About these workshops

The Center for the Humanities and Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative are working with educator Kyra Clemons and the Academy for Young Writers to organize a series of 6 writing workshops for her Creative Writing students led by poets Alisha Acquaye, Alejandro Heredia, and Noel Quiñones.

Students in the 9th grade Creative Writing class at the Academy for Young Writers are participating in a series of workshops focusing on fostering an interest in writing and aiding the development of poetic skills learned throughout the semester. The students will be focusing on the topic of identity--an exploration of the intersections that make us powerful, individual, and beautiful. Through these workshops they will continue to learn new ways of discovering oneself through poetic practice.

The workshops provide an opportunity for deeper exploration of what it means to find power in identity and its intersections, and give students an open space to create and polish original works of writing under the guidance and support of professional teacher-poets based in New York City.

Guest Poet's Bios:

Alejandro Heredia

Alejandro Heredia is a queer Afro Dominican writer and community organizer from The Bronx. He has received fellowships from Lambda Literary, VONA, the Dreamyard Rad(ical) Poetry Consortium, and the Dominican Studies Institute. His chapbook of short stories, You’re the Only Friend I Need (2021), explores themes of queer transnationalism, friendship, and (un)belonging in the African Diaspora. Alejandro’s work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Lambda Literary Review, Tasteful Rude Magazine, and elsewhere.


Noel Quiñones

Noel Quiñones is an Emmy award winning Puerto Rican writer, actor, educator, and community organizer from the Bronx. He’s received fellowships from Poets House, the Poetry Foundation, Tin House, and SAFTA (Sundress Academy for the Arts). His work has been published in POETRY, Gulf Coast, Tupelo Quarterly and is forthcoming from The Offing and Frontier Poetry. He has performed on stages across the country including Lincoln Center, Harvard University, BAM, Princeton University, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, American University, and the Honolulu Museum of Art. His work has been showcased on Huffington Post, Vibe, Tidal Music, Latina Magazine, Medium, Univision, Remezcla, Mitú & elsewhere. He is the founder of Project X, a Bronx-based arts organization, a 40 Under 40 Rising Latino Stars Recipient, and a member of the 2019 Intercultural Leadership Institute cohort. He is a recent graduate of the University of Mississippi M.F.A. program, where he was the 2019 John and Renée Grisham Poetry Fellow, winning the D.C. Berry Prize in Creative Writing and the Bondurant Poetry Prize.Follow him online at www.noelpquinones.com or @noelpquinones.



Alisha Acquaye

Alisha Acquaye (she/they) is a creative writer, poet and workshop facilitator from Brooklyn, NY. She’s passionate about music, Black femme joy, Black queer joy, and afrofuturism. Their work is in Catapult, Carve magazine, Teen Vogue, Allure, GQ and more platforms. Most recently, Alisha won the Carve Magazine Poetry and Prose Prize of 2020 for her lyrical essay Fruit Snack Fairytale, judged by prolific essayist and poet Kendra Allen. Carve Magazine also nominated Alisha’s essay-poem for a Pushcart Prize. As a workshop bae, Alisha curates loving and imaginative writing spaces for us to explore different realms within ourselves. The Words Between Us, Black Nightmare, Unraveling Our Inner Child, and The End…are some of the many spaces they created for writers to play, heal and grow through words and world building.


This event is organized by Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative and the Center for the Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center, funded in part by Poets & Writers with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and with generous support from our collaborators Engaging the Senses Foundation.

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