Arts

Atlanta Poetry Workshop Focuses On Voices Of Black Women

Joan "Lyric" Leslie and Ashlee Haze are leading a series of workshops and open mics they're calling "More Black Girl Than Magic."
Joan "Lyric" Leslie and Ashlee Haze are leading a series of workshops and open mics they're calling "More Black Girl Than Magic."
Credit Summer Evans / WABE

If you want to learn the craft of writing, there are a number of writing groups and classes available. But a pair of Atlanta-based poets are focusing their efforts on reaching black women.

Joan “Lyric” Leslie and Ashlee Haze are leading a series of workshops and open mics they’re calling “More Black Girl Than Magic.”

They say their aim is to guide women to telling their own authentic stories. The title of the workshop comes from the title of one of Lyric’s own poems.

“I love it,” Haze said. “Because when people think you’re magic, they treat you like that. Which is dope, but there’s a very human aspect that needs to air grievances, that needs to heal wounds. Our mission in this workshop is to give people language to write about that human-ness through the lens of magic.”

“For me, it’s been more exposure than teaching,” Lyric said. “And then we give them a platform. The workshop is more so: ‘here are some prompts, here are some examples, now use this to tell your story, use this to see what’s possible already.'”