Grace C. Ocasio

Grace C. Ocasio

Grace C. Ocasio’s educational background is primarily academic.  She taught several levels of English Composition part-time and full-time at Central Piedmont Community College from 1995 to 2003.  In addition, she also taught remedial, first-level and second-level college English at York Technical College; 1996-1998, 2003-2008.   However, teaching Creative Writing at CPCC was, by far, her favorite endeavor in the classroom.  Primarily a poet who dabbles in writing nonfiction (personal) essays from time to time, her nonfiction has appeared in The Charlotte Observer and InterRace.   Recently, she placed as a finalist for the 2015 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award in Poetry.  She is a recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Regional Artist Project Grant.  Her honors include winning honorable mention in the 2012 James Applewhite Poetry Prize, the 2011 Sonia Sanchez and Amiri Baraka Poetry Prize, and a 2011 Napa Valley Writers’ Conference scholarship.  Her first full-length collection, The Speed of Our Lives, was published by BlazeVOX Books in 2014.  Her poems have appeared in Black Renaissance Noire, Rattle, Court Green, Earth’s Daughters and BlazeVOX.  Her chapbook, Hollerin’ from This Shack, was published by Ahadada Books in 2009.  She is an alumna of The Watering Hole Retreat, a Soul Mountain Retreat fellow, Fine Arts Work Center and Frost Place Alumna, and member of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective.  She also served as a reviewer for the online writers’ resource, The Review Review in 2008 and 2009.  In addition, she served, from May 2013 to May 2016, as a contributing editor for Backbone Press.  Other organizations she is affiliated with are the North Carolina Poetry Society, the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and the Charlotte Writers’ Club.  She has read at venues that include the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture in Charlotte, North Carolina, North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina; the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut; the East Bay Meeting House in Charleston, South Carolina; UNC Chapel Hill’s Bull’s Head Bookshop in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and the Sensoria Festival at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina.  She received her MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, her MA in English from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and her BA in Print Journalism and English from Howard University, graduating cume laude.




  7800 Meadowdale Lane, Charlotte, NC 28212


704 568 3739

Each One Teach One Workshop

Program description

I seek to empower youth (young women in particular) to strive to be the very best individuals they can be. Through relating my own experiences via childhood memories of family triumphs and trials, I aim to inspire young people to press on in their own lives. In essence, I see myself as a coach/mentor. That is, I do all I can to encourage youth individually and collectively. There are times when I, as an educator, need to focus my attention on individual children. At other times, addressing youth as a group is most effective. One-on-one dynamics involve listening to youths’ concerns (not just about what is going on in the classroom but also factors in their home environments that impact their success in the classroom). The group dynamics involve working with youth to master the language (vocabulary) of poetry. Thus, I equip students with knowledge of the basic elements of poetry, lead them in discussions of individual poems, and solicit group response to poems. In addition, I expose students to history by having them engage with poetic texts that help them grapple with the most compelling issues of modern times: antisemitism, race relations, sexism, ageism, and so on. My overriding goal, then, is to help students feel comfortable and confident about reading and writing poetry.
Although my teaching experience has been obtained by teaching primarily adult learners, I work to provide young learners with the same skill sets as adult learners, only at a more basic, age-appropriate level. In a classroom setting, I share artifacts of culture in the form of the arts (music, dance, visual art, and drama). It is my hope that integrating the arts into class assignments will stimulate my students to want to know more about the world at large. To illustrate, I might have students listen to an early contemporary song as a way to learn about a specific subject (love, death, war, family unity) and then ask students to write about that subject using a specific prompt (assignment). (Students will be provided a prompt on a given subject and be asked to address the prompt during class time.) Students will then be asked to share their creative work and receive feedback as to how well they have addressed their prompt from fellow students and from me.

Booking / scheduling contact

Grace C Ocasio


Program detail
Artistic discipline: Literary Arts
Cultural Origin: American
Program type: Workshop
Population served: Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7
Subject: English, Music, Social Studies / History, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts
Bilingual: No
Available dates:

throughout the year

Available times:

10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Space / technical requirements:

classroom space/blackboard or whiteboard/CD/DVD player and/or TV equipped with CD/DVD player


at school

Fees / Ticketing:

$150 per workshop


NC Standard Course of Study:

R2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas. (In our case, we will examine how and when the elements of poetry appear in any given poem.)
W3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective techniques, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. (In our case, we will work from a writing prompt; students will develop a poem based on the prompt.)
SL3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric. (In our case, we will discuss perspective in a poem: if the poem is told from first-person, second-person, or third-person point of view and how a specific point of view impacts the meaning of the poem.)

NC Essential Standards:

Theatre C1 Use movement, voice, and writing to communicate ideas and feelings.
Theatre A1 Analyze literary texts and performances.
Theatre CU.1 Analyze theatre in terms of the social, historical, and cultural contexts in which it was created.


Conducts educational programming for 2 or more years: Yes
Performs criminal background checks on staff with youth contact: Yes
Maintains general liability insurance (Individuals and organizations listed in this Directory can provide proof of insurance upon request. ASC does not hold copies of current documentation for providers): Yes
Three letters of recommendation / references available: Yes
Provides study guides for teachers and or students: Yes
Connects to State and or Common Core Curriculum Standards: Yes
Provides tools to assess student learning (workshops and residencies): Yes
Conducts ongoing assessments of program quality: Yes
Cancellation Policy

I charge half my fee, which would be $75.00, in the event of a cancellation on the part of a given school if cancellation takes place less than ten days out from the event.