Emerging Poets Fellowship at Poets House

2014 Emerging Poets Group Shot
2013 Emerging Poets Group Shot
2012 Emerging Poets Group Shot

The Emerging Poets Fellowship is an annual opportunity for poets to receive guidance and instruction from a distinguished and diverse faculty and enter the next stage of their professional and artistic practice.

Funded for the fourth year by a generous grant from the Jerome Foundation, this fellowship immerses poets in a twelve-week program consisting of workshops and meetings that are reinforced by the inspiring environment here at Poets House, including our poetry library and unique archives as well as a diverse offering of readings and conversations by leading poets and scholars.

The program includes weekly writing workshops, mentoring sessions, meetings with guest speakers, free access to Poets House's events and archival resources and culminates in a final group reading. Transportation support is available for participants. The application process is competitive; tuition is free to those accepted into the program.

Read an article on the Emerging Poets Fellowship from Peril, an Asian Australian online magazine of arts and culture here

2015 Fellowship

Rachel Eliza Griffiths will lead the Fellowship in 2015. The next Fellowship application deadline will be December 1, 2014.

In spring 2015, the Emerging Poets Fellowship continues the momentum of three successful years of the program, during which participants refined their craft and established valuable friendships within the poetry community; information about the application process can be found below. Tuition is free to those accepted into the program.


2015 Schedule

The 2015 Emerging Poets Fellowship will meet Tuesday evenings, from March 3 to June 2, 2015. There will also be a special daylong session on one Saturday (date to be determined). A final public reading will take place on June 2, 2015. Fellows will also meet one–on–one with the workshop leader and distinguished guests at times to be determined. Special visits from editors and publishers will be part of the program. Fellows are encouraged to attend events at Poets House throughout the spring.


2014 Faculty


The 2015 Emerging Poets Fellowship workshop will be taught by poet Rachel Eliza Griffiths. Distinguished Visiting Faculty includes Natalie Diaz, Cornelius Eady, Nguyen Phan Que Mai and Bruce Weigl.

Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Rachel Eliza Griffithsis a poet and photographer. She holds an MA in English Literature from the University of Delaware and MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She is the recipient of fellowships including Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, New York State Summer Writers Institute, Soul Mountain, The Millay Residency, and others. In 2011, Griffiths appeared in the first ever poetry issue in Oprah’s O Magazine as a new emerging poet. Her literary and visual work has been widely published in journals, magazines, anthologies, and periodicals including Callaloo, The New York Times, Poets & Writers, The Writer’s Chronicle, Crab Orchard Review, and many others. A Cave Canem Fellow, Griffiths is the author of four books of poetry: Miracle Arrhythmia (2010), The Requited Distance (2011), Mule & Pear (2011), and Lighting the Shadow (2015). She teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College.

Natalie Diaz

Natalie Diaz was born in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian community. She earned a BA from Old Dominion University, where she received a full athletic scholarship. Diaz played professional basketball in Europe and Asia before returning to Old Dominion to earn an MFA. She is the author of the poetry collection When My Brother Was an Aztec (2012), which New York Times reviewer Eric McHenry described as an “ambitious … beautiful book.” Her honors and awards include the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, the Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry from Bread Loaf, the Narrative Poetry Prize, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship.

Cornelius Eady

Cornelius Eady is the author of eight books of poetry, including Hardheaded Weather: New and Selected Poems (2008). His second book, Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, won the Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets in 1985; in 2001 Brutal Imagination was a finalist for the National Book Award. His work in theater includes the libretto for an opera, “Running Man,” which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1999. In 1996 Eady co-founded, with writer Toi Derricotte, the Cave Canem summer workshop/retreat for African American poets. He is Professor of English and the Miller Family Endowed Chair in Literature and Writing at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Nguyen Phan Que Mai

Born in a small North Vietnamese village in 1973, Nguyen Phan Que Mai is the author of three poetry collections and translator of six. Her literary awards include the Poetry of the Year Award from the Hanoi Writers Association; First Prize in the Poetry about Hanoi competition from Vietnam's Literature Newspaper and Hanoi Radio & Television; the Capital's Literature & Arts Award from the Hanoi Union of Literature & Arts Associations, among others. Que Mai's latest poetry collection The Secret of Hoa Sen has been published by BOA Editions, as part of the Lannan Translations Selection Series, and is translated by the author and poet Bruce Weigl.

Bruce Weigl

Bruce Weigl, whose most recent poetry collection The Abundance of Nothing was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2013. The author of thirteen poetry collections, and the best-selling memoir The Circle of Hanh, Weigl is past President of the Associated Writing Programs, and has been Chairperson of the Judging panel in Poetry for the National Book Award. He has received such literary awards as the Poet's Prize from the Academy of American Poets; the Lannan Literary Award; the Robert Creeley Award; and a Medal for Significant Contributions from the Vietnam Union of Literature & Arts Associations and the Vietnam Writers Association. Weigl is currently a professor of poetry at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio.


