Poetry and the Senses Fellowship Information


what did i know about waters rushing back
what did i know about drowning
or being drowned
-–Lucille Clifton

Poetry Fellowship applications for the 2023 year now open!

Closes November 20, 2022 at 11:59pm PST

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Interested in seeing our prior 24 poetry fellows?
Information can be found here.


Thanks to a generous multi-year grant from Engaging the Senses Foundation, the Arts Research Center (ARC) is hosting a fellowship program dedicated to exploring Poetry & the Senses. The program is grounded in the relevance and urgency of lyrical making and storytelling in times of political crisis, and the value of engaging the senses as an act of care, mindfulness, and resistance.

We support poetry in its broadest definition; beyond English and Comparative Literature, our 24 previous poetry fellows have also had connections in African American Studies; Art Practice; Berkeley Center for New Media; Electrical Engineering & Computer Science; Global Urban Humanities; Music; Native American Studies; Near Eastern Studies; Rhetoric; Spanish & Portuguese; Theater, Dance and Performance Studies; and Women & Gender Studies departments at UC Berkeley.

ARC Fellows Program

Modeled on the pre-existing ARC Fellows Program, the core of the grant funds uniquely horizontal working groups that bring together UC Berkeley faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and local Bay Area community poets into non-hierarchical cohorts. Each group convenes every two weeks during the academic semester to share creative work, research, discussion, and critique, organized around a wide-ranging theme. The fellows receive a stipend to support their own creative practice, interact with visiting writers, and will have their work included in a chapbook.

Spring 2022 Craft Talk: Visiting Writers Matthew Olzmann and Tarfia Faizullah, ARC Poetry fellows D’mani Thomas, Anastasia Le, and Maurya Kerr, Visiting Writer Vievee Francis (and surprise guest A Van Jordan)

PROGRAM EXPANSION

Under the theme of Reclamation, the 2023 Spring and Fall terms of Poetry & the Senses will be led by Indigenous writers who draw on Indigenous languages and aesthetics: Craig Santos Perez (Chamoru), Natalie Diaz (Mojave), and Beth Piatote (Nez Perce). Berkeley’s poetry fellows will be joined by a team of writers from University of Hawaii (Perez); Arizona State University (Diaz); and the community-based Nez Perce writing collective, luk’upsíimey (Piatote).

UC Berkeley occupies the unceded territory of the Ohlone peoples, and as a land grant university it benefits materially from the historical and ongoing dispossession of Indigenous land. In 2022/23, ARC will create dialogues with two other public land-grant universities that also have significant, complex histories with Native territorial dispossession as well as with Indigenous education and outreach. The first is University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in spring 2023, and the second is Arizona State University, in fall 2023. ARC Poetry Fellows from UC Berkeley & the Bay Area will be in conversation with both fellowship cohorts from UH and ASU. In addition, you will collaborate with fellows from the Nez Perce writing group luk’upsíimey, which uses poetry to assist in crucial reclamation and linguistic revitalization. The Nez Perce were exiled and forced to disperse from their homelands in Wallawa, Oregon; language and poetry is the mechanism of their return.

This expansion of our current model will create connections around Indigenous issues across four+ different western states and will explore poetry and the politics of language in a wider framework. The interest is in creating a trans-Indigenous conversation, with juxtapositions that decenter European thought and begin to translate an oceanic-to-desert-to-river-to-forest poetic imaginary.


INFORMATION

Please read the appropriate application information as well as the information for all applicants. There are different requirements and forms for UC Berkeley/Bay Area community poets, and University of Hawai’i Mānoa/Oahu community poets. Applications for ASU will open in spring 2023.

UC Berkeley & SF Bay Area Community Poet Applicants

Applications will open Oct 25 for a calendar year-long poetry fellowship, spring 2023 and fall 2023.

Four poets will be chosen for Berkeley ARC Poetry Fellowships: three from UC Berkeley – one in each category of Berkeley faculty, graduate student, and undergraduate student – plus one community poet living in the Bay Area. Each fellow will receive a $6,000 stipend to support your creative practice, dispersed in two $3,000 semester payments.

Faculty spots are open to UC Berkeley ladder rank or lecture faculty, teaching during the 2022/2023 academic years. Lecturers will be paid their stipends directly. Ladder rank faculty will earn their stipend in research funds, and can earn a one-semester course release. If you are teaching on a grad assistantship, or are in any way designated as a student, you need to apply under the appropriate student category. If you are graduating in summer 2023, you will still be considered a student.

You will have the opportunity to work online with 4 fellows from Hawai’i and 3 fellows from luk’upsíimey in the spring semester working group. In fall, you will form a cohort with 4 fellows from Arizona and 3 additional fellows from luk’upsíimey. You will collectively convene online on Zoom for 2 hrs every 2 weeks over the academic semesters to share creative work, research, discussion, and critique.

University of Hawai’i at Mānoa & O’ahu Community Poet Applicants

Applications will open Oct 25 for a semester-long poetry fellowship, for spring 2023 (late Jan – mid May).

