Tina Cane Appointed Poet Laureate of Rhode Island


Tina Cane, the Founder and Director of Writers in the Schools RI, has been appointed the new Rhode Island Poet Laureate. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo said in her announcement: Tina “is a people’s poet. Throughout her career, she has worked tirelessly to make the arts more accessible, bringing poetry and a spirit of creative self-expression to Rhode Island schools.” You can read more about Tina and her WITS work here and here.




Let Your Voice Be Heard


The Young Writers Project in Vermont publishes The Voice for young writers, photographers, and visual artists in middle and high school. For students to get involved, first open an account on youngwritersproject.org. Join the community, receive feedback, in order to be considered for publication in The Voice. The editors offer writing challenges to help get students started — or students can write about anything under the “general” tag. Students from WITS programs across the nation are welcome to join.

Free Resources for Writing Teachers

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The web makes searching for teaching ideas easy, but there’s SO MUCH out there. If you’re keen on teaching the WITS way, check out the Digital Resource Center. It was created by Teachers and Writers Collaborative and contains tried and true lesson plans, as well as archives from their magazine, and excerpts from the books they publish. This site contains great, free resources for writers who teach and teachers who write.


Artists Make Awesome Teachers

WITS Alliance Member Organization
Community Word Project 

The Business of Teaching Artistry:
A Panel on Professionalism

hosted by Community-Word Project’s
Teaching Artist Training & Internship Program (TATIP)

April 11th
5:30-8:30 pm

Roy Arias Studios & Theaters
777 8th Avenue (between 47th and 48th) Second Floor
New York, NY 10036
Register Now
What does professionalism look like in the Teaching Artist field? How are the expectations of artists and arts-in-education organizations changing?
Where do we see these changes and expectations heading?

Join us for a conversation between arts-in-education Administrators and Teaching Artists as we discuss the following:

  • Tips for interviewing and building your Teaching Artist portfolio
  • Ways to establish long-term working relationships with organizations
  • Strategies for having difficult conversations
  • How to balance your artistry-teaching life & prevent burn-out
  • & much more!

Panel to include representatives from Community-Word Project, Brooklyn Arts Council, FreeArts NYC, Wingspan Arts, Dreamyard Project, Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Marquis Studios, Victoria Sammartino, founder of Voices Unbroken and more!

You must register to attend. Make your reservation today and we’ll see you on April 11th!

Summer Workshop for Advanced Teaching Artists in NYC

Summer Institute 5.0

For Advanced Teaching Artists

Teaching Social Justice:

 Current Events through Art, Inquiry and Reflection

July 23-25, 2015 in New York City


Summer Institute is a three-day intensive for Creative Writers, Visual and Multi-Media Artists, Musicians, Dancers, and Theater Artists with 2+ years experience teaching. It is sponsored by the Community Word Project.


  • Deepen your teaching with experiential, inquiry and reflection processes
  • Connect with Teaching Artists from around the country
  • Expand your impact teaching for social justice
  • Explore creative processes and critical thinking
  • Investigate techniques for project-based arts integration
  • Build new strategies for classroom management


Application Guidelines

Application Deadline EXTENDED: June 10th, 2015

Tuition: $350

Scholarship Assistance Available

“With events in Ferguson and the Eric Garner decision, we can give ourselves permission to be honest with our students. It also provides an opportunity for an honest conversation about how long change takes. In the end, besides bringing ourselves as artists, we’re bringing ourselves as human beings.”

-Stephanie Jones, Summer Institute 2014

For more information go to communitywordproject.org

InsideOut Literary Arts Seeks New Detroit Leader

047-1InsideOut Literary Arts, the WITS Alliance organization in Detroit, is seeking a new Executive Director. Their founder, Terry Blackhawk, is retiring after and illustrious 20 year run. Check out the press release (below) or their website for more information.

Founder Terry Blackhawk Retiring in June

(DETROIT, MI) InsideOut Literary Arts Project ( iO) is pleased to announce a national search for its next Executive Director, as founding director Dr. Terry Blackhawk prepares to retire June 30th after 20 years.

“I am excited about entering a new phase with iO and thrilled to see the organization flourishing as we launch our 20th anniversary year,’’ says Blackhawk, an award-winning poet and educator. “The work has grown beyond my wildest imaginings.’’

iO was founded in 1995 in just five Detroit high schools, with weekly classroom visits by a writer-in-residence, the publication of a literary journal for each school, and a vision of sharing the power of poetry with youth. Twenty years later, iO has taught more than 50,000 K–12 students how to “think broadly and create bravely.’’ iO’s work has earned national exposure(including invitations to the White House) and a feature presentation on PBS NewsHour.

Blackhawk’s retirement will coincide with a series of public arts celebrations honoring her work and iO’s longevity. The anniversary year will be anchored by the publication of “To Light A Fire: 20 Years with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project,’’ an essay compilation published by Wayne State University Press and edited by Blackhawk and iO’s Senior Writer, Peter Markus. With essays by 23 iO writers, the book shines a light on the triumphs and challenge of using poetry as a bridge of understanding between a city and its children. “When I founded InsideOut in the mid 1990s, the burgeoning creative writing movement, industry, community — call it what you will —was beginning to take off but I could not have imagined the reach that it has today.’’

The search for Blackhawk’s successor, who is expected to be named in September, is being led by the Non-profit Personnel Network. Long-time iO Associate Director Alise Alousi will manage day-to-day operations starting July 1st.

CONTACT: Nichole Christian, director of communications, info@insideoutdetroit.org or 313.577-4601

ABOUT iO: InsideOut Literary Arts Project is a nationally recognized 501c3 nonprofit, celebrated as a hub of creativity for Detroit K-12 students who are curious about exploring their worlds through poetry and self-expression. Major funders include Detroit Public Schools, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Skillman Foundation and the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.

WITS Alliance Schedule at #AWP15 in Minneapolis


WITS Alliance at AWP 2015

Booth: #1301

Hashtag: #WITSAlliance #AWP15

Thursday, April 9

Life After the MFA: Extra/ordinary Career Paths for Writers
1:30-2:45 p.m.
Room 101 B&C, Level 1

Panelists: Erin Kottke, Charlie Scott, Giuseppe Taurino, and Zayne Turner

Genre 2.0: Game-Based Learning and Creative Writing
4:30-5:45 p.m.

Room 205 A&B, Level 2

Panelists: Michael Angst, Rick Brennan, and Long Chu

WITS Alliance Reception

6:30-8:00 p.m.

Location: Room 203B, Level 2

Friday, April 10

WITS Alliance Membership Meeting

10:30-11:45 a.m.

Room 208 C&D, Level 2

Host: Robin Reagler

The Creative Writer as an Agent of Change

1:30-2:45 p.m.

Room 208 A&B, Level 2

Panelists: Tina Cane, Laura Moulton, Monica Prince, Mary Rechner, and Renée Watson

The Writing on the Wall: Poetry for Public Places

3:00-4:15 p.m.

Room 205 A&B, Level 2

Panelists: Kate Brennan, David Hassler, Michele Kotler, Christine Podas-Larson, and Alice Quinn

Saturday, April 11

Start a WITS Program at Your University
12:00-1:15 p.m.
Room 211 A&B, Level 2

Panelists: Terry Blackhawk, Julia Kasdorf, Frances Payne Adler, Amy Swauger, and Terry Thaxton

The Resuscitation of Childhood: A WITS Reading

1:30-2:45 p.m.

Room 101 D&E, Level 1

Panelists: Matthew Burgess, Jason Koo, Erin Malone, Emily Perez, and Tiphanie Yanique

Download Schedule »