“Cave Canem is a beautiful experience, a liberated territory. You can breathe freely here. Bring your whole self with you. My life has changed as a result.”
As we entered a new season of poetry activities in 2012, our Fellows Fundraising Team set a goal of raising $25,000 during the month of April to meet an immediate budgetary shortfall. Though it's taken a bit longer than one month, we are gratified and encouraged that new and returning donors have pulled together to raise over 90% of needed funds! Thank you for helping us achieve our bench mark of $25,000 by September 30, 2012!
You are encouraged to donate to our Fellows Campaign and help ensure that Cave Canem’s mission to cultivate the artistic and professional growth of African American poets will continue to thrive. You may do so here on our FirstGiving page, or choose to make a one-time or monthly transfer from your checking account (no fees, paperwork, postage or putting it off!) Every donation, regardless of size, will go far.
When you give to Cave Canem, you help accelerate the careers of such poets as Tracy K. Smith, whose newest book, Life on Mars, won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; and those of over 300 fellows, including Reginald Dwayne Betts, winner of the 2009 Beatrix Hawley Award from Alice James Books for Shahid Reads His Own Palm and the 2010 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Debut for his memoir, A Question of Freedom. Please visit our Fellows Profiles page to learn about the accomplishments of dozens of poets who have advanced their art, benefited their communities, and deepened and broadened the American literary canon. This progress is only possible with help from generous individuals like you.
In 2011, 334 poets delivered 58 readings and workshops in 19 cities and towns, reaching an audience of 4,120, our largest yet. We were a Programming Partner of the Brooklyn Book Festival, enjoyed a prominent role as a Literary Partner of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ national conference, and provided six collaborative residencies for fellows at such artists’ colonies as the Vermont Studio Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the University of Missouri’s Summer Seminar in Greece. Our Facebook Page has a fan base of 3,037 and our Facebook Friends Page a membership of over 2,000. Our YouTube Page has generated 5,520 views to date, and Twitter has engaged 1,240 followers. Our 11 Cave Canem Poetry Prize winning collections are engaging a readership of thousands, enriching the literary landscape and expanding the American canon.
Here’s what some of our community members are saying:
Cave Canem Retreat
“At Cave Canem the pressure to represent or ‘write from our race’ is not a requirement, but rather a choice. The freedom of that is liberating.”
“I came home with fifty new friends. I came home with new mentors. I came home with a shelf full of new books signed by people who know me. . . I came home feeling, for the first time, that I am part of a community of artists who want to see me create.”
Writing across Cultures Workshop, Brooklyn
“I feel that now I have a heightened perception of how world events intersect with my own American, localized and personal experience.”
“Reading work by and hearing comments from poets of such diverse backgrounds expanded my sense of what’s possible in poetry . . .”
Cave Canem Poetry Prize Winner Gary Jackson
“After winning and having my work recognized on a national level, I have received so much validation and support from other writers, universities and institutions in the greater public sphere. Words cannot describe how integral Cave Canem has been in giving me the opportunity to reach an audience of readers that I could have never imagined before.”
Summer Showcase Reading at City of Asylum/Pittsburgh
“I am not a 'poetry guy' but was completely enthralled by the poetry readings. They were provocative in the best sense of that word in that they explored difficult, taboo topics in a way that was honest and thoughtful rather than outrageous just for the sake of grabbing attention.”
If you already give to Cave Canem, you know that your donation is accomplishing essential work. If you are renewing your commitment, consider adding 10% to the amount you gave last year.
If you are giving for the first time, please consider making a $25-$50 contribution. Donating via FirstGiving is simple, fast and completely secure. If you choose to pay by check, click here to download our donation form; if by automatic, secure banking transfer, click here. Your generosity will help Cave Canem succeed in the coming year and beyond.
Yours in Poetry,
Monica A. Hand, Tyehimba Jess, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Robin Coste Lewis & Metta Sáma
Fellows Fundraising Team