2013 Fellowship Program for Emerging Poets: Emerge-Surface-Be

Emerge-Surface-Be: 2013 Fellowship Program for Emerging Poets

Application Available – January 15, 2013

Application Deadline – February 18, 2013

Program Overview:

Emerge – Surface – Be is a natural extension of The Poetry Project’s program offerings. It formalizes the distinct yet unspoken pedagogical aspect of The Poetry Project’s programs while providing a unique opportunity to support, develop and present emerging NYC-based poets of promise. Three emerging poets will be selected by and paired with poet mentors Anselm Berrigan, Patricia Spears Jones and Edwin Torres, and over the course of nine months be given the opportunity to develop their craft and complete a project. Ideal Fellows will have a project they are working on or want to embark upon, and feel that they would benefit from guidance. Each Fellow will receive an award of $2,500.

In addition to working one-on-one with their mentors, Fellows will have access to all Poetry Project events (free workshops, free readings, free publications) and be included in the Annual New Year’s Day Marathon Reading. Fellows will also read within The Poetry Project’s high profile Monday Night Reading Series as a culminating event with introductions made by their mentors. Fellows will be invited to blog about their experiences as well as post photos and videos on The Poetry Project website and attend Fellows only gatherings so they may get to know and appreciate one another and their work.

Applicants that have achieved some measure of local, regional or national professional recognition will be judged favorably, as will applicants who have been published or had work presented in recognized publications and venues providing they have published no more than one full length perfect bound book and no more than three chap books (not including self-published work in chap book form). The most important criterion is that an applicant’s work shows potential. Therefore, demonstration of a high level of skill and unique stylistic vision will be considered in the decision making process.

The Poetry Project embraces diversity in the broadest sense of the word. This principle is reflected in the choice of mentor poets and will be reflected in the selection of Fellows.

Emerge – Surface – Be is supported with funds from the Jerome Foundation.


Eligibility Requirements:
• New York City resident at the time of application and have lived in NYC at least
one year prior to the application deadline;
• Eighteen years of age and older;
• Individuals enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree-granting writing programs are not eligible. However, individuals who enroll in degree-granting writing programs or take classes after the time of application submission are eligible for fellowships providing they maintain an active, professional practice of creating and presenting work to the public.

Submission Requirements:

• Contact information sheet with list identifying application contents;
• Project description, including project goals and long-term artistic goals;
• Professional resume and bio;
• Names and contact information of two (2) references;
• Work Sample:

  • Ten to fifteen (10-15) page sample of project manuscript OR
  • Ten to fifteen (10-15) pages of prior work;

• Optional video clip or mp3 of applicant reading

The Poetry Project embraces diversity in the broadest sense of the word. This principle is reflected in the choice of mentor poets and will be reflected in the selection of Fellows.

Emerge – Surface – Be is supported with funds from the Jerome Foundation.


 Mentor Bios:

Anselm Berrigan’s books of poetry include the long poem Notes from Irrelevance, recently published by Wave Books. Other books include Free Cell (City Lights, 2009), and Zero Star HotelSome Notes on My Programming, and Integrity & Dramatic Life, all published by Edge Books. A book with poet John Coletti, Skasers,  is just out from Thurston Moore’s Flowers and Cream press. With Alice Notley and Edmund Berrigan he co-edited The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan (UC Press, 2005), and Selected Poems of Ted Berrigan (UC Press, 2011). He is the poetry editor of The Brooklyn Rail, an arts and culture monthly (brooklynrail.org), and a member of the subpress publishing collective, through which he has published books by poets Hoa Nguyen and Steve Carey. He teaches and has taught writing at a number of schools and independent literary organizations, and spent a decade working for The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, which he directed from 2003-2007. Currently he is Co-Chair, Writing at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. Several recorded readings and radio interviews can be heard on the Penn Sound website.

Patricia Spears Jones, named by Essence.com as one of its “40 Poets They Love,” is an African American poet, playwright and cultural commentator, former Program Coordinator (mid-80’s) at the Poetry Project and author of three volumes of poetry: Painkiller from Tia Chucha Press 2010; Femme du Monde, Tia Chucha, 2006 and The Weather That Kills, Coffee House Press, 1995. Her “Cosmopolitan in Brooklyn” columns (2006-2009) are collected at www.calabarmagazine.com. She has been guest blogger for The Poetry Foundation and The Tidal Basin Review and occasionally blogs for www.cultureID.com. As an editor, Spears Jones has worked with literary and arts journals since the late 1970s including WB, a mimeo literary magazine in 1975. In 2009, she edited and published Think: Poems for Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Day Hat, distributed at www.bombsite.org and she is a contributing editor to Bomb, a major arts and literary journal. She has taught writing and poetry workshops and served on literary and cultural panels at literary centers, colleges and universities across the U.S.  Venues include Poets House; Chicago State University, Medgar Evers College, Woodland Pattern, New York University, University of Rhode Island, Pine Manor College, St, Mark’s Poetry Project, Naropa University, Manhattanville College and for Cave Canem in New York City.

Edwin Torres is a bilingual poet rooted in the languages of both sight and sound. A native of New York City, his poetic birth came via The Nuyorican Poets Café as mid-wifed by The Poetry Project at St. Marks, where he’s given workshops, curated a reading series and is a current board member. From 1991-96 he was a member of “Nuyorican Poets Café Live,” the groundbreaking poetry collective that helped spearhead the spoken word movement in the 90’s and with whom he’s performed and conducted workshops across the United States and overseas. He has appeared on MTV’s Spoken Word Unplugged, The Charlie Rose Show, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, New York Magazine, High Times and been published widely in journals and anthologies, including Best Poems of 2006. He conceived and hosted an internet radio program on WPS1 Art Radio called “Live Nude Radio Theater,” and has taught at Naropa University, Bard College among a host of universities, He’s the recipient of fellowships from NYFA, The Foundation For Contemporary Performing Arts, The Poetry Fund and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Center among others and his CD Holy Kid (Kill Rock Stars) combines poetry with music, sounds and homemade tapes, and was included in the exhibition “The American Century Pt. II” at the Whitney Museum Of American Art. His books include I Hear Things People Haven’t Really Said (chapbook), Fractured Humorous (Subpress), The All-Union Day Of The Shock Worker (Roof Books), The PoPedology Of An Ambient Language (Atelos Books), In The Function Of External Circumstances (Nightboat Books) and most recently, Yes Thing No Thing (Roof Books). His play “One More Time” was just performed in San Francisco at Small Press Traffic’s Poets Theater Festival, and in Spring 2012, Red Glass Books will publish a chapbook of his children’s poems One Night: Stories For A Sleepy Boy.