jerome Foundation, Poets House, Brooklyn Poets, and Cave Canem, among others. She has presented her work at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Studio Museum in Harlem and Brooklyn Museum.

This workshop is at capacity. If you would like to be added to the wait list, please reach out to Haruna Shimizu at hshimizu@pen.org.

Get the Free Speech News You Need

protesters in face masks carrying old Belarusian national flags

PEN America has a new weekly newsletter, PEN Points, bringing you a digest of the biggest free expression news of the week, plus the analysis and insights you trust from PEN America experts.