Four poets will be chosen for University of Hawai’i Mānoa/ARC Poetry Fellowships: three from UH Mānoa – one in each category of UH faculty, graduate student, and undergraduate student – plus one community poet living in O’ahu. Each fellow will receive a $3,000 stipend to support their creative practice. Faculty spots are open to all current UH Mānoa faculty, including lecturers and adjuncts, teaching during the 2022/2023 academic year. If you are teaching on a grad assistantship, or are in any way designated as a student, you need to apply under the appropriate student category. If you are graduating before Aug 2022, you will no longer be considered a student and must apply in the community category.

You will have the opportunity to work with 4 fellows from Berkeley/Bay Area and 3 fellows from luk’upsíimey in the fall semester working group. You will collectively convene online on Zoom every 2 weeks over the spring semester to share creative work, research, discussion, and critique.

Arizona State University & Tempe Area Community Poet Applicants

Applications for a semester-long poetry fellowship will open in late spring 2023 for the fall 2023 (late Aug to mid-Dec). Please keep reading for other benefits.


ALL APPLICANTS

In spring, four Berkeley fellows will join four Hawai’i-based fellows, three Nez Perce fellows, and two facilitators (Craig Santos Perez and Beth Piatote), to create the Spring 2023 ARC Poetry Fellowship cohort. In fall, the same four Berkeley fellows will join four fellows chosen from the ASU community, an additional 3 Nez Perce fellows, and two facilitators (Natalie Diaz and Beth Piatote) for the Fall 2023 ARC Poetry Fellowship cohort. In addition to bi-weekly working group meetings to share creative work, fellows will also engage with ARC Visiting Writers in live streamed and in-person readings and craft talks, as well as participate in a cohort reading at semester’s end.

As a bonus, all poets will be part of a celebratory in-person gathering, attended by the entire year-long cohort of poets and facilitators from UCB, UH, ASU, and luk’upsíimey writers, hosted at UC Berkeley! Thanks to the generosity of Engaging the Senses Foundation, ARC has secured funding to pay for travel and hotel for all 18 fellows + 3 facilators to join a group gathering and conversation at the year’s end, slated for early February 2024. Finally, all poets will have a selection of poems showcased in a group chapbook, and you’ll have an option to participate in projects your cohort decides on collectively. In exchange, we ask fellows to:

  • actively participate in each working group meeting during the spring (and fall for Berkeley applicants)
  • create a writer’s prompt to be published on the ARC Blog (related to reclamation)
  • create a short individual videotaped reading of one piece they created during the fellowship (to share on ARC website and social media!)

APPLICANTS WILL ANSWER TWO QUESTIONS ON THE FORM, AND THEN SUBMIT A CV/RESUME AND CREATIVE WRITING WORK SAMPLE.

You can enter and look at the form now, gather your information, and answer later. The form allows you to toggle through without answering; when you begin to fill out the form it should save your answers in real time. However once you click “submit”, you cannot change your submission. The questions and all information will be saved on the google form, you will email your CV/resume separately. 

QUESTIONS. Your responses should not exceed 600 words total for 2 questions; we suggest dividing the 600 words equally into two 300 word responses, but you can choose to divide 400/200 etc. We wanted to give people latitude in case one answer demanded more attention from you. But please respect the total for the section. (Note: the google form will not record in italic or bold, please use quotation marks instead of italics if needed.)

1. Please describe how your work (current or past) and/or perspective fits with the theme “reclamation”. (approximately 300 words)

2. How would this opportunity assist you with your work, and why do you want to be a part of the 2023 Poetry & the Senses fellow cohort? (approximately 300 words)


Tips:
– Write answers to the questions in a word doc and copy/paste into the form, so you are happy with the content and also meet the word count (and in case of tech gremlins)
– If you are a visual/digital/music/performance artist in addition to being a writer, or your work exists in a poetic form off the page, there is space to include a URL link in the info section
– For the work sample: you can submit up to 5 poems/prose poems/etc., one poem per page, 7 pgs maximum, saved in one file; it is fine to include images in your writing sample if integral to the work.
– Please save resume and work sample files in doc/docx/pdf format and include your name when titling (examples: Your Name – Work Sample)

**IMPORTANT: After submitting the online portion, email your CV and Work Sample to ARC Associate Director, Laurie Macfee, at: arcpoetry@berkeley.edu. In the subject line, please write “School/Category you are applying in – First Name Last Name” (eg., Berkeley/Undergrad Applicant – Your Name, or Hawai’i/Community Applicant – Your Name). This will help us sort the Berkeley/Bay Area applications separately from the UH applicants. Please copy this information and save, it will also appear at the end of the application.


The theme is reclamation.

Please read the FAQs about the Poetry & the Senses fellowship here.


RECAP: ARC Poetry Fellows will have the opportunity to:

– Meet 2x month (online) in a fellows working group to share creative work & research
– Receive a $3,000/semester stipend to support creative practice
– Participate in an individual online reading
– Participate in a group in-person celebratory gathering at UC Berkeley
– Interact with visiting writers in readings and craft talks
– Publish a writer’s prompt on the ARC Blog (on reclamation)
– Have work showcased in a chapbook
– Participate in any projects the group decides on collectively


Please sign-up for the ARC Newsletter for more information about our upcoming programs.