Monday, November 06, 2006

Strength in Numbers

Poets&Writers magazine has a short Q&A with Cave Canem cofounder Cornelius Eady. You can read “Q&A: Eady Sees Cave Canem Success” at the PW Web site.

Ten years ago, CC was a grassroots effort. It united a disenfranchised group of writers, and became a way to make our poetic voices heard. Now the group boasts roughly 270 members with its fellows publishing books and articles, and teaching at institutions throughout the United States.

On the eve of U.S. elections, I want to know if you've been a disruptive seed for literature? In other words, have you ever challenged the established norms to create an event or group project in your community? Have you ever started a writers’ group, held a reading event, created your own journal, self published a book or chapbook, or put together an anthology? Did you enjoy the process? Would you do it again? CC is a great example. And bloggers have a knack for challenging established norms.

Tell me what was it like to be the small pebble that created ripples in your literary community.


6 comments:

Catherine said...

Hi January,
This is how my poetry life went - after years of raising children and paying for their writing classes, I decided it was my turn. I went to a couple of workshops, decided I needed an ongoing writers group and invited some others I met from the workshops to join me. This is a very small effort compared to Cave Canem, but it has been an ongoing group that is still meeting and writing together seven years later. (I doubt that there are 270 poets of any description in New Zealand!). We applied for a grant, published a collection of poems which is almost sold out, and are currently looking to bringing out a second collection next year. and yes, it has been a joyful and wonderful process (though writing of course is sometimes a struggle) and one of the best things in my life in the last ten years.

Bug said...

Wow Catherine! I am so impressed! I'd love to hear more about the grant-applying process. I'd love to put together a book of work by some Boston-area writing groups... January, the only thing I've done is helped start a writers' group, which is still going strong. Wish there was more though. Can't wait to see the other comments. Great post!

January said...

Yes, Catherine. I'd like to hear about the grant process.

Bug, maybe we should get together to form a writers' group or do a group project? Something to think about.

Boston Erin and I put togther a journal when we were at Houghton Mifflin. That was very cool!

bostonerin said...

My biggest achievement has been putting together that journal with you, P-Mom. What a pleasure, and a ton of work!

I've been involved with a couple of other journals that have since folded or slumber in a web-coma, but Colophon was quite a success.

(oh, and I'd love to do a project with you guys!)

Bug said...

YES!!!

Cate said...

This post was a nice "shove" for me because I am very much a person who tries to conform to the "accepted" standards when it comes to writing. Not that I write the right way, but I find that I will hide away my favorite, unconventional stuff and not submit it because I'm self-conscious about being different. I love the ideas of forging one's own path on a larger scale, of questioning the status quo, of taking risks, and of creating new opportunities if ones aren't readily available.

Great post!

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