MISSION & HISTORY
The Watering Hole was created as a Facebook Group by fellows of the Cave Canem South Workshops from 2009 and 2010.
We draw much of our inspiration from those three-day workshops, which were hosted by Dr. Kwame Dawes, editor of Prairie Schooner. The sessions were led by Nikky Finney, a National Book Award winner; Patricia Smith, who was inducted into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent, and Frank X Walker, co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets.
We hosted our first retreat in 2013, launched the organization in 2014, and became a nonprofit in 2015.
Also recognized as SelahthePoet, Monifa Lemons began in Columbia, SC in the late 90s. Both Spoken Word Artist and Host at various venues since 1998, Monifa is committed to nurturing the journey of artists from all disciplines. She also facilitates workshops on writing and intentional creation. Her work can be found in Sinister Wisdom ( The African American Review (July 2016) and African Voices (Winter/Spring 16/17). She is currently writing plays and non-fiction projects while cultivating short stories for her first manuscript.
Candace G. Wiley
Candace G. Wiley was born in S.C., graduated with her B.A. from Bowie State University, an H.B.C.U. in M.D., her M.A. from Clemson University, and her M.F.A. at the University of South Carolina as a James Dickey Fellow. She is co-founding director of The Watering Hole, a nonprofit that creates Harlem Renaissance-style spaces in the contemporary South, and she often writes in the mode of Afrofuturism, covering topics from black aliens, to mutants, to mermaids. She is a Vermont Studio Center Fellow, Lighthouse Works Center Fellow, Fine Arts Work Center Fellow, Callaloo Fellow and former Fulbright Fellow to San Basilio de Palenque, Colombia, a town that was founded by West Africans who had escaped from Cartagena slavery. (The people have their own language and customs that trace back to the Bantu and Kikongo in West Africa.) She is currently complete the Tulsa Artist Fellowship and is now living, writing, and running The Watering Hole from Tulsa, O.K.
Board of Directors
Dasan Ahanu, Chair
Joyce Rose-Harris, Vice Chair
Angelo “Eyeambic” T. Geter
Jevertus Burnett, Treasurer
Kayla Mallett, Secretary
Tanisha Hall, Administrative Assistant and Winter Retreat Coordinator
teri elam, Human Resources
Wendy Jones, Slam Coordinator
Grad. Fellows Board
Nicholas Nichols, Chair
Anna K. Stone, Website Consultant
Christopher Greggs, E-mail and Website Content Strategist
I.S. Jones, Social Media Content Strategist
Jennifer Bartell, Anthology Editor
Julian Randall, Anthology Editor
John S. Blake, Facilitator Invitations
Kirwyn Sutherland, Data Management
teri elam, Anthology Editor