New York, NY (September 13, 2021)— The Poetry Coalition, a network of 25+ poetry organizations, is pleased to present its second cohort of the Poetry Coalition Fellowship program. These five individuals have been selected to receive paid fellowships, each at a different host organization within the Poetry Coalition: Asian American Writers' Workshop, Beyond Baroque, Indigenous Nations Poets (In-Na-Po), Lambda Literary, and Zoeglossia. The fellows will work part-time over the course of a forty-week period beginning September 13, 2021. The fellows will also receive professional development opportunities. 

This three-year pilot program will offer paid fellowship positions to five fellows per year, or a total of fifteen fellows, from 2020 through 2023.

The 2021–2022 Poetry Coalition fellows are:

At the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Aishvarya Arora

Aishvarya Arora is an Asian American poet and community-based researcher from Queens, NY. She spent a year in Delhi, India on a Fulbright Fellowship studying participatory research methods and learning how to express her emotions in Hindi. Currently, she is an inaugural member of the Brooklyn Poets Mentorship Program, and you can read her work in harana poetry. She is also the recipient of scholarships and fellowships from GrubStreet and the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing.

At Beyond Baroque, Iván Salinas 

Iván Salinas was born in Ciudad de México and immigrated to Los Angeles when he was ten years old to reunite with his family. He received a BA in English - Creative Writing from California State University, Northridge, where he was a student organizer advocating for quality of education that addresses racism and social justice. His work has appeared in Backlash Lit, Curious Publishing, Dryland, and Drifter Zine. He currently resides in the San Fernando Valley. 

At Indigenous Nations Poets (In-Na-Po), Arielle Taitano Lowe

Arielle Taitano Lowe is an indigenous Chamoru poet from the village of Agat, Guåhan. She is a PhD in English student at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and a Graduate Degree Fellow at the East-West Center. She writes about intergenerational healing in her home islands, the Marianas, located in Micronesia. Her work has appeared in Indigenous Literatures from MicronesiaStoryboard: A Journal of Pacific Imagery, and As/Us: A Space for Writers of the World.

At Lambda Literary, Mai Tran

Mai Tran is a writer based in New York. She was a winner of Epiphany Zine's 2020 Breakout 8 Writers Prize and her work has appeared in The Margins, Apogee, Vox, i-D, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She currently serves as a nonfiction coordinator for MFA App Review and is a mentor with the PEN Prison & Justice Writing Program. 

At Zoeglossia, Saleem Hue Penny 

Saleem Hue Penny (he/him/friend) is a Black 'rural hip-hop blues' poet with a vestibular disorder and single-sided deafness. A proud Cave Canem Fellow, Saleem’s writing explores how young people of color traverse wild spaces and define freedom on their own terms. In 2021, he received the Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry from the Bellevue Literary Review. He was also a runner-up for the 2021 Peseroff Poetry Prize and a finalist for the 2021 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize. Nourished by the Southside of Chicago, Saleem’s spirit stretches across Pisgah Forest, forever rooted in Monck’s Corner swamps.

The goals of the Poetry Coalition Fellowship program are:

  • to help diversify the leadership of the nonprofit literary field by encouraging more inclusion of individuals from under-represented communities;
  • to develop future literary leaders regardless of educational background; 
  • to introduce the individuals who are interested to nonprofit literary arts management, fundraising, programming, and editorial work, providing experiences that will be useful as they seek jobs and inspiring them to consider working in the literary field; and 
  • to increase the capacity of each host organization by having additional assistance. 

The fellowship program is made possible by the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

About Asian American Writers’ Workshop

Established in 1991, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop is a national not-for-profit arts organization devoted to the creating, publishing, developing and disseminating of creative writing by Asian Americans. The Asian American Writers’ Workshop is building the Asian literary culture of tomorrow through our curatorial platform, which includes our New York events series and our online editorial initiatives.

About Beyond Baroque

Beyond Baroque is one of the United States' leading independent Literary / Arts Centers and public spaces dedicated to expanding the public's knowledge of poetry, literature and art through cultural events and community interaction. Founded in 1968, Beyond Baroque offers a diverse variety of literary and arts programming including readings, workshops, new music and education.

About Indigenous Nations Poets (In-Na-Po)

In-Na-Po, Indigenous Nations' Poets, is a community committed to mentoring emerging writers, cultivating Indigenous literatures and poetics, supporting tribal languages and sovereignty, and raising the visibility of all Native writers.

About Lambda Literary 

Lambda Literary believes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer literature is fundamental to the preservation of our culture, and that LGBTQ lives are affirmed when our stories are written, published, and read.

About Zoeglossia 

Zoeglossia is a literary organization that seeks to pioneer a new inclusive space for disabled poets. Much like its forebears CantoMundo, Cave Canem, Kundiman, and Lambda Literary, Zoeglossia strives to create an open and supportive community that celebrates and fosters creativity. Through a fellowship program and annual retreat, disabled poets from all backgrounds have the opportunity to learn from established disabled writers and one another. These retreats promote professional development among this shared creative community. Zoeglossia also seeks to advocate for disability culture and the intersectionality of disability with race, gender, class, and other forms of diversity. The organization pursues this goal in the recognition that such intersectionality is key to creating authentic social transformation within the arts.

About the Academy of American Poets

Founded in 1934, the Academy of American Poets is the nation’s leading champion of poets and poetry with supporters in all fifty states. The organization annually awards more funds to individual poets than any other organization through its prize program, giving a total of $1.25 million to more than 200 poets at various stages of their careers. The organization also produces, the world’s largest publicly funded website for poets and poetry; organizes National Poetry Month; publishes the popular Poem-a-Day series and American Poets magazine; provides award-winning resources to K–12 educators, including the Teach This Poem series; hosts an annual series of poetry readings and special events; and coordinates a national Poetry Coalition working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture.