The Palm Beach Poetry Festival is pleased to announce a record-number of workshop fellowships and scholarships for the 17th Annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival.
Fellowships included the Langston Hughes Fellowships for African-American Poets; Kundiman Fellowships for Asian-American Poets; Canto-Mundo Fellowships for Latinx Poets, and the Thomas Lux Scholarship specifically for first time festival participants who would not otherwise be able to attend. A total of thirty fellowships and scholarships were awarded.
These fellowships and scholarships are funded through the generosity of several donors who wish to remain anonymous. “Though the Covid-19 pandemic prevented us from holding the festival in Delray Beach at Old School Square, as we have for the past 15 years, a virtual format has allowed us to open our doors even more widely to poets this year,” said Festival Director, Susan R. Williamson.
“Our festival, steeped in its 16-year history of January festivals from 2005 through 2020, faced a pandemic that has gutted cultural organizations of every size; closing venues, decimating air travel, and threatening the safety and well-being of gifted artists everywhere,” said Festival Founder, Miles Coon. “We had to decide between going dark for 2021 or going virtual.”
Past participants who often return year after year to attend festival workshops, prefer the in-person festival experience. But because of some very generous donations, we were able to offer Fellowships that usually include lodging during the Florida high season. It’s the virtual format that allowed us to make these opportunities available to the talented poets who submitted applications this year.
Such a diverse community of poets created a vital and energetic atmosphere in all of our online workshops this year. A new kind of community and participation can happen online. People discover new ways to connect, during Webinar readings and craft talks. Using the Zoom chat feature, attendees can address panelists and each other directly while readings are underway. Craft Talks were followed by Q&A sessions, moderated by festival staff.
We are so proud and pleased to announce the names of fellowship and scholarship recipients who attended the virtual Palm Beach Poetry Virtual Festival, January 18-23, 2021.
CantoMundo Fellowship Awards: Reyes Ramirez, Houston, TX, Kimberly Reyes, Forest Hills, NY, Jesús I. Valles, Austin, TX
Langston Hughes Fellowship Awards: Aremu Adams Adebisi, Ketu, Nigeria, Ariana Benson, Chesapeake, VA, Vernae Matikke Coffee, Tullahoma, TN, Zorina Frey, Doral, FL, Kimberly Jae, Ft Worth, TX, Len Lawson, Florence, SC, Soonest Nathaniel, Lagos , Nigeria, Yusef Salaam, New York, NY, Lolita Stewart-White, Miami, FL, Danielle P. Williams, Alexandria, VA
Kundiman Fellowship Awards: Hannah Keziah Agustin, Whitewater, WI, Armen Davoudian, Stanford, CA, Nicole Mairose Dizon, Los Angeles, CA, Ashley Sojin Kim, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, Eric Tran, Asheville, NC
Thomas Lux Scholarships: Julio Cesar Diaz, Northampton, MA, Jessica Dionne, Apex , NC, Jennifer R. Edwards, Concord , NH, Paul Hostovsky, Medfield, MA, Roman Johnson, Brighton, MA, Zachary Kluckman, Albuquerque, NM, Julia B Levine 6, Davis, CA, Elizabeth Mercurio, Tampa, FL, Karen Schubert, Youngstown, OH, Samn Stockwell, Barre, VT, Lisa J. Sullivan, Plymouth, MA, Moira Walsh, Stuttgart, Germany.
CantoMundo nurtures and supports the numerous aesthetic and philosophical approaches of Latinx poetry in the USA, and builds on the aesthetically, culturally, and linguistically diverse work of Latinx poets, who have historically—and with limited economic resources—formed supportive literary spaces. CantoMundo’s first gathering convened in 2010.
Kundiman is dedicated to the creation and cultivation of Asian American literature, offering a comprehensive spectrum of arts programming that gives writers opportunities to inscribe their own stories, transforming and enriching the American literary landscape.
The Palm Beach Poetry Festival – Langston Hughes Fellowship includes the application fee, tuition, and admission to all festival events. The fellow will be an outstanding African American poet who will benefit from and contribute to participation in the workshop. A writing sample, letter of introduction, and description of need are an integral part of the application and selection process. Fellowships are open by application to poets who identify as Black or African American. We are grateful to the administrators of the Langston Hughes Estate who assisted us by granting permission to name this fellowship.
We welcome inquiries from donors who may be interested in our efforts to expand the availability of these fellowships and seek to support the festival’s dedication to inclusiveness and enrichment of its workshops and public events. Donors may contribute to the PBPF Diversity Fellowship Fund, established to support these efforts. Interested donors may contact Festival Director, Susan R. Williamson or Founder, Miles Coon.
These fellowships are supported by the generous donations of individuals who wish to remain anonymous. In addition, the festival also offers a limited number of partial scholarships to applicants for whom partial assistance makes attendance possible. Email query must be made after applications are submitted.