News: 2017 Kresge Artist Fellowship

I am thrilled and humbled to announce that I’ve received a 2017 Kresge Artist Fellowship through The Kresge Foundation.

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This fellowship includes a comprehensive year of professional practice provided by Creative Many Michigan and Creative Capital, as well as an unrestricted $25,000 stipend. The goal of the fellowship is to support artists living and working in Detroit; To elevate the profile of the creative communities in the region.

I plan to use these resources to finalize some old creative projects, start some new creative projects, and give myself the time to reflect on where my work has been and where it can go. I’m also planning to post interesting updates and lessons from this fellowship on this page – so keep an eye out for that.

Performance: June 27, 2017 @ InsideOut Benefit Event

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Benjamin will join Peter Markus in for an evening of poetry and conversation in a historic Boston-Edison mansion. Here’s the Facebook event.

Purchase tickets, here.

Join us for an evening of great literature and stimulating conversation! Wine and cheese will be served.

This event will benefit InsideOut’s School Residencies, which place professional writers in schools to conduct creative writing workshops that engage students’ imaginations and introduce them to the pleasure and power of writing.

You can buy Peter’s new book, Inside My Pencil, about his 20+ years teaching creative writing in Detroit Public School classrooms, here. He also co-edited To Light a Fire: 20 Years with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project with Terry Blackhawk, which you can find here.

Prompt: Beverly, Huh…

Draw a map of your neighborhood.

Include in your map:
– 3 borders (of any kind) that exist there
– 3 unusual places that you’re familiar with there
– 3 important memories that took place there

Read: Beverly Hills, Chicago by Gwendolyn Brooks
Read: beverly, huh. by Jamila Woods

Think about how Brooks writes from the perspective of a young car passenger and how Woods writes through the form of schoolyard banter.

Write about how a place(s) on your map is perceived by others – take on the persona as one of the “others” and tell that story.

Prompt: If You Are Over…

Make a list of answers to the following questions:
– What are tasks (or actions) you do you everyday?
– What are activities that help you calm down?
– What are ideas or slogans you no longer believe in?

Read: If You Are Over Being Woke by Morgan Parker

Write a list-style poem instructing what to do if you were “over” one of the ideas or slogans mentioned. Consider how day-to-day tasks would be impacted if you were to be “over” this idea or slogan.

 

Welcome!

Thank you for visiting my professional website!

This is the first time I’ve tried something like this, so please excuse any technical hiccups along the way. I’ll try to update this page regularly with new content – photos, videos, publications, and important news – every so often.

Additionally, I’ll try to include new writing workshops and lesson plans for other educators to bring into the classroom. More on that soon.

Lastly, I’ll be using this site as the streamlined method for all booking inquiries. Whether a performance, workshop facilitation, programmatic consultation, speaking engagements, or other events, I’m open to it all.

Thanks!