22 June 2006

Inside Cave Canem



Unlike Las Vegas, what happens at the Cave Canem: Black Poetry Workshop/Retreat doesn't stay at Cave Canem (well, SOME things -- like lousy drafts of poems -- do stay there but not everything...) People those of us who have been through the three year program always find it difficult to explain to people what the big deal is: the excitement of being part of a large, diverse group of black poets, the all nighters you pull in order to produce a poem every day for a week, the strong sense of connection you feel with others who've been through it. Call it Poetry Boot Camp, or the 'Black Breadloaf,' there's something special that happens when you bring a group of talented African-American writers together that's almost impossible to describe.

But now someone's attempting to do just that. Tyehimba Jess is now blogging from this year's retreat on Dog Bytes, recording the sights and sounds of the week. In addition to being an amazing poet (you do have his award-winning book, Leadbelly, don't you?), performer, and the first person I met at my first year at the retreat, he also has great blog experience from doing one of the Poetry Foundation's Journal's earlier this year. A sharp observer and an entertaining writer, his account of the week is the next best thing to being there.

7 comments:

Lhea J. Love said...

Wow.

I found your site through LibraryThing. To my suprise/excitement you are blogging about Cave Canem. I applied this year... and I'll keep trying. I have a bit of growing to do...

ReggieH said...

I'd strongly suggest you continue to apply. There are a limited number of open spaces each year, and three or four times that number of people apply. I consider myself very fortunate and lucky to have gotten in 'early' when Cave Canem was just getting started. It is an amazing, enriching experience.

Thanks for stopping by -- and yeah, I have to say something about Library Thing soon! It's great but also amazingly addictive.

Dolen said...

Wow. What small circles we travel in. I found your site through LibraryThing, too. We share a lot of the same books (you're my 2nd highest match). And I met Lhea on my blog (http://dolen.blogspot.com). I was just about to post and comment on how much I've enjoyed reading your blog and how much I love Tyehimba and Leadbelly when I opened up the comments and saw Lhea's name. Small, small world.

ReggieH said...

The world may be a large place, but the Internet is proving to be quite small! Glad to 'meet' you, and thanks for your note.

Lhea J. Love said...

Yes... I must admit, I am almost as addicted to LibraryThing as I am to books themselves! And, I was very suprised to check your page Reggie and see Dolen's name!

January said...

Hi Reggie:

Found your blog randomly. Hope you're doing well, and hope to see you in NYC for the reunion.

(January--CC 97, 99)

ReggieH said...

Jan, my love! How wonderful to 'see' you again! Very best to you and yours...now I know how to keep up with what's going on with you:) See you in October...

Followers