About the event

“I teach myself in outline” gathers scholars, writers, and educators who have spent time in Audre Lorde's archives and gleaned from it a nuanced picture of her life as a teacher. The wealth of syllabi, lesson plans, course notes and student papers found therein offer an intimate look at this dimension of Lorde's work, which has yet to be studied in greater depth. The event will include readings from the archive as well as an interactive pedagogical activity informed by Lorde's teaching philosophy.

This event draws from Lost & Found Editors Miriam Atkin and Iemanja Brown’s recently published chapbook, “I teach myself in outline,” Notes, Journals, Syllabi & an Excerpt from Deotha, released in 2018 by the Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative. Atkin and Brown are joined in conversation by Erica Cardwell, Christina Olivares, and Conor Tomás Reed.

“I teach myself in outline”: Audre Lorde’s Pedagogy is organized with Wendy’s Subway as part of The Quick and the Dead, a yearlong, multi-phase project that highlights the life, work, and legacy of a deceased writer by bridging their work to that of contemporary practitioners. In its inaugural year, the program focuses on the life and work of poet, educator, and activist, Audre Lorde (1934-1992). Beginning with a six-month reading and discussion group in all 2018 facilitated by OlaRonke Akinmowo of The Free Black Women’s Library, the Quick and the Dead continues through public programming in Spring 2019. The Quick and the Dead seeks to mobilize the creative and pedagogical potential of focused engagement with a single author through sustained reflection across a variety of public events and opportunities for cross-disciplinary encounters.


Miriam Atkin is a poet and critic based in the Hudson Valley whose work has been largely concerned with the possibilities of poetry as a medium in conversation with avant-garde film, music, and dance. She is a co-founder of Pinsapo, an international network of people who publish books and organize creative collaborations.

Iemanja Brown is a teacher and sometimes-poet who lives in New York City. She is completing a dissertation on poetry and ecocide at the CUNY Graduate Center and has co-edited three chapbooks with Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative.

Erica Cardwell is a culture critic and educator based in New York. She is a Lambda Literary fellow and received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Erica teaches English and Literature at the Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY and social justice at The New School. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Believer, Hyperallergic, The Brooklyn Rail and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn with her wife Zhaleh and their turtle, Smiley Mousa.

Christina Olivares is the author of No Map of the Earth Includes Stars (winner of the 2014 Marsh Hawk Press Prize), of Interrupt (Belladonna* Collaborative, 2015), and the forthcoming H-I-J-X (YesYes Books).

Conor Tomás Reed teaches Africana Studies and American Studies at Brooklyn College, is a contributing editor with Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, and is a co-founding participant in the Free University of New York City. Conor’s dissertation-in-progress is called CUNY Will Be Free!: Black, Puerto Rican, and Women’s Compositions, Literatures, and Studies in the City College of New York and New York City, 1960-1980.


“I teach myself in outline”: Audre Lorde’s Pedagogy is co-sponsored by Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative and the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY. The Quick and the Dead is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) and Humanities New York with Support from the National Endowment from the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative publishes unexpected, genre-bending works by important 20th century writers. Unearthed from personal and institutional archives in the United States and abroad, these unique projects are edited by doctoral students at the Graduate Center, CUNY and published by the Center for the Humanities. Aimed at a general readership, these chapbooks expose and provoke new archival research and connections.

The Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY encourages collaborative and creative work in the humanities at CUNY and across the city through seminars, publications, and public events. Free and open to the public, our programs aim to inspire sustained, engaged conversation and to forge an open and diverse intellectual community.


Wendy's Subway strives to be accessible to all visitors . We are located on the ground floor at 379 Bushwick Avenue. At the entrance, there is a concrete ramp with some uneven surfaces and a raised threshold (measuring 2 1/4” in height). Our single, all-gender bathroom, is not currently ADA-accessible; however, there are several such bathrooms nearby that we would be happy to help direct to. This space is not scent-free, but we ask that attendees come fragrance-free. This event will be live-streamed and archived for future consultation.
If you have specific questions about access, please write [email protected] at least three days before the event and we will make every effort to provide accommodations for you.