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2023 Cave Canem Fellowship Application Deadline

November 28, 2022, 11:59 PM EST


Since 1996, Cave Canem has awarded Fellowships to more than 500 Black poets.

Cave Canem Fellows are among the most distinguished poets in the field, not only as recipients of the highest literary honors and critical acclaim but also for their service in communities across the country.

Each year a cohort of 10–20 new Fellows is selected based solely on the quality of their poems. Cohorts encompass a range of different aesthetics and poetic practices (the spoken word tradition, formalism, multimedia performance, text-based composition, etc.), to ensure an equity of voices in our gathering—all united by a common purpose to improve craft and find productive space.

Fellows receive an unparalleled opportunity to study with a world-class faculty and join a community of peers at the Retreat, a week-long series of intensive poetry workshops, thought-provoking presentations, both public & private readings, and creative discourse. Due to our generous community of institutional funders and individual donors, there is no submission fee for the Fellowship application and the Cave Canem Retreat is free to all Fellows.

“[t]here is no place on this planet, no ground, no air, no sanctuary, no wharf, no hermitage, no refuge, no time, like the one week each summer when Black poets descend on an unsuspecting space and it becomes Cave Canem.”

—Nikky Finney, National Book Award winner and Cave Canem Faculty member

The Cave Canem Fellowship includes:

–Invitation to the Retreat

–A subscription to MasterClass

–Access to Fellows and Faculty fund

–Access to scholarships for select writing residences

–Archival training

–Inclusion in public programming (readings, panels, multigenre collaborations, etc.)

–Subscription to Digest, a bimonthly Cave Canem resource containing community news and exclusive offers

Please read all guidelines carefully. Your submission should comprise of a cover letter and 6-8 pages of poems:

–Cover letters should be typed into the corresponding box on Submittable. 

–Six-eight pages of poems. Your name and the title of your poem must appear on every page and each poem must have a section break in between. Only one poem per section is permitted, though you may submit multiple-paged poems, with the title and your name appearing on every page

–Paginate your document. Place page numbers in the footers of each page (Example: Page 2 of 8). Footers can be included by double clicking the bottom of the page.

–Insert section breaks between each poem. Use headers to include your name and poem title on each page. Headers should differ per section, to include the correct poem title. Headers can be included by double clicking the top of the page.

–Use legible, 11-to-12-point font, preferably with serif.

–One application per candidate. You are urged not to wait until the last day to apply.



November 28, 2022
11:59 PM EST
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