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Fancy Flower

The Maureen Piquette Haynes



The Maureen Piquette Haynes Scholarship for Poetry is awarded every year to a talented poet who is willing to offer service and support for their cohort in exchange for tuition remission. Mo Piquette, distinguished CLI Alumni from Season 1, and author of Born to Waltz (World Stage Press, 2013) In 2014, after completing the CLI course and publishing her collection of poetry, Mo Piquette came to Prof. Hiram Sims with a very selfless proposition. After seeing a great need for more organization and administrative streamlining, Mo Piquette offered to serve as a Teacher’s Assistant/Administrator for the entire 2014-2015 academic year. During that year, she created roll sheets, collected tuition, organized Hiram’s disheveled lesson’s, and attended to the needs of the students. Mo also helped with the culmination event called The AuthorDraft at the USC Doheny Memorial Library. This assistance was a pivotal change in the quality of service rendered to the CLI students, and the poetry publishing class has never been without a TA from that year to this one.

In 2022, CLI received a grant from the California Arts Council to cover the tuition for 7 CLI Poets in need, and the scholarship was named in Maureen’s honor. Every year, the scholarship will be given to one student in each class who has a strong interest in supporting their class on an administrative level, and has a demonstrated financial hardship. To inquire about the scholarship, please contact a CLI Admissions Representative at 323-210-9727.

 Season 10 Scholarship Recipients 

Sylvia Telafaro            Kimiko White 

Brenden Cashatt       Alondra Bleak Elskamp 

Taylor Marie Bland


Maureen Piquette Haynes (she/her/hers)

Arts Advocate and Administrator | Author | Actress

Maureen "Mo" Piquette Haynes graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Hofstra University in New York.  She is a mom, arts advocate, Program Associate of The Actors’ Gang Prison Project, actress, poet, and author of Born to Waltz: I Was a Girl a Woman Ago published by World Stage Press in 2015.  Her poem Did I happen to you or you to me? is featured as a dramatic monologue in the Creative Writing Course Reader: These Pages Speak. The life of her featured poem speaks to her process and style as a writer. In 2007, she penned its first words as a monologue, titled If Only, for the ReachLA Women's Writing Workshop. Four years later, the monologue was adapted for a film script just as she was finding her voice in verse on mics around Los Angeles, which led her to the Community Literature Initiative (CLI).  She participated as a student in season one of the CLI publishing class and continued the work as a teaching assistant for one year. During this time, she served as a CLI Board Member for three years then managed The Living Writers Series at The Los Angeles Film School and Foshay Learning Center until June of 2017.

Her work is with people across Los Angeles who recognize the power of art is in the process. She aligns her work with organizations that focus on access to the arts and apply the medium of art to impact social change.  In June of 2018, The Actors’ Gang became her new home, where she can support a mission to establish a supportive community and center the voices of systems-impacted people through the arts.

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