A Poetry Masterclass: Terrance Hayes and Caleb Femi


How can a poet constantly reinvent their poetic style to move with the times? And how can they explore identity and culture in ways which encompass both the individual artist and the wider community?

In this special one-off masterclass, US National Book Award poet Terrance Hayes will give participants an insight into how to construct experience in innovative ways which look to the future whilst also paying homage to the past. He will be joined by Young Poet Laureate Caleb Femi, whose own work draws on the local and moves out to the universal.

When: Friday 30 June, 10.30am-1.30pm
Where: Free Word Centre, EC1R 3GA

Participation in the workshop is free, but in order to secure your place please send the following information to adrian@applesandsnakes.org by Monday 12th June @ 10am:

–  Please tell us about any relevant previous experience you have.
–  What interests you about this project and what do you hope to get to get out of it?

This workshop is part of The Golden Shovel Anthology UK launch, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the first African American Poet Laureate, Gwendolyn Brooks, delivered in collaboration with Apples & Snakes and supported by Arts Council England and Spread the Word.

Terrance Hayes
Terrance Hayes is the author of five books of poetry, including How to Be Drawn (2015) and Lighthead (2010). He has been a recipient of many honours including a 2014 MacArthur Foundation Genius Award, two Pushcart selections, eight Best American Poetry selections and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. His poems have appeared in literary journals such as The New Yorker, The Kenyon Review and Harvard Review and have also been featured on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Hayes is an elegant and adventurous writer with disarming humour, grace, tenderness and brilliant turns of phrase, very much interested in what it means to be an artist and a black man. He writes, ‘There are recurring explorations of identity and culture in my work and rather than deny my thematic obsessions, I work to change the forms in which I voice them. I aspire to a poetic style that resists style. In my newest work, I continue to be guided by my interests in people: in the ways community enriches the nuances of individuality; the ways individuality enriches the nuances of community.’

Caleb Femi
Caleb Femi is the Young People’s Laureate for London. He is also an English teacher, filmmaker and photographer. As a poet, Caleb’s commissions include the Tate Modern, The Royal Society for Literature and The Guardian. Caleb has graced major stages such as the Roundhouse, Barbican, British Library and Royal Festival Hall. He has opened for Lianne La Havas and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Ed Fringe, Boomtown, Lovebox and Greenbelt. Caleb won the Roundhouse Poetry and Genesis Poetry Slams and is currently working on a debut pamphlet. As a filmmaker, Caleb has released two documentaries, What Did Love Taste Like In The 70s? and Heartbreak & Grime, to good international reception, which has led him to give talks and panel discussions on grime music, road culture and masculinity.