Send Itiola to Callaloo & Boaat
Who Am I: My name is Itiola Jones and I am a poet & freelance music journalist. I also volunteer for non-profits such as Poets House and Cave Canem in my mission to become a full time Grant Writer for the arts. I am also a two-time fellow with an organization called The Watering Hole
Here’s The Good News: I was recently accepted into both BOAAT’s and Callaloo’s writers retreat. Callaloo’s workshop takes place from May 21-27 in University of West Indies at Barbados and BOAAT’s retreat is from June 4-10 in Boone, NC. The benefit of being able to attend either one of these retreats would push me to write more daring and brave work, especially now in these tense and critical times, we turn to the arts to make sense of the world around us. The skills I would acquire from both of these experiences would extend my education in poetics. These retreats will push the craft of my work allowing me to reach a wider audience. This is opportunity presents the only time this year that I would be away from my densely packed schedule as freelance writer in New York, and in a quiet craft intensive environment in which I would be given the space to not only write but foster community with other poets over the course of a week.This past year alone I was nominated for a Pushcart and twice nominated for the Best of the Net anthology. Every day I am cultivating a personal practice to do better with my poetry. Between my father’s failing health and my own financial stressors, I simply cannot cover the expenses both on my own. Any support that you can offer is an investment in my future. I cannot make my dreams possible by myself, it will take a village.
BOAAT Writers Retreat is a weeklong workshop and residency for eight selected poets. As I have the honor of being one of the eight fellows, each year the BOAAT Writer’s Retreat is hosted in Vilas, North Carolina. Housing and food is provided by BOAAT Press. I will have the immense opportunity to work under the brilliant and talented Eduardo C. Corral, author of “Slow Lightning” and winner of the 2012 Yale Younger Series of Poets Prize. During the retreat, I will have personalized workshop time with Eduardo and those in my cohort. What I hope to learn from him is more formal approaches to the page, metaphor construction, how poetry shapes and reflects a person’s interior landscape.
I also have the honor of being selected as as a fellow for the 2017 Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop in Barbados. The legacy of Callaloo is to celebrate and champion the work of African American poets through an intensive week of readings, writing, critique and critical discussion of the craft. This year, I will have the honor of working with 2015’s Pulitzer Prize winning poet Gregory Pardlo. Pardlo’s unique and personable approach to the craft of writing is why I wish to work alongside him to further my own journey in this work. What makes Callaloo so critical for me is this workshop retreat has a legacy of celebrating poetry but also celebrating people. Many of my colleagues who are past Callaloo fellows have remarked on how much of a pivotal and necessary experience it was for their work but also their personal growth.
Here’s What You’re Paying For:
Tuition: $200 (for Callaloo) + $650 (BOAAT)
$1500 (plane ticket to Barbados round trip) + $25 to cover a cab over
$40 (to cover a bus to the BOAAT retreat) + $25 to cover a cab over
Food: $200 (for my stay at Callaloo)
Room & Board (for Calalloo): $600
Emergency Funds: $150
Links to my work(s) and what I have been able to accomplish thus far. Thank you so much again for your time and support.
Video of a poem can be found here
Poems with The Matador Review
Poems with Wusgood.black
Article with Revolt TV
Article with Upcoming Hip Hop
Article with Cove Alpa
Interview with The Blueshift Journal
I donated because I understand the overwhelming feelings of doubt that wash over you when you just don't know. I understand how much courage it takes to just try and of course it isn't much but maybe the universe will reward me with some of your bravery. Keep showing up for you. I always will. Blessings