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Just Buffalo Literary Center invites poets to write in Buffalo this summer


Mon, Jan 8th 2024 01:30 pm

Applications now open for 2024 poetry fellowship, judged by Megan Fernandes

Applications are now open for Just Buffalo Literary Center’s poetry fellowship, judged in 2024 by Megan Fernandes. The award, which is open to adult poets of all ages and career stages, includes a $2,500 honorarium; a month-long residency in Buffalo in August 2024; and the opportunity to perform as a featured reader alongside Fernandes at Just Buffalo’s acclaimed Silo City Reading Series.

The JBLC poetry fellowship was established in 2020 as a way of raising the visibility of both the selected poetry fellow and the City of Buffalo as a home and destination for innovative literary arts in the U.S. Now in its fifth year, the fellowship has previously honored Keith S. Wilson in 2020, Porsha Olayiwola in 2021, Ashia Ajani in 2022 and Ae Hee Lee in 2023.

“Everything about the program was wonderful,” said Ae He Lee, the 2023 poetry fellow. “I appreciated having a serene space and time set aside for myself as a writer and an individual – to ponder on craft and life. As an introverted person, I feel a deep need for solitude in my writing practice, and this fellowship granted me this gift while being in an accessible location. As a poet with a forthcoming debut collection, I felt supported and encouraged by every single person I met during my stay in Buffalo. I’m grateful The Just Buffalo Literary Center poetry fellowship was my first residency experience.”

This year’s judge, Fernandes, is a South Asian American writer living in NYC. She was born in Canada and raised in the Philadelphia area. Her family are East African Goans. She is the author of “The Kingdom and After” (Tightrope Books, 2015) and “Good Boys” (Tin House, 2020). Her third book of poetry, “I Do Everything I’m Told” (Tin House, 2023), was published last summer. Her poems have been published in The New Yorker, Kenyon Review, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, The Common, and the Academy of American Poets, among others. Fernandes is an associate professor of English and the writer-in-residence at Lafayette College where she teaches courses on poetry, creative nonfiction, and critical theory. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MFA in poetry from Boston University.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 29. The 2024 poetry fellow will be announced in mid-April. Fellowship details, application guidelines and eligibility requirements are available at justbuffalo.org.

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