Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative (KWBC)
A support center for aspiring Black writers around the state.
Are you a Black writer looking for guidance and opportunity?
Carnegie is offering classes at no charge to Black students in recognition of systemic racism, including in education and publishing, where Carnegie operates. Our goal is to welcome Black Kentucky residents to Carnegie, nurture their development, and remove financial obstacles for as long as needed.
All weekly classes and one-time classes at Carnegie are free to members of the Black Writers Collaborative. *
For more information on the KBWC or to register for a class, contact: Claudia Love Mair, KBWC Coordinator, Claudia@CarnegieCenterLex.org or JC McPherson, KBWC Associate, Jude@CarnegieCenterLex.org.
* Not included free of charge are the Author Academy, the Poetry Gauntlet, the Books in Progress Conference, Writer Mentoring, and Manuscript Review. There is separate financial support available for these programs.
Meet The Staff
Claudia Love Mair is the author of 13 books, including Mourning Pages: Working Through Grief the Write Way, due to release in October of 2023. She holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University, and is the coordinator for the Carnegie Center's Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative. Claudia Love lives with her daughter, and two cats, Batman and Gizmo, in Lexington, KY.
Col. JC McPherson, Kentucky Colonel Goodwill Ambassador, has a background in writing, electricity, and general troubleshooting. A recipient of the 2022-2023 National Leaders of Color Fellowship through South Arts, he is an associate for the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative, Creative Writing Instructor, and arts administrator. He is a member of the Affrilachian Poets and the author of numerous collections of poetry. He’s also a member of the Society of Baseball Research.
KBWC Affiliated Classes
Writing & Publishing While Black – Fall 2022
Black authors face special challenges in the publishing world, from blatant racism to microaggressions to dealing with the expectations of the publishing business, which is by and large centered in whiteness. Learn how you can succeed in writing and publishing while Black. Panelists: Claudia Love Mair, Crystal Wilkinson, makalani bandele, and Angela Jackson-Brown
This class is offered as a pre-recorded webinar. The link to the video and any accompanying materials will be emailed to you after registering.
Black & Lit Book Club
Black & Lit Book Club – Winter/Spring 2023
The Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative continues the popular Black & Lit Book Club celebrating Black Kentucky writers’ recent books. This book group will be open to KBWC members and anyone who wishes to attend. We will explore issues related to race and discuss the characters’ relationships, family, home life, dreams, and challenges. We’ll also study aspects of their writing, such as word choice, themes, character, plot, and setting. When possible, we will meet with the author during our book group. The KBWC Black & Lit Book Club will meet on the third Thursday of every other month, beginning in January. Sponsored by WUKY, LEXArts, SouthArts, and Kentucky Arts Council.
Each month, the first 25 registrants receive a free copy of the selected book.
Dr. DaMaris B. Hill’s most recent book, Breath Better Spent: Living Black Girlhood, is deemed “urgent” and “luminous” in a starred Publisher’s Weekly review. Her first book, A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing, is a searing and powerful narrative-in-verse that bears witness to American women of color burdened by incarceration. It was an Amazon #1 Best Seller in African American Poetry and a Publishers Weekly Top 10 History Title for the season. Her digital work includes “Shut Up In My Bones”, a poem that uses “remix/pastiche, intertextuality, and irony as strategies of identity formation to remember and honor a specific cultural past, while at the same time working to construct visions of a better future”. Similar to her creative process, Hill’s scholarly research is interdisciplinary. Hill’s other books include The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland, the chapbook, \Vi-zə-bəl\ \Teks-chərs\ (Visible Textures). Hill is a Professor of Creative Writing, English, and African American Studies at the University of Kentucky.
Burn The Mic: New Year, New Poems
Join us on January 19, 2022 at the Carnegie Center for Burn The Mic. Open mic kicks off at 7pm and the Featured Speaker, Shayla Lawson, will perform at 7:30pm.
Past KBWC Events
Burn The Mic:
Join us on December 21, 2022 at the Carnegie Center for Burn The Mic. Open mic kicks off at 7pm.
Burn The Mic:
Join us on November 11, 2022 at the Carnegie Center for Burn The Mic. Open mic kicks off at 7pm and the Featured Speaker, Tina Andry, will perform at 7:30pm.
Burn The Mic: Halloween
Join us on October 25, 2022 at the Carnegie Center for Burn The Mic. Open mic kicks off at 7pm and the Featured Speaker, Ronald Davis, will perform at 7:30pm. upfromsumdirt is a poet, visual artist, and designer based in Lexington, KY.
Burn The Mic: End of Summer Slam
Join us on September 2, 2022 at the Carnegie Center for Burn The Mic: End of Summer Slam. Open mic kicks off at 6pm and the Slam will follow soon after. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top 3 performers.
Burn The Mic
Join us on August 18, 2022 at the Carnegie Center for Burn The Mic, featuring LeTonia Jones. Open mic kicks off at 7pm and the featured artist will speak at 7:45pm. LeTonia A. Jones, MSW, is a death penalty abolitionist, activist, educator, writer, writing facilitator, and newspaper columnist. This fall, she will be co-leading "A Writing Circle for BIPOC Womxn" at the Carnegie Center.
Join us on June 18, 2022 at the Carnegie Center for our first-ever Juneteenth Slam presented by the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative and Brown Owl. Open mic kicks off at 6 pm and the slam will immediately follow. You can win prizes!
At the Clearing
We gather to grieve. We gather to witness. We gather to remember. On March 12, 2022, please join us at the Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning to unveil the latest work by Kiptoo Tarus, inspired by the murder of Breonna Taylor and in support of the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative (KBWC).