2015-16 Poetry Project Fellows

In this third year of the Emerge – Surface – Be Fellowship, we were thrilled and honored to have received 120 applications. The range and depth of these applications illuminated how exciting this moment is for poetry in New York City, and reaffirmed our commitment to supporting its emerging poets. Choosing three fellows and six finalists was an extremely challenging task for our mentors, but they did it! Today, it is our privilege to announce the 2015-2016 Emerge – Surface – Be Fellows!

t’ai freedom ford will be working with Tan Lin, Nicole Sealey will be working with Lee Ann Brown, and Édgar J. Ulloa will be working with Tracie Morris. The finalists are Marina Blitshteyn, Alex Cuff, Julia Guez, Andriniki Mattis, Ramya Raja Ramana, and Amber Atiya. Congratulations to everyone!

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

Nicole Sealey

Born in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. and raised in Apopka, Florida, Nicole Sealey is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and the recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant. She is the author of The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named, winner of the 2015 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize, forthcoming from Northwestern University Press. Her other honors include the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from The American Poetry Review, a Daniel Varoujan Award and the Poetry International Prize. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Copper Nickel, Ploughshares, Third Coast and elsewhere. Nicole holds an MLA in Africana Studies from the University of South Florida and an MFA in creative writing from New York University. She is the Programs Director at Cave Canem Foundation.

Édgar J. Ulloa

Édgar J. Ulloa is a transdisciplinary artist and post-transborder poet from Ciudad Juárez, México. He maintains a blog (mijuaritos.wordpress.com) of aural, visual, virtual and performance poetry, that serves as a border trauma and memory reflection of his native city when it was one of the most dangerous in the world according to the media. In his work, he emerges as an explorer, producer of the aesthetic-historical, word-sign, word-symbol. He feels compelled to speak out through poetic performance action. His performances negotiate imperialist border politics, cultural memory, trauma and violence in addition to instigating audience and public participation. Ulloa earned his undergraduate degree in Language and Literature in Texas, and his master’s degree in Creative Writing in New York City.

t’ai freedom ford

t’ai freedom ford is a New York City high school English teacher, Cave Canem Fellow, and Pushcart Prize nominee. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Drunken BoatTupelo Quarterly, Winter Tangerine, The African American Review, Vinyl, Muzzle, Poetry and others. Her work has also been featured in several anthologies including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. In 2014, she was the winner of The Feminist Wire’s inaugural poetry contest judged by Evie Shockley. She is currently a 2015 Center for Fiction Fellow and the winner of the 2015 To the Lighthouse Poetry Prize. Her first poetry collection, how to get over is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. t’ai lives and loves in Brooklyn, but hangs out digitally at: shesaidword.com.