Spring classes are here!

Poetry Over Privilege (Grades 9-12)

Apr 27
Apr 27
12:00 - 2:00PM CT
C.I. Aki
Studio NPL East at 206 Gallatin Ave., Nashville, TN 37206
Cancellation & Refund Policy >

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

These are the words of tennis great the late Arthur Ashe, but they could easily be the first three rules of poetry. In the Poetry over Privilege Workshop, we will discover how powerful poetry is not limited to a privileged group but is available to anyone willing to do the poetic work of paying attention, daring to dream, and striving to craft. From our exercises in this workshop, we will each demonstrate our right to be a poet who isn’t limited by privilege but empowered by imagination and dedication.  

C.I. Aki is a poet, essayist, editor, filmmaker, and educator based in Nashville, Tennessee. He received his B.A. in Rhetoric and Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and his Masters in Theology and Philosophy at Vanderbilt Divinity School with a focus on critical theory. In 2012,  Aki published his first short story, “A Withering Scar, a Thin Pin-Striped Suit, and 1,000 Judgments,” in 34th Parallel Magazine. 2014 he premiered his first short film, "The Runner," at the Capital City Black Film Festival. In 2015, he was a recipient of Vanderbilt’s Imagination Grant to carry out research in Spain for an ongoing documentary on flamenco he is producing. In 2017, Aki self-published an experiment in fiction and philosophy titled After Esther: The Red Book, an attempt to flesh out the ideas of love, desire, and difference he culminated in his master’s thesis at Vanderbilt.Aki's debut collection of poems, The World Black, Beautiful, and Beast on April Gloaming Publishing, was released in May 2021 and ranked #3 by Readers Digest’s Top 14 Black Poets to Read in 2021. His monograph, "The Freedom of Color: Harouna Ouédraogo Paints the Future Freely Black," on the artwork of Burkina Faso painter Harouna Ouédraogo, was published by The Denver Quarterly Literary Magazine in 2022. Aki currently serves as one of the poetry editors for Waxing and Waning Literary Magazine while on a sabbatical from teaching to complete a novel based on his life as a first generation Nigerian American. You can follow him on Instagram @ soul_lit_writer and signup for his newsletter forthenoones.substack.com.

What Our Students Say

C.I. is new to The Porch. Welcome!

more classes

Write, Earn, Live: Making Content Writing Your Career

Lori Beerman


The Incarnational Art of Flannery O'Connor

Victor Judge


Advanced Poetry Workshop

Amie Whittemore