Editorial Team

The new Zora Neale Hurston Writing Fellowship at Bard College welcomes its inaugural cohort of seven writers, Danielle Elizabeth Chin, Nese Devenot ’09, Shoshanna Edwards-Alexander, Mona Kareem, Madhu Kaza, Obi Nwizu, and Danica London Potts, this summer. The Hurston Fellows are in residence for three weeks from June 4 through June 26, 2022. During their residency, fellows reside on Bard’s campus with housing and meals provided. Founded and directed by Visiting Associate Professor of Literature and American Studies Donna Ford Grover, the Hurston Fellowship enables writers from all disciplines who have not had the opportunity to develop their scholarship, and supports writers who are currently employed as adjuncts or visiting professors with terminal degrees and who have not yet published a book-length work.

The Hurston Fellowship recognizes the particular challenges that BIPOC women encounter in the academy. Few BIPOC women are tenured or tenure track and most occupy precarious positions at their academic institutions. It is not the aim of the fellowship to increase the number of BIPOC women to the pool of tenure and tenure-track applicants. The program exists to assist these underrepresented voices into the publication of their works.

“For many adjuncts the path to writing and research is closed. The institutions where they labor do not offer funds or sabbaticals for such work. The Hurston Fellowship is one way to help these women find time for their own work. Zora Neale Hurston was one of the first independent scholars—writing on an array of subjects from anthropology to fiction. Like Hurston, our fellows, without institutional support, must make their own way through the world of publication and research,” says Grover.

During their residency, Hurston Fellows may participate in a daily program of workshops and meetings, offered in collaboration with the Bard College Institute of Writing and Thinking. However, fellows may also choose to spend their time working, writing, and researching independently. The residency includes visits by literary agents and editors, as well as readings and lectures by established writers and scholars. This summer, the two guest lecturers include Carolyn Ferrell, author of Miss Metropolitan, which was recently shortlisted for the PEN-Faulkner Award for Fiction, and literary agent Charlotte Sheedy of Sheedy Lit in conversation with her client Jive Poetic about the agent-author relationship and how an idea becomes a book. Fellows will also be invited back to Bard College in October of the fellowship year for a weekend-long meeting and workshop.

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