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Emerging Poets Fellowship at Poets House

2018 Emerging Poets Group Shot
2016 Emerging Poets Group Shot
2015 Emerging Poets Group Shot
2014 Emerging Poets Group Shot
2013 Emerging Poets Group Shot
2012 Emerging Poets Group Shot
Now in its seventh year, the Emerging Poets Fellowship at Poets House provides poets an opportunity to receive guidance and instruction from distinguished and diverse faculty, and camaraderie and support from a cohort of engaged emerging voices. Students have access to Poets House’s extensive 70,000-volume library, unique archives, and wide-ranging programs. Tuition is free to those accepted into the program.

Funded annually by a generous grant from the Jerome Foundation, the fifteen-week program facilitates artistic, professional, and personal development through weekly workshops, individualized mentoring sessions, and craft discussions with visiting poets, and roundtables with experts on performance and contemporary publishing. The program culminates in a final group reading at Poets House.

For answers to frequently asked questions and a list of Fellows of past years, please visit the Poets House Emerging Poets Fellowship FAQ page.

2018 Fellowship

The 2018 Poets House Fellows are Moncho Alvarado, Sébastien Bernard, Trace DePass, Joël Diaz, Haydil Henriquez, Thiahera Nurse, Sarah Passino, Jasmine Reid, Sokunthary Svay, and Cindy Tran.

The 2018 Emerging Poets Fellowship will be led by Aracelis Girmay. Distinguished Visiting Faculty include Cynthia Cruz, Cornelius Eady, and Shane McCrae. Fellows will also meet one–on–one with the workshop leader and distinguished guests at times to be determined. Fellows are encouraged to attend events at Poets House throughout the Fellowship, and special visits from editors and publishers will be part of the program.

Aracelis Girmay Aracelis Girmay is the author of three collections of poetry: the black maria (2016); Kingdom Animalia (2011), winner of the 2011 Isabella Gardner Poetry Award and the GLCA New Writers Award, and a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; and Teeth (, 2007). The recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Civitella Ranieri, and the National Endowment for the Arts, Girmay is the winner of a 2015 Whiting Award for Poetry. She teaches in Hampshire College’s School for Interdisciplinary Arts and Drew University’s low-residency MFA program in poetry.

Cornelius Eady Cornelius Eady is the author of seven books of poetry, including the critically acclaimed Hardheaded Weather, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award, Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, winner of the 1985 Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and The Gathering of My Name, which was nominated for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize. With poet Toi Derricote, Eady is cofounder of Cave Canem, a national organization for African American poetry and poets. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Literature, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to Bellagio, Italy and The Prairie Schooner Strousse Award. He is a professor at SUNY Stony Brook Southhampton

Cynthia Cruz Cynthia Cruz is the author of four collections of poems: Ruin, The Glimmering Room, Wunderkammer, and How the End Begins. Her fifth collection, Dregs, as well as a collection of essays on silence and marginalization are both forthcoming in 2018 as well as an anthology of Latina poetry she is editing. A curator and art writer, Cruz us regular contributor to the online art journal Hyperallergic. A PhD candidate in the German Department at Rutgers, New Brunswick, she lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

Shane McCrae Shane McCrae is the author of In the Language of My Captor (2017), a National Book Award Finalist; The Animal Too Big to Kill, (2015); Forgiveness Forgiveness (2014); Blood (2013); and Mule (2011), as well as three poetry chapbooks and one nonfiction chapbook. His poems have appeared in the Best American Poetry series, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, and other anthologies and journals, and he has been awarded a Whiting Writer’s Award, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Pushcart Prize. He received an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MA in Literary Studies from the University of Iowa. He teaches at Columbia University.

Application Process

Poets House welcomes applications via Submittable. The deadline for applications to the 2018 Fellowship was December 10, 2017. Applicants are reviewed by a selection panel comprised of poets as well as Poets House staff. The panel takes into consideration the applicant's creative work and related achievements and financial/personal need. Accepted applicants were notified by February 1, 2018.

The application period closed at 11:59 PM on Sunday, December 10, 2017.

The application consists of three parts:
  1. A one-page Personal Statement outlining how this fellowship will impact your career and how you will use this opportunity. This is the place to state any special personal or familial circumstances affecting your financial situation.
  2. A poetry- and performance-focused Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  3. Work Sample of 5-7 poems, 10 pages maximum, one poem per page