RAWI is excited to launch In Solidarity: RAWI Creative Writing Workshops. These will be a series of workshops held in different cities, serving Arab-and Muslim-American writers, writers of color, and writers from any marginalized communities. Our first workshops will be in San Francisco and in the DC area. Information is forthcoming.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA: April 29, 2017
Having lost our way home through dystopia, exile, and creeping environmental degradation, how is it possible to reconstruct and/or recreate the idea of home through writing? By reading and studying a mix of contemporary poets who write about this theme, this workshop will seek to place participants in a space where they can negotiate their identities through language and explore the relationship between the cultures, histories, and geographical locations of their original national and ethnic group.
The workshop includes a discussion of poetry writing, a reading by several poets (see their bios below), and a workshop led by poet Deema K. Shehabi.
Sat 4/29/17, 2:00-5:00pm
Presidio Branch Library
3150 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94115
Register for free here.
Poet and translator Nathalie Khankan straddles Finnish, Syrian, Danish, and Palestinian homes and heirlooms. She teaches Arabic language and literature at UC Berkeley and is currently completing her first book of poems, Quiet Orient Riot.
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha is an American poet of Palestinian, Jordanian and Syrian heritage, Lena Khalaf Tuhaffa’s debut book of poems is Water & Salt. Oliver de La Paz says, “The poems in Water & Salt are fearless and frank. They speak of a place where a phone call announces doom and where ‘portraits find their frames.’ But always, despite the violence and war, in the music of Tuhaffa’s poetry there is a clear summons, beckoning us to join her in the feast of her language.” Widely published in literary journals, she is also the winner of the 2016 Two Sylvias Chapbook Prize for Arab in Newsland.
Deema K Shehabi is a poet, writer, and editor. Her poems have appeared widely in journals and anthologies such as The Kenyon Review, Literary Imagination, New Letters, and Callaloo.Her full collection Thirteen Departures From the Moon was published by Press 53 in 2011. She is also co-editor with Beau Beausoleil of Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here (PM Press), for which she received the Northern California Book Award’s NCBR Recognition Award. During 2009 – 2013 she worked with Marilyn Hacker on the Renga sequence DiaspoRenga. Deema’s two plays, “Light not Touched by Fire” and “A Handful of White Petals,” were performed by the Arabian Shakespeare’s Company’s New Works Festivals.
Priscilla Wathington is the Managing Editor for the children’s human rights group, Defense for Children International – Palestine, and a regular contributing book reviewer to Al Jadid Magazine. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Sukoon, The Normal School, Matter, and Birds Thumb.
WASHINGTON DC: March 18th, 2017 (This event is concluded.)
The Washington DC IN SOLIDARITY workshop is $30. To sign up, please click here:
RAWI (The Radius of Arab American Writers) is sponsoring a one-day workshop for people of color, all members of historically marginalized groups, and their allies.
Purpose: To work on literary craft in the pursuit of raising our voicesWho Should Attend?: Any writer who is a person of color, a member of an historically marginalized community, and/or an ally. We especially invite Arab- and Muslim- American writers to participate.When: March 18, 10:00 am – 4:00 pmWhere: Johns Hopkins University, 1717 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036 (DuPont Circle)
Cost: $30 per person (includes breakfast plus one book)
What Can I Expect?:
- A featured workshop (“What Are You?” and “Where Are You From?”: A Personal Essay Writing Workshop) by author and activist Willona Sloan*
- Genre-specific workshops (poetry, fiction, essay) to focus on craft and offer constructive feedback
- A panel on publishing and marketing your writing, featuring authors and literary journal editors
- A signed copy of a book by one of our generous allies!**
- A light breakfast/coffee sponsored by Barrelhouse Magazine.
- An opportunity to network with other writers and editors
- A supportive and energizing environment!
10am: Registration/Breakfast and Mingling (Coffee, Bagels, Hummus provided by Barrelhouse)
10:05: Welcome and Introduction
Fiction Workshops : (Leader TBA)
Poetry Workshops : Led by Lalita Noronha
Nonfiction Workshops : (Leader TBA)
12:45-1:45pm: Lunch (on your own at DuPont Circle)
2:00-3:30: “What Are You?” “Where Are You From?”: Personal Essay Writing Workshop, led by Willona Sloan (details below)
3:45-4pm: Solidarity Meeting: Share thoughts about the day, exchange information, pick up free book.
Supporters: Barrelhouse Magazine and Johns Hopkins University’s MA in Writing Program
This personal essay workshop will focus on the theme of writing about racial and cultural identity. Through a combination of reading, discussion and guided writing exercises, we will explore issues of discrimination and assimilation, while also celebrating our unique racial and cultural identities. Readings will include texts by Elmaz Abinader, Joseph Boyden and Toni Morrison. We will discuss strategies for writing a moving personal essay and develop new writing in-class. Open to writers of all levels.
** Thanks to the authors who have contributed signed copies of their books to In Solidarity: Sohrab Fracis, Laura Shovan, Chris Abani, Jen Michalski, Rion Amilcar Scott, Hayan Charara, Randa Jarrar, Susan Muaddi Darraj, Lalita Noronha, Eugenia Kim, Tara Campbell, and more!!!! We are grateful for your solidarity!