A Group of Black Writers Are Going To This Country To Get Inspired Again
DSC07043

by Safon Floyd Posted: July 19, 2016

Kimbilio, a community of writers and scholars committed to developing, empowering, and sustaining fiction authors from the African diaspora and their stories, hosts an annual retreat for writers of color to read, write, and learn from each other.

A project of the English Department and The Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences at Southern Methodist University (SMU), the Kimbilio Retreat is seven days in which selected fellows and faculty gather in the Carson National Forest to work and share, held each July on the Taos campus of SMU.

Read the rest of the article on the Black Enterprise Website

Desiree Cooper

photo: Justin Milhouse

Nurtured scribes laud writers’ haven

Author Desiree Cooper says newcomers to the annual Kimbilio Fiction retreat for African-American writers “talk like they’ve been on a lifeboat and they’re just trying to hold on until they can find that place that keeps them safe.”

David Haynes, a novelist and professor of English at Dallas’ Southern Methodist University, established Kimbilio in 2013 as a means of providing networking, educational and professional advancement opportunities for emerging African-American writers. The organization has since amassed a network of 60 fellows; held three writers’ retreats in Taos, New Mexico, and initiated a nationwide series of reading events featuring its fellows. Kimbilio’s next reading event will be Wednesday at Pages Bookshop, featuring fellows Cooper, Angela Flournoy and Cole Lavalais.

Haynes says the organization’s name was derived from a Swahili word meaning “safe haven.”

“For so many writers of color, traditional retreats or traditional M.F.A. programs or various other support networks have not always been welcoming and safe places,” Haynes says. “That’s been one of the real drivers behind creating spaces where we can grow and learn as a community, and really develop important and necessary mutual support networks.”

Read the rest of the article here:  Nurtured Scribes

 

Fellows and faculty at the 2015 Kimbilio Retreat in Taos, New Mexico.

Photo Credit: Jason Harris

 

Kimbilio Nurtures Black Writers

NEWS AND TRENDS

March/April 2016

2.10.16

While Cave Canem’s annual retreat for African American poets has been changing the literary landscape for the past twenty years, the writing community has lacked a similar resource for African American fiction writers. That is, it did until 2013, when writers David Haynes and Sanderia Smith launched the Kimbilio Retreat. Now in its third year, the retreat is held annually in Taos, New Mexico, and is dedicated to supporting and empowering black fiction writers from America and the greater African diaspora.

After acquiring funding from the English department of Southern Methodist University (SMU), where Haynes teaches, Haynes and Smith met with the leadership of Cave Canem, as well as with other peer organizations serving writers of color, such as Kundiman and CantoMundo, to develop their retreat model: a week of workshops, classes, and time to write for a small group of fellows. The two cofounders then relied on their network of African American fiction writers to recruit applicants, faculty members, and application judges. Victor LaValle and Emily Raboteau joined the advisory board during the planning stages, in 2012, and ZZ Packer and Dolen Perkins-Valdez came on as instructors for the inaugural retreat in July 2013.

Read the rest of the article here:  Kimbilio in Poets & Writers, or in the March/April print edition of Poets & Writers

IMG_2920Southern Methodist University is building a supportive relationship between black fiction writers and an SMU sister campus in Taos, N.M. Black fiction writers are encouraged to consider attending future sessions of the Kimbilio Retreat at the SMU-in-Taos campus. Participants are winding up this year’s retreat, which began Sunday and ends Saturday. The campus, bearing low, adobe-colored buildings, is in Ranchos de Taos, about 10 miles south of Taos. SMU creative writing director David Haynes began Kimbilio Retreat two years ago, drawing inspiration from Cave Canem, a similar retreat for black poets that has met in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Columbia, S.C. Kimbilio is Swahili for “refuge.” Read the rest of the article here:  http://www.dallasnews.com/news/columnists/norma-adams-wade/20150721-smu-helps-black-writers-hone-their-craft-at-new-mexico-retreat.ece
awp15.45Among the many things to appreciate about this luminous and moving article about Toni Morrison is a brief but significant mention of Kimbilio.

 

 

 

 

 

Suddenly, the old guard’s oft-repeated line that people of color don’t read, that they don’t submit, that their work isn’t up to snuff was being widely and publicly debunked by workshops run by programs like Kimbilio, Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation and the Asian-American Writers’ Workshop.

Read the full article here:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/magazine/the-radical-vision-of-toni-morrison.html?_r=1

%d bloggers like this: