Call for Applications: The Poetry Project’s Fellowship 2019-2020 Program

We are thrilled to announce the 6th year of our fellowship for emerging writers, Emerge-Surface-Be, with 2019-20 mentors hattie gossett, Fred Moten, and Trace Peterson.

Everything you need to know, including eligibility requirements, submission requirements, and more about the three mentors can be found here.

Apply online here.

Applications are due by September 8, 2019 at 11:59pm. The deadline has been extended to Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 11:59pm. Three 2019-20 ESB Fellows will be announced in mid-October, and a welcome dinner will take place on October 30.

Please email with questions about or problems with your application.


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.

Poet Mentors hattie gossett, Fred Moten, and Trace Peterson will each select an emerging poet to work with. Over the course of nine months, Fellows will be given the opportunity to work one-on-one with their Mentor to develop their craft; explore publication and performance opportunities; and reflect on the professional and community-based dimensions of a writing life. Ideal Fellows will have a project they are working on or want to embark upon, and feel that they would benefit from guidance and support. Each Fellow will receive an award of $3,000. In adherence with US tax requirements, ESB Fellows will be issued an IRS 1099 Form.

In addition to working 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 Monday or Friday Night Reading Series as a culminating event with introductions made by their Mentors. Fellows will be invited to attend gatherings with Poetry Project staff and other 2019-20 Fellows and Mentors. Poetry Project staff and Mentors will also work with each Fellow to find other unique opportunities for deepening, sharing, and connecting their poetry to specific goals the Fellows might have.

The most important criteria will be the demonstration of potential, as well as unique vision and voice, in the applicant’s work sample. While applicants who have achieved some measure of local, regional, or national professional recognition will have these merits taken into account, we equally welcome — and encourage — applications from individuals who may have not yet had highly visible or public opportunities to share their work.

Our definition of “emerging” ranges from writers who are just beginning to share their work publicly; to writers who have local and perhaps regional recognition; and up to writers who are approaching national exposure, though not yet national recognition. As a top limit, an emerging writer has published no more than one full-length perfect bound book and no more than three chapbooks (not including self-published work in chapbook form).

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.

This program is supported by The Jerome Foundation.

hattie gossett

hattie gossett poet & spoken word artist hattie gossett is the author of 2 poetry collections: “presenting sister noblues” (firebrand books 1989) and “the immigrant suite: hey xenophobe! who you calling a foreigner?” (7 stories press 2007).

as a solo spoken word artist or with her band mz hattie performs at arts festivals, colleges, museums, bars and community centers. she earned her m.f.a. from the the music theater writing program at n.y.u. where she was awarded a yip harburg fellowship.

Fred Moten

Fred Moten lives in New York and teaches in the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. His latest work is consent not to be a single being (Duke University Press, 2017, 2018).

Trace Peterson

Trace Peterson is a trans woman poet critic. She is the author of two books of poetry, including Since I Moved In (new & revised) (Chax Press, 2019). She is also Founding Editor / Publisher of EOAGH which has won 2 Lambda Literary Awards, including the first Lammy in Transgender Poetry. She co-edited the anthology Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books), and also co-edited Arrive on Wave: Collected Poems of Gil Ott (Chax Press). Her work has recently appeared in Readings in Contemporary Poetry: An Anthology (Dia Art Foundation/Yale University Press), From Our Hearts to Yours: New Narrative as Contemporary Practice (ON Contemporary Practice), Best American Experimental Writing 2016 (Wesleyan University Press), TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, and at the Academy of American Poets ( She recently taught Transgender Cultural Production at Yale University and was Guest Faculty at the Naropa Summer Writing Program. She currently teaches at Hunter College, where she has taught an innovative course in Trans and Nonbinary Poetry since 2015.