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New York, NY 10011

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Office Hours Craft Class & Reading With Candace Williams

May 18, 11:00 am-2:30 pm

Office Hours Poetry Workshop presents: “Generative Erasure Poetry”– a FREE craft class and reading with author Candace Williams.

The craft class takes place from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. A public reading with Candace WilliamsOmotara James, and Safia Jama will follow from 1:30 PM-2:30 PM.

Spaces for the craft class are limited to 15 persons so please RSVP in advance to and include your full name, relationship to writing, and a brief bio.

“Generative Erasure Poetry”

How can erasure poetry be a means for confrontation and dialogue? What makes a good erasure poem? After analyzing a few erasure poems, we will discuss the process for selecting source texts and surfacing poetry in those texts via erasure. Readings include work by Chase Berggrun, jayy dodd, Solmaz Sharif, M. NourbeSe Philip, and Srikanth Reddy. Students can bring their own source texts to erase. Candace will also supply a few texts.

Office Hours Poetry Workshop provides post-MFA poets access to continued support for manuscript-development and everyday writing. The workshop culminates in a public reading each fall and spring to showcase sizzling new work. We welcome all poets, especially people of color, LGBTQ+, and those who are woman-identified. Our name derives from our side hustle. Many of us are freelance, adjunct instructors, who continue to thrive in the margins of academia.

Safia Jama was born to a Somali father and an Irish-American mother in Queens, New York. A Harvard graduate and a Cave Canem fellow, she has poetry appearing or forthcoming in Ploughshares, Boston Review, BOMB, Cagibi, and RHINO. Safia is a Pushcart-nominated poet and her manuscript was a semi-finalist in the Pleiades Press Editors Prize for Poetry. She was the subject of a “Shades of U.S.” documentary about her life and work (CUNY TV). Safia teaches in the English Department at Baruch College.

Omotara James is the author of the chapbook, “Daughter Tongue,” selected by African Poetry Book Fund, in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2018 New Generation African Poets Box Set. Born in Britain, she is the daughter of Nigerian and Trinidadian immigrants. Her honors include a 92Y/Discovery Prize, a Nancy P. Schnader American Academy of Poets Prize and being shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in Academy of American Poets, Literary Hub, Poetry Society of America, Winter Tangerine, Nat.Brut and elsewhere. She has been awarded fellowships from Lambda Literary and the Cave Canem Foundation. She is an MFA candidate poetry at NYU and edits poetry for American Chordata.

Candace Williams is a black queer nerd living a double life. By day, she is a progressive middle school humanities educator and robotics coach. By night and subway ride, she’s a poet. Her first full-length manuscript futureblack is a finalist in the 2018 National Poetry Series open competition. Candace’s first chapbook, Spells for Black Wizards (The Atlas Review), is a winner of the TAR Chapbook Series, and sold out of its first print run on the day of its launch.


May 18
11:00 am-2:30 pm
Event Categories:


The Center
208 W 13 St
New York, NY 10011 United States


Bureau of General Services—Queer Division