Cornelius Eady, photo by Chip Cooper
Cornelius Eady, photo by Chip Cooper
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What does the poem want? This is a question that I’ll ask and explore with you. Through exercises, examples, and informed talk, we’ll sort out those drafts. This workshop will involve close reading and lively discussion, and you will also generate new material. Come prepared to share your work (details on submissions to come) and delve into the work of others.

I read a lot—some of the manuscripts I’ve read for contests have turned into National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winners. I’ll bring that level of attention to your voice. Not to win prizes, but to help you along as you try to figure out how you sing on the page.


  • This is an advanced-level workshop.
  • Please submit a cover letter that states your interest in this workshop and gives an overview of your prior workshop experience, if any. Also submit a writing sample of up to ten double-spaced pages. (Please prepare your submission as a .pdf or .doc file.)
  • The cost is $675. If you are selected to participate in the workshop, a deposit of $300 is required to register, with the balance due by September 30.
  • If you are accepted into a workshop and would like to attend some of the Seminar, a space will be available to you at a reduced price of $300 (you will be notified of this option upon acceptance into the program). The Seminar runs from January 12 – 15.
  • Financial Assistance is available to those who would not otherwise be able to attend—click here for guidelines and/or to apply for a Workshop Fellowship Award.
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the class is full.



Cornelius Eady is the author of several books of poetry, including the critically acclaimed Hardheaded Weather, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award; Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, winner of the 1985 Lamont Poetry Selection from the Academy of American Poets; The Gathering of My Name, nominated for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize; and his most recent collection, The War Against the Obvious. In most of Eady’s poems, there is a musical quality drawn from blues and jazz. Indeed, many of his poem titles allude to traditional African-American hymns and modern musicians such as Thelonius Monk and Miles Davis.

With poet Toi Derricote, Eady is cofounder of Cave Canem, a national organization for African American poetry and poets. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center Residency in Italy, and the Prairie Schooner Strousse Award. Eady is a professor in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton.