BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Brooklyn wordsmiths looking to expand their literary skills can find classes in their own backyard, with one writer’s workshop looking to give a voice to residents of Bed-Stuy.
Nicole Dennis-Benn’s Stuyvesant Writing Workshop, which caters to working professionals in the neighborhood, will host its first reading on Dec. 6 at Common Grounds Café.
Dennis-Benn, a writing instructor at Manhattan College and CUNY’s Medgar Evers College, hopes the classes help foster relationships outside the “coffee shop community,” allowing aspiring fiction and non- fiction authors an opportunity to showcase their work without having to venture to Park Slope or South Brooklyn.
The group is geared toward those who “have always wanted to write, but never seem to have the time,” said Dennis-Benn whose work has appereared in the Red Rock Review, the Feminist Wire and Ebony.com.
“In a gentrified Brooklyn, these are individuals who may not even know about the happening cafes in their area where people who call themselves writers sit on laptops and drink coffee all day — cafes that have been erected in place of old haunts that once offered more practical use, like grocery shopping or a place to do laundry,” she added.
“They might peer through the glass window of the trendy new bookstore that carries books, lots and lots of books, which, unsurprisingly, speak nothing of their experiences…These are the writers that find solace in Stuyvesant Writing Workshop.”
The intensive, $250 four-week workshops are offered at Dennis-Benn’s Stuyvesant Heights home, with plans to expand to a larger space in the neighborhood.
Alongside the class participants, December’s reading will host author Bernice L. McFadden, a finalist for the NAACP Image Award.
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