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CCCC hosts creative writing workshop

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Click to enlarge,  Dasan Ahanu.

click image to enlarge ⊗

Dasan Ahanu.

01.15.2020College & CommunityCollege General

SANFORD - A creative writing workshop, where people were able to learn and create works of art in the form of poetry, was recently held at the Central Carolina Community College Lee Main Campus Library. Participants learned from the knowledge and expertise of Christopher Massenburg, better known as Dasan Ahanu.

Ahanu is a community organizer, educator, writer, recording and performance artist. He was a founder of Black Poetry Theatre, an artist with the St. Joseph's Historic Foundation/Hayti Heritage Center located in Durham, and a founder, as well as a coach, of the Bull City Slam Team. In 2018, he helped create the St. James Encyclopedia of Hip-Hop Culture.

Ahanu began the workshop by reciting poetry that he wrote, such as "Sunday in Paradise." He then transitioned to teaching the participants two different strategies of writing a poem -- the first being "Deconstruction/Reconstruction." In this type of poem, the deconstruction represents "taking a familiar thing, breaking it apart, and finding the deep obscure parts," said Ahanu. Reconstruction is then "taking the elements found within the deconstruction and creating a new story to deliver a message or raise awareness." The second poetry option presented was "Objective Correlative," which contains an equation consisting of "set objects, a situation, and a chain of events." Ahanu explained that the purpose of this strategy was to "show the emotion, not tell the emotion," by adding details to continually pull the reader in.

Following the lecture, the workshop moved into the computer lab, where participants were able to choose from the two techniques, or choose to do both, and write their own poems. Once they were done, they came together and had the opportunity for sharing and critiquing.

CCCC History & Social Sciences Lead Instructor Bianka Rhodes Stumpf organized the event. After the workshop came to a close, participants had the option to give feedback.

Besides the workshop held on the CCCC Lee Main Campus, similar workshops with Dasan Ahanu were held at the Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro and the CCCC Harnett Main Campus Library.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit