Horizons Creative Writing Outreach welcomed participants, grassroots leaders, staff and board to attend its annual writers showcase virtually this year. Our September 1 event, held via Zoom, featured original poetry read by grassroots leaders with lived experience of homelessness and their children.
Horizons is a creative writing outreach program offered at family shelters, facilitated by Special Projects Organizer Claudia Cabrera. Twice-a-month sessions involve more than 100 people a year.
The afternoon program featured eight writers, and was emceed by grassroots leader Edrika Fulford.
An audience of more than 40 people provided supportive comments and reactions as poems were shared by Willette Benford, Kevin Reynolds, Juanita Rodgers, Margaret Bingham, and Maxica Williams and her children DeNaysa, DeSera, and DeVon.
Youth leader DeNaysa Williams read her poem You Can’t See Me, in which she says “I’m American, but I’m not free; You see I’m enslaved by society; It hurts so deep inside of me.”
A selection of poems is published online in the Horizons 2020 Booklet.
Director of Organizing Wayne Richard launched Horizons in 2007. A CCH organizer since 2000, Wayne first became involved with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless when he participated in an earlier version of the writing program while living at a West Side shelter.
The full program can be viewed below: