The Curatorial Fellowship Program is a continuation of The Poetry Project‘s commitment to collective modes of programming and place-making. Curatorial Fellows are responsible for programming three events, one event per month in The Poetry Project’s Spring Season. The three events can be part of a linked series exploring a particular theme or question, or they can be three discrete events. Interdisciplinarity and collaboration are welcome. We are interested in the intergenerational, the subversive, the overlooked. We are excited about events that are formally innovative, and curators who share our commitment to remaining counter-hierarchical, community-centered, and wild.
Fellowship includes a $1,500 curator honorarium, as well as a $1,500 production budget, and $2,100 honoraria budget for event participants. Programming responsibilities include liaising with all event participants, drafting public-facing descriptions, working with the design team to create outreach materials, coordinating with participants and Poetry Project staff around event production logistics, and hosting the events. We will be accepting applications for both our Curatorial Fellowship and our Emerge-Surface-Be Fellowship in July and August.
Throughout the fall, Curatorial Fellows will have the opportunity to collaborate with Poetry Project staff and focus their event conceptualization and development within the context of The Project’s Spring Season and series. The Poetry Project’s series include a Monday Night Series for emerging writers; the headlining Wednesday Night Readings, our longest running series; our experimental lecture series; and our Friday Night Series for interdisciplinary presentations. Fellows may plan events which fall within any or all of these series. The planned events will then be presented between March and June.
2021 - 2022 Curatorial Fellowship
The Poetry Project is thrilled to announce our cohort of 2021–2022 Curatorial Fellows: Rasha Abdulhadi, Cassandra Gillig, Ethan Philbrick, and MOGULUOBO.
Heading into its second year, the Curatorial Fellowship has become an integral part of The Poetry Project's programming, an aperture through which our Fellows interrogate, intervene, and create their own series of readings through and alongside The Poetry Project's season of events. We were once again grateful, energized, and humbled by the fantastic creative rigor of this year's rounds of applicants, and once again found ourselves unable to select just three Fellows as originally intended. This year's cohort of four Curatorial Fellows will be split between The Poetry Project's Spring and Fall 2022 Seasons, each curating a series of three events to inform, rally, uplift, challenge, and reconstitute us. Read on to find out more about the 2021-2022 Fellows and their proposed series of events.
Rasha Abdulhadi: Unbound
this mini-series includes two readings and one experimental craft lecture from inside/outside the professional literary canon and will feature speculative genre writers, writers from communities and geographies under-curated in the professional literary canon, and organizers and communicators who are unpublished poets.
Rasha Abdulhadi is a queer Palestinian Southerner who cut their teeth organizing on the southsides of Chicago and Atlanta. Rasha's writing has appeared in FIYAH, Strange Horizons, Shade Journal, Mizna, Room, |tap| magazine, Beltway Poetry, and Lambda Literary. Their work is anthologized in Essential Voices: A COVID-19 Anthology (forthcoming), Unfettered Hexes, Halal if You Hear Me, and Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler. A fiber artist, poet, and speculative fiction writer and editor, Rasha is a member of Justice for Muslims Collective, the Radius of Arab American Writers, and Alternate ROOTS. Their new chapbook is who is owed springtime.
Check your hell at the door, it's the first-ever Utopian R&D Summit. The current apocalypse’s most brilliant rejectors will hold focus groups around our new paradise. What’s for lunch? Can a guillotine be recycled? How long can we keep our former landlords in pillories before it becomes excessive? Answers to these questions & many, many more.
Cassandra Gillig lives in Kansas City. You won’t believe this blog: orlandogillig.blogspot.com. Please if you have had experiences with The Poetry Project’s ghosts email gilligcassandra at gmail.com!
Through a series of collective and public events, MOGULUOBO will host languages that don’t quite properly exist: lovers’ code, hypertrophied dialects, asemic writing, the bad and the wrong and the asignifying sound – where semantic sense melts down into somatic sensuality. MOGULUOBO offers space for otherness to play – other friends, other words, other limerences and deviant forkings of the tongue, other kinds of thunder sounding when communication falters.
MOGULUOBO (蘑菇萝卜) is a duo consisting of Chang Yuchen, who restlessly chases an imaginary 萝卜 (carrot) in front of her and Fan Wu, who elegantly appreciates 蘑菇 (mushroom) that grows in all directions. MOGULUOBO is also an experiment where Fan’s deteriorating Mandarin and Yuchen’s underdeveloped English meet, delight in, and console each other.
Ethan Philbrick: Song in an Expanding Field
Song in an Expanding Field is a four-part series assembling artists who work with song as a malleable material for sonic and poetic experimentation. When song breaks with inherited forms and structures, it is often thought to cease to be song and become something else entirely: sound, improvisation, poem, performance, etc. This series gathers artists working at the edge of song and not-song to explore the significance and force of this expanded field of practice. Each evening pairs artists to share performances alongside one another before engaging in a conversation about the politics of song form and experimentation.
In addition to the performances, the series also includes a free online reading and discussion group about the poetics and politics of experimental song.
Ethan Philbrick is an interdisciplinary artist, cellist, and writer who uses music, performance, text, and video to investigate the politics of historical archives and locate alternative ways of being, doing, and thinking together. Recent projects include Choral Marx at NYU Skirball (2018), 10 Meditations in an Emergency at The Poetry Project and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (2019/2020), March is for Marches with Morgan Bassichis at Triple Canopy (2019), Disordo Virtutum at Museum of Art and Design (2020), Slow Dances at The Kitchen Video Viewing Room (2020), and The Gay Divorcees at the One Archives at USC (2021). Philbrick’s writing has been published in academic journals such as ASAP/Journal, PAJ, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, TDR, and Women and Performance. Philbrick holds a PhD in performance studies from New York University and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of performance studies at Muhlenberg College.
2020 - 2021 Curatorial Fellows
Founded in 2017, Tierra Narrative is a multidisciplinary, multimedia production house and collective creating spaces for transnational conversations and collaborations between the Central American diaspora and the homelands. Tierra Narrative’s plurality and horizontal structure aims toward collective authorship in curation and creative practices. During the course of the 2021 Curatorial Fellowship, The Poetry Project will work with Tierra Narrative members Maryam Ivette Parhizkar and Òscar Moisés Díaz produced a series of events that centered and engaged the archive. These events activated a small library of queer poetics from Guatemala City, invited Salvadoran diaspora writers to respond to archival transnational Salvadoran films, and included a multimedia presentation and conversation with artists and poets on dream transits and the archives of the ancestral.
Bryn Evans is an artist and curator whose work fights for total abolition against violent institutions, declines co-optation, and creates a space that welcomes Blackness as a way forward to futurity. During the course of the 2021 Curatorial Fellowship, The Poetry Project will work with Bryn Evans to support events that speak to the necessity of art and poetry as a collaborative site that “can mobilize repair and relief where there seemingly is none.”
xime izquierdo ugaz's and edua restrepo-castaño’s curatorial philosophies and praxes center translation and trans experience. They have visioned a thought-full radical borderless unborderable panamerican poetry party/revolution, steeped in and working from, through, and with boundless potentiality and queer trans languaged/not-yet-languageable futurity. Theirs is an intentional wor(l)d The Poetry Project wants to witness. We can’t wait to see you & them & all of us there.
Alexandra Tatarsky organized a series of linked events posing inquiry into breakdown, decay, and rot –– a (de)composition class examining toxic foundations and remnants that might lay the ground for different possibilities of sustenance. Spanning genre, practice, and terrain, Tatarsky worked with The Poetry Project to organize events with participants who are guided by an intentional relationship to the earth as a daily practice of both practical engagement and wild imaginings.