Q: How does this retreat differ from a traditional writing workshop?
A: We borrow the model of the anti-racist workshop that strengthens writers of color through *“innovative reading, writing, workshop, critique, and assessment strategies.”
The workshop asks writers to interrogate the positions from which they are speaking (both as writers and as critics in response to peers’ writings), and not to presume objectivity. In contrast to traditional writing workshops whose critiques respond to only what is “on the page,” the Poets and Scholars Summer Writing Retreat takes into account multiple ways of knowing and acknowledges the social and cultural context that shapes the act of creating and sharing literature. This retreat also explores ways of making legible the contexts of which the writer may have been unaware in the process of creation while centering marginalized identities and acknowledging “craft” is itself a cultural construct. We envision this workshop as an open learning community.
*quoted from Felicia Rose Chavez’s book, The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom (Haymarket Books, 2021).
Q. Can only poets apply or attend?
A: No. Program participants are drawn from all disciplinary backgrounds throughout the humanities and beyond, including but not limited to writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, and literary scholars.
Q: This program is named Poets and Scholars Summer Writing Retreat. How do scholars fit in?
A: This program seeks to resist the boundaries between creative and critical practice. The retreat will encourage mutual exchange and transdisciplinarity among poets and scholars. The name of the program acknowledges the truth that everyone who is engaged in crafting language is concerned with the language of craft. “Theory” as bell hooks tell us, “is liberatory practice.”
Q: What is the format of the writing retreat?
A: The 2023 Poets and Scholars Summer Writing Retreat will take place this year from July 11-21. The Retreat will be hosted completely virtually, bridging gaps of geography and granting accessibility to those unable to travel. The workshops will be augmented by lectures that offer innovative and interdisciplinary frameworks to inspire new conversations around writing and social justice. Each lecture will be followed by a moderated talk-back with featured respondents and Q&A.
Q: I missed the application deadline. May I still participate as an auditor?
A: Yes. In addition to presenters and our participant cohort, groups of writers, individual writers, artists, thinkers, and makers are invited to join us as registered auditors. Auditors may attend all workshops and lectures and may offer questions and comments, movie theater-style, through the moderated chat function.
Q: Do I have to pay to register or join the events?
A: No. All of the programs are free.
Q: How do I register for the events as an auditor?
To register as an auditor, you are required to submit an application click here.
Q: Where can I find a link to retreat webinars, content, presentations, meetings, and events?
A: In advance of the retreat, registered contributing participants and auditors will be given the URL for a master webpage that will contain all pertinent webinar information and links. Participants and auditors are asked not to share the URL.
Q: Who is sponsoring this program? Where can I find out more information about the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice?
A: The Poets and Scholars Summer Writing Retreat is a collaborative effort of the creative writing programs throughout the Rutgers University community, including Rutgers–Camden, Rutgers–Newark, and Rutgers–New Brunswick. The program is underwritten by a grant from the Mellon Foundation. For more information about the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice, visit our website at https://globalracialjustice.rutgers.edu.