WCSU invites public to share in ‘Black Men Writing Project’
Group aims to make mainstream writing more inclusive

DANBURY, CONN. They are writers, editors, professors, filmmakers and critics. Their mission is to share their experiences, their hopes and their continued journeys as writers and as black men establishing their literary stations.

From 7 to 9 p.m., on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, the eight-member “Black Men Writing Project” will hold a forum at Western Connecticut State University. The public is invited to join in the conversation that will include reaching out to those who want their voices to be heard. “Black Men Writing to Live: Writing, Living, and Loving Our Stories” will be held in the Warner Hall Lyceum on the university’s Midtown campus, 181White St. in Danbury. It is free and open to the public. 

WCSU Associate Professor of English Dr. Don Gagnon, who is organizing the event, said that the event’s format will include a presentation followed by an open dialogue with the audience. 

“This will be a good experience for anyone who feels as though he or she has been left out of the conversation and how they might feel empowered in their writing,” Gagnon said. 

The list of recognized members includes Mychal Denzel Smith, Knobler Fellow at The Nation Institute  writer, mental health advocate and cultural critic; Darnell Moore, writer and managing editor, The Feminist Wire; Kiese Laymon, writer and professor at Vassar College; Kai M. Green, writer, filmmaker and Ph.D Candidate at USC; Marlon Peterson, writer and director of community relations, The Fortune Society; Mark Anthony Neal, Professor of Black Popular Culture, Duke University; Hashim Pipin, writer and cultural critic; and Wade Davis II, former NFL player, executive director of You Can Play Project. 

The group writes: “We come from myriad neighborhoods, diverse familial backgrounds and different life worlds. We are different, indeed. And yet, in so many ways we are the same. We are black male identified writers whose notions of blackness, manhood, and writing are as assorted as our multifaceted lives.” 

From 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, several members of the group will conduct a workshop in Warner Hall Room 103. The workshop will be limited to a dozen participants and registration will be first-come, first-served at the Wednesday evening forum. Participants are preferred to have a desire to communicate about structures of marginalization.  

For more information, contact Dr. Donald Gagnon at (203) 837-9062.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.


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