ESB Fellows Announced

For the past four years, through the support of The Jerome Foundation, The Poetry Project has been connecting emerging poets with mentors for a unique fellowship program including intensive one-on-one guidance, publication and performance opportunities, and a $2,500 award. In that time, we’ve been delighted to witness the culmination of so many powerful and important projects, and to hear from past fellows and mentors about ongoing collaboration.

It’s our absolute pleasure now to introduce you to our fifth cohort of Emerge-Surface-Be Fellows:

Kay Gabriel will be working with Rachel Levitsky
Francisco Marquéz will be working with Douglas A. Martin
Andriniki Mattis will be working with Pamela Sneed

We are humbled by the vision of both the fellows and the mentors, and can’t wait to follow what comes of their work. We also want to share how especially difficult it was to select just three fellows this year. We received more than 100 applications and were thrilled with the ambition, originality, and urgency of the work. This year’s mentors received access to all applications, with a pool of semi-finalists identified by Poetry Project staff. In addition to selecting the aforementioned fellows, the mentors identified four finalists: Chanice Hughes-Greenberg, m/ryan murphy, Sue Song, and Christopher Soto.

You can read more about each of the fellows and mentors below. And be sure to look for their names in a Monday or Friday Night Reading in the year ahead!

Kay Gabriel

Kay Gabriel is a poet and essayist. She’s the author of Elegy Department Spring / Candy Sonnets 1 (BOAAT Press, 2017), the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Project and Lambda Literary, and recently completed her PhD in Classics. With Andrea Abi-Karam she’s co-editing an anthology of radical trans poetics, forthcoming fall 2020 from Nightboat Books.

Rachel Levitsky

Rachel Levitsky came out as a Lesbian in 1984 and as a poet in 1994. In between those two events she wrote fact sheets and polemic for street actions demonstrating for LGBT and Women’s Liberation, Women’s Health, and against the state negligence of the AIDS epidemic. Since becoming a poet, she’s published three book length collections, Under the Sun (Futurepoem, 2003), NEIGHBOR (UDP, 2009) and the poetic novella, The Story of My Accident is Ours (Futurepoem, 2013). Levitsky is the author of nine chapbooks, most recently, Hopefully, The Island, part of an ongoing collaboration with the artist Susan Bee. Her current writing project is titled “Existing Condition,” and is a ‘memoir without memory’ indirectly addressing the ruptures of refugeeism as second generation post-Holocaust Jew. Adjunct and intersecting with her writing practice, Levitsky builds and participates in a variety of publishing, collaboration and pedagogical/performative activities. In 1999 she founded Belladonna* which is now Belladonna* Collaborative, a matrix of literary action promoting the writers and writing of the contemporary feminist avant-garde. She’s written and performed in a number of poetry plays. In 2014 she performed the role of Andy Warhol in Maxe Crandal’s Together Men Make Paradigms. In 2010, she co-founded the Office of Recuperative Strategies, which has staged urban walks and instant performances and instant publications during happenings in a variety of urban sites, including Alexanderplatz and the Gowanus Canal. In 2017 she was a fellow of LMCC Process Spaces, an open studio project on Governors Island and in 2009 she was Fellow in Poetics and Poetic Practice at University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing. She is a Professor of Writing at Pratt Institute, and teaches irregularly at Naropa Summer Writing Program, The Poetry Project, Poets House and other situations as they arise.

Francisco Márquez

Francisco Márquez is originally from Venezuela. He received his MFA in poetry from New York University, where he was a Goldwater Fellow. The recipient of grants from the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and Letras Latinas, his poems have been published in Bennington Review, Narrative, and The Offing, among other publications. He works at the Academy of American Poets and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Douglas A. Martin

Douglas A. Martin is the author of most recently of a lyric study, Acker (Nightboat Books). Other titles span poetry and prose and include: Once You Go Back, Your Body Figured, In The Time of Assignments, Branwell, and They Change the Subject. Douglas’s first novel, Outline of My Lover, was selected as an International Book of the Year in The Times Literary Supplement and adapted in part by the Forsythe Company for their multimedia ballet and live film, “Kammer/Kammer.” A Professor and Assistant Director of Creative Writing at Wesleyan University, Douglas also teaches in the low residency MFA program at Goddard College and divides time between Brooklyn and upstate New York.

Andriniki Mattis

Andriniki Mattis is a non-binary poet, who has received fellowships from Cave Canem & Poets House. They earned an M.A in Creative Writing and Education, from Goldsmiths University of London, and a B.A in Political and Poetic Resistance, from Brooklyn College. Their work has appeared in Nepantla, Cortland Review, Paperbag Journal, Pariah’s Anthology, Typo Mag, THEM journal, and elsewhere. Andriniki is from and currently living in Brooklyn, their updates can be found at

Pamela Sneed

Pamela Sneed is a New York-based poet, writer, performer and emerging visual artist. She is author of Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom than Slavery, KONG and Other Works and a chaplet, “Gift” by Belladonna. She has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Time Out, BOMB, VIBE, and on the cover of New York Magazine. She has appeared in Art Forum, The Huffington Post and Hyperallergic. In 2017, she was a Visiting Critic at Yale and Columbia University. She is a Visiting Professor at Columbia University’s School of the Arts for 2017/18. She is online faculty at Chicago’s School of the Art Institute teaching Human Rights and Writing Art and has also been a Visiting Artist at SAIC in the MFA summer low-res program for 3 consecutive years. She has performed at the Whitney Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Poetry Project, NYU and Pratt Universities, Smack Mellon Gallery, The High Line, Performa, Danspace, The Bessies, Performance Space, Joe’s Pub, The Public Theater, SMFA, BRIC and was an artist- in- residence at Pratt University, Denniston Hill and Poet-Linc, Lincoln Center Education. She has toured internationally. She directed a final showcase at Lincoln Center Atrium. Her collage work appeared in Avram Finklestein’s FOUND at The Leslie Lohman Museum in 2017. She has created cover collage work for an upcoming Issue of Sinister Wisdom, (2018) Legacies of Resistance, “Dump Trump.” She has received a Monica Hand, July 2018 scholarship for the Fine Arts Workshop in Provincetown. Her work is widely anthologized and appears in Nikki Giovanni’s, “The 100 Best African American Poems.” Her short story book Sweet Dreams was published by Belladonna in April 2018. Visit