Me, Myself & I: How to Craft Poetry Surrounding Identity | 4-Week Online Writing Workshop

Ashanti Files Thursdays, April 6-27
8pm-10pm ET
5pm-7pm PT
7pm-9pm CT
4 class sessions

By signing up for a class, you agree to our refund policy and code of conduct here.

The art of poetry inherently develops self-efficacy and resilience. Me, Myself & I: How to Craft Poetry Surrounding Identity creates a space where participants can feel safe to explore and express their identities.

Over the course of 4 weeks, we will explore different types of poetry, from creating elegies to crafting odes. We will look to the greats from Maya Angelou to Jacquline Woods and Zora Neale Hurston, to understand why identity is a foundational element of writing.

After discussions, participants will receive writing prompts that promote the exploration of their feelings regarding their lived experience and, through sharing, will strengthen their literary voice.

A note from the instructor: As a spoken word artist, I believe that it is imperative to investigate yourself, your voice, and your lived experiences through poetry. Too often, people believe that poetry needs to be something "special." I believe that poetry simply needs to reflect who you are. It is my hope that this course encourages you to find and solidify your voice as well as your identities.

All class meetings will be held via Zoom. The link to join your Zoom classroom will be provided on the morning of your class. Please check spam folders if you do not receive an email confirmation upon registration. For more information on how to download or use Zoom, please click here.

Meet Your Instructor:
Ashanti Files

Poetry is an echo of what the heart senses. While emotions are difficult to put into words, the art and craft of poetry is Files’ attempt to do justice to the heart by reaching the minds of others. Her poetry reveals her trials and triumphs as a woman of color. It explores social and political issues as well as love, sensuality, mental health, and the struggle to live life on her terms. Ashanti has Bachelor’s degrees in both Political Science and Nursing. She is a McNair Scholar, 2021 Poet Laureate for the City of Urbana, and a Martha's Vineyard Voices of Color Poet Fellow.

In 2022, Ashanti was named a Poet Laureate Fellow by The Academy of American Poets and an Honorable Mention by Writers Digest in their 91st Annual Writing Competition in the category of Rhyming poetry.

Files works as a Registered Nurse and has published her poetry and fiction writing in journals including, Scribes of Nyota: Mystics Anthology (2018), Poet’s Choice, the Northern New England Review and their FRONT/LINES: Poetry of Nursing and Pandemic Perspectives. More recently she published Catalyst Literary Arts Journal: Politics of Health and Wellbeing. In 2019, she published her own collection of poetry, Woven: Perspectives of a Black Woman. She has taught classes and workshops for populations ranging from elementary schoolers to adults at the collegiate level. She is the Founder of Writers of Oya, a writer's program for middle school girls of color exploring intersections of poetry, spoken word, mental health, social issues, and resilience.

Course Takeaways

  • Explore your various identities
  • Understand how identity impacts writing through tone
  • Gain insight into how established writers use their identities to strengthen their writing
  • Receive an introduction to performative poetry
  • Understand how writing fosters resilience

Course Expectations

  • Participants are expected to contribute to discussions and respect the words and identities of others
  • Bullying and prejudice will NOT be tolerated
  • Have a journal or notebook that you bring to class consistently
  • Engage with reading material
  • Challenge preconceived thoughts of identity within yourselves


We offer full refunds for cancellation with written notice up until 7 days before your class start date. From 6 days to more than 24 hours before class begins, we offer a 25% refund. If you drop a class less than 24 hours before the class begins or after it has started, you are ineligible for a refund.