Application Process

Completed applications comprise four components:

  1. Application Form (PDF)
  2. Personal Statement
  3. Writing/Publication-focused Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  4. Work Sample of 5-7 poems, 10 pages maximum
    (Due to the number of applications received, we are unable to return any submissions)

All materials must be mailed to:

Emerging Poets Residency
Poets House
10 River Terrace
New York, NY 10282

Complete applications must be postmarked by December 1, 2014.

Applicants are reviewed by a selection panel comprised of poets as well as Poets House staff. The panel will take into consideration the applicant's creative work and related achievements and financial/personal need.

Accepted applicants will be announced by February 1, 2015.

Emerging Poets FAQs

Where is the Emerging Poets Fellowship Program taking place?

The Emerging Poets Fellowship takes place at Poets House in Lower Manhattan. In addition to weekly workshop meetings, participants are expected to attend special events and other residency programs taking place at Poets House. Participants are also encouraged to take advantage of Poets House's collection, which includes more than 60,000 volumes of poetry and poetry-related material.

Who can apply?

Application to the Emerging Poets Fellowship Program is open to emerging poets living in one of the five boroughs of New York City. Poets who do not reside in New York City are not eligible. Matriculated students at any level are ineligible.

How do you define emerging poet?

An emerging writer is someone of any age who demonstrates significant potential; some evidence of professional achievement; a rigorous approach to creating artistic work as well as a strong commitment to the field; and a readiness to advance.

How long is the Emerging Poets Fellowship Program?

The 2014 Emerging Poets Fellowship Program will meet Tuesday evenings, from from March 3 to June 2, 2015. There will also be a daylong session on a Saturday (date to be determined). A final public reading will take place June 2, 2015. Fellows are expected to be in attendance at all meetings.

Is there a tuition fee?

No, there is no fee for those accepted into the program.

Is there an application fee?

There is no fee to apply.

Is there a stipend?

Each participant will receive a stipend of $150 to cover travel expenses. There may also be some funding to help participants pay childcare expenses.

Are there opportunities to share work with the public?

Residents will share their work at a public reading during June 2015.

How many participants are in the program?

There will be 10 poets chosen to participate in the Emerging Poets Fellowship Program.

How are Fellows selected?

Applicants are reviewed by a selection panel comprised of poets as well as Poets House staff. The panel will take into consideration applicant's creative work, professional achievement as a poet, and financial/personal need.

When is the next deadline?

Complete applications must be postmarked by December 1, 2014.

Who are past Emerging Poets and Faculty Members?

The 2012 Emerging Poets Residency workshop was taught by poet and teacher Catherine Barnett. Distinguished Visiting Faculty included Kimiko Hahn, Edward Hirsch, Quincy Troupe and Jean Valentine. Resident Poets were (Click names for bios and a sample of each poets work): Desiree Alvarez; Amber Atiya; Cathy Linh Che; Jaime Shearn Coan; Monica A. Hand; Danniel Schoonebeek; Sarah V. Schweig; Idrissa Simmonds and Elizabeth Zuba.

The 2013 Emerging Poets Residency workshop was taught by poet and teacher Jen Bervin. Distinguished Visiting Faculty included CAConrad, Cornelius Eady, Ben Lerner, Evie Shockley and Jean Valentine. Resident Poets were (Click names for bios and a sample of each poets work): Mahogany Browne, Jessica Elsaesser, Paul Hlava, Rosamond King, Elsbeth Pancrazi, Montana Ray, Andrew Seguin, Xeňa Stanislavovna Semjonová, Purvi Shah, and Ocean Vuong.

The 2014 Emerging Poets Fellowship workshop was taught by poet and teacher Kristin Prevalett. Distinguished Visiting Faculty included Cornelius Eady, Tracie Morris, Alice Notley and Edwin Torres. Fellows also met one one one with a poet of their choosing, including Brenda Hillman, Marie Howe, Erica Hunt, Patricia Spears Jones, Ben Lerner, Timothy Liu, Eileen Myles, Willie Perdomo, and Brenda Shaughnessy.

Resident Poets were (Click names for bios and a sample of each poets work): J. Mae Barizo, Stephen Boyer, Amanda Calderon, Wo Chan, EC "Maxe" Crandall, Justine el-Khazen, Vincent Toro, Jeannie Vanasco, Lara Weibgen and Tishon Woolcock.

Are there other residencies you can recommend?

A national list of Artist in Residence, Colonies and Retreats can be found here on Washington DC's Beltway Poetry Quarterly website