Cave Canem 2011: A Reading to Remember

by Olivia Stransky    /  July 15, 2011  / No comments


Photos: *Rachel Eliza Griffiths, **Laura Mustio, ***Madeleine Barnes.

On Thursday June 23, City of Asylum/Pittsburgh partnered with the African-American poetry collective Cave Canem to host a reading with poets Toi Derricotte, Cornelius Eady, Natasha Trethewey, and Amiri Baraka. The event took place under a tent on Monterey Street, on the Northside of Pittsburgh.

2011′s reading was again a resounding success. Fellow Northsiders and poetry lovers occupied the 300 seats under the tent and, as in 2010, some neighbors caught the free reading from their stoops. “I say I hate superlatives, but tonight I had the best poetry experience I’ve ever had. No question,” wrote Pittsburgh schoolteacher and poet Daniel M Shapiro, about the event. Read Shapiro’s reaction here.

Above we present scenes from the event with quotes from the audience, Cave Canem workshop participants, and the night’s featured poets.

This annual free reading was inaugurated in 2010, and the partnership between the two organizations also includes an annual series of writers’ workshops hold in the five COA/P houses on Sampsonia Way. This year the workshops allowed 54 African-American poets from across the United States to share a sample of their writing with poets Terrance Hayes, Toi Derricotte, and Cornelius Eady, among others.

Read Sampsonia Way‘s interview with Cornelius Eady.

About the Author

Olivia Stransky is an editorial assistant and video editor for Sampsonia Way. She received her B.A. in literature and film from Bard College at Simon’s Rock. While a student, she worked as the editor-in-chief of Glacial Erratic, Simon’s Rock’s literary and arts magazine. After graduating she received a grant to serve as a Fulbright Scholar in Slovakia, where she taught English literature and conversation at Univerzita Komenského in Bratislava.

View all articles by Olivia Stransky

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