You belong here.

National Poetry Month Writing Workshop, Poetry Reading and Slam Competition

In the writing workshop, participants are invited to work with award-winning poets Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib and Emi Mahmoud. For the poetry reading, featured poets/slam judges Willis-Abdurraqib, Emi Mahmoud, and Sarah Lawson will read selections of their work. And for the slam competition, 12 local poets will compete for the honor of being named the winner!

These events are presented in partnership with Commonwealth Slam.

Featured Poets and Slam Judges:

Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His poetry has been published in Muzzle, Vinyl, PEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism have been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, and The New York Times. He is a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow, an interviewer at Union Station Magazine, and a poetry editor at Muzzle Magazine.

Sarah D. Lawson is a DC-based queer writer whose poems are rooted in self, exploring themes of body, love, sexuality & gender. Her work has been featured on Button Poetry & Everyday Feminism, and published by Write Bloody Press, FreezeRay Press, Beltway Poetry Quarterly & Drunk In A Midnight Choir, amongst others. She is the founder of the Beltway Poetry Slam in Washington, DC.

Originating from Darfur and raised in Philadelphia, Emtithal (Emi) Mahmoud was the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and one of BBC’s 100 Most Influential Women of 2015. Currently a senior at Yale University, a Leonore Annenberg Scholar, and Global Health Fellow, Emi studies Anthropology and Molecular Biology at Yale in the hopes of one day alleviating structural disparities on maternal and child health in disadvantaged communities the world over. Outside of academics, Emi contributes to an international research initiative and teaches spoken word poetry in order to empower youth with the power of voice in various communities.

For more information about all of the events happening at the Weinstein JCC, please call (804) 285-6500.