In its latest newsletter, Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA), has announced that as part of its efforts to support Black voices it will publish an anthology of work by Black poets.
AWA, founded in 1981, by Pat and Peter Schneider is an international network of workshop leaders who use the writing method described in Pat’s book, Writing Alone and with Others. The Amherst Writers & Artists workshop method is based on the premise that a writer is someone who writes and that every writer has a unique voice. According to AWA, the method “creates a space in which all participants can write, if they choose, and where everyone will be encouraged in their writing.”
The statement from AWA Managing Director, Katie Frank, reads in part: “At AWA, we’re still in a place of listening and reflecting on how we can best contribute to the global uprising in support of black lives. We are a non-profit founded on a commitment to social justice and we know this moment calls us to act. The work we do is a crucial part of this fight.
We believe that everyone is born with creative genius, that everyone can use words to create art. These values demand a commitment to lift up the voices of those marginalized by racist oppression. We intend to live up to this mission.
The AWA Board has identified a series of actions that we can take to become a more equitable organization, to extend that equity into our AWA affiliate program, and into the communities of writers our AWA leaders serve. One of our first actions, an anthology highlighting the work of Black poets, is mentioned below. Others will be announced soon and some will happen internally.”
The deadline for submission to the anthology will be September 30th. Guidelines will be released soon. Rachelle Parker and Jan Haag will be the Editors.