Claudia Rankine’s book-length poem Citizen confronts racial injustice through her own personal experiences. It is “one of those American art works that … teaches us to ‘no longer take things at second and third hand,’ as Whitman wrote, to ‘listen to all sides and filter them from yourself,’” wrote Dan Chiasson in The New Yorker. In this workshop, we’ll look at Rankine's poems as examples, write about social justice issues in our own worlds, and discuss our poems in a helpful atmosphere. A Cleveland Arts Prize nominee, Kisha Nicole Foster is a poet, educator, coach, and mentor from Cleveland, Ohio. She has represented Cleveland several times nationally, competing at National Poetry Slam 2003, Individual World Poetry Slam 2008, and Women of the World 2009. The Poets and Writers League of Greater Cleveland awarded Kisha one of the Top 25 Writers of Greater Cleveland in 2006. After self-publishing three works and producing a one woman-play, Kisha was approached by Guide to Kulchur Press, in 2015, to publish her first full length collection of poems, titled “Poems: 1999-2014. KNF offers poems that resonate in the soul of audiences who have witnessed her “raw energetic verse”. KNF works with talented youth at Twelve Performing and Literary Arts, helping them find their voice and arrive at their place of completion.
This class takes place as part of NEA Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. NEA Big Read Cleveland is presented in partnership with the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning.