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, or JC McPherson, KBWC Associate,

* 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

KBWC Coordinator

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.


KBWC Associate

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.

KBWC Events

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:
Happy Holidays

Join us on December 21, 2022 at the Carnegie Center for Burn The Mic. Open mic kicks off at 7pm. 

Say It Loud 2.0: Louder & Prouder

On November 11, 2022, the KBWC and 91.3 WUKY present the second installment of the Kentucky Black Writers Series, SAY IT LOUD 2.0: LOUDER & PROUDER.  Learn More. 

Burn The Mic:
Give Thanks

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. 

Juneteenth Slam

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). 

We hope to see you soon at the Carnegie Center, home to writers, lifelong learners, & the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.

Join Us

251 West Second Street
Lexington, KY 40507

(859) 254-4175

Monday – Thursday: 10:00am – 7:30pm
Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 2:00pm
Sunday: CLOSED

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