The InternationalWomen's Writing Guild
Free Write with Cynthia Manick
Write Persona Poems Like You’re Red Riding Hood & You Skin Wolves
When we inhabit others we learn about the self. In this generative Friday Free Write students will take on characters, live in their shoes, and write from his or her perspective. Donning metaphorical masks, they’ll wonder - what are the stars doing when you can’t see them? If you were an animal, a historical figure, or member of the Supremes what would you say? Imagine Cinderella going to a different ball. Persona poems encourage writers to stretch their imaginations where they can either follow the character’s original course of action or change it into something new. And in these explorations, what does one discover about the self? Persona poems will also take on the direct address approach where poets will address a character directly. Let’s write to our favorite writer or superhero describing a problem and see how they respond.
Cynthia Manick is a poet, storyteller, and community leader. She is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press, 2016), and editor of Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation (Jamii Publishing, 2019) and The Future of Black: Afrofuturism and Black Comics Poetry (Blair Publishing, forthcoming 2021). She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, MacDowell Colony, and Château de la Napoule among others. Winner of the Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry, Cynthia was also awarded Honorable Mention for the 2019 Furious Flower Poetry Prize. A performer at literary festivals, libraries, universities, and most recently the Brooklyn Museum, her work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day Series, AGNI, VIDA, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere.
By day, Cynthia serves as a Data Coordinator and Scrum Master at Candid (formerly Foundation Center and GuideStar); and is Founder and curator of Soul Sister Revue, a quarterly reading series for established and emerging poets who write in the narrative tradition of storytelling. She’s currently East Coast Editor of Jamii Publishing, trustee of the NYC chapter of the Awesome Foundation, and serves on the editorial board of Alice James Books. She can be found at http://www.cynthiamanick.com/.