14th National Black Writers Conference: 8th Annual Poetry Café

14th National Black Writers Conference

Gathering at the Waters:

Healing, Legacy, and Activism in Black Literature

8th Annual Poetry Café


Thursday, March 22nd, 2018: Community Day
7 P.M. – 9 P.M.
Brooklyn Public Library
10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, New York 11238

View program now.
Program is subject to change.*

View bios for 2018 NBWC Honorees.


Featured Poet:

Charan P. Morris is a New York-based poet/educator. A LAMBDA Literary Foundation Fellow, recipient of the Archie D. & Bertha H. Walker Scholarship for a Fine Arts Work Center 2013 workshop and participant in the 2014 Callaloo Workshop Retreat, her work has been published in Sinister Wisdom, Kweli Journal, The Mom Egg, Stand Our Ground anthology, Liberator Magazine and African Voices. In addition to being a fourteen-year NYC public school educator, Morris has facilitated poetry workshops with diverse groups of writers including formerly incarcerated youth and graduate students at Columbia University. She has performed as a feature poet for various audiences along the East Coast and the Midwest. She has shared a stage with artists such as Gill Scott-Heron, Climbing Poetree, The Last Poets, Staceyann Chin, Lemon Anderson, Toni Blackman, Ishle Park, and others. Her work fuels public dialogue around the destructive nature of colorism, homophobia and the effects of war.  Of course, sometimes she writes about being human.


Spotlight Poet:

William Lohier, 2018 Youth Poet Laureate of New York City 

William Lohier is 17-year-old from Brooklyn, New York and holds the title of 2018 Youth Poet Laureate of New York City. He is a sophomore at Stuyvesant High School, where he holds leadership positions with the Black Students League and the Speech and Debate Team, and serves as the Arts and Entertainment Editor for the Stuyvesant Spector.


Emerging Poets:

Phillip J. Ammonds, a Brooklyn native, is a founding member of the writing collective Writeous, with whom he has co-produced four chapbooks.  Phillip curates “Rainbows Across the Diaspora,” the queer text reading series at Dixon Place in New York City. He also performs as Trinity Rayn, Drag Poet.  His work has appeared in the anthology Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call (Vintage Entity Press, 2013), HIV: Here and Now Project, Yellow Mama, The Operating System and Political Twist podcast(episode two).  Phillip has featured at The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art; The Anne Frank Center of New York, Glitter and Pomegranate, Soul Sister Revue reading series, and has appeared as a guest editor for the Operating System’s National Poetry Month 30/30.

Instagram: trinity_rayn1
Twitter: @TrinityRayn


Shavonne Bell is a writer from the Bronx with a love for poetry and storytelling. Her work is fueled by the healing from her own pain and trauma, and the journey of self-love she discovered along the way. She hopes her words help others dig deeper into themselves.

Twitter & Instagram: @shavonnebee







Angela Brown is a native New Yorker, raised in a Harlem home that was full of music. Her sense of rhythm and rhyme is rooted in jazz, rap, and R&B. Angela enjoys sharing her love of language with students and open mic audiences.

Twitter & Instagram: @angiegerib







DeBorah (Momma D) Gray is a native of Harlem, U.S.A.; she is married, a mother of two, a foster mom and a grandmother.  Her love for dance earned her recognition with Mama-Lu Park’s Dancers, George Sullivan Dance Troop and The Dance Africa Celebration, as the Artistic Director for the Candle Bearers of Light & Love.  She was diagnosed with lupus several years ago, and withdrew from everything that gave birth to her dreams.  Writing became therapy giving birth to verses and poetry now dances for her.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/deborah.gray.12935