In the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, Cathy Park Hong discusses the writing process for her first nonfiction book, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning (One World, 2020), in an interview by Dana Isokawa. Hong talks about patching together “scenes, personal anecdotes, analyses of books, vents about things” and how this eventually developed into a form. “I began mixing and matching these paragraphs the way you would put together stanzas for a poem, and that’s how I arrived at a modular form.” Write a personal essay that revolves around an important belief, opinion, or question. Begin accumulating different paragraphs that contribute to your argument, and then collage them together, perhaps using other texts and facts from research. What’s your organizing principle in providing shape to this structure?
Poets & Writers’ Board of Directors has established the Poets & Writers COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide emergency assistance to writers experiencing financial need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund will provide grants of $1,000 each to approximately eighty writers in April. As funding allows, a second round of grants may be awarded.
Writers who are listed in the Poets & Writers Directory as of April 10, 2020; who have received a mini-grant through the Poets & Writers Readings & Workshops program; or who have received the organization’s Amy Award, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award, the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, or the Galen Williams Fellowship are eligible.
Submit an online application, consisting of a brief set of questions about eligibility and financial need, by Sunday, April 19. Visit the website for complete guidelines. Contact email@example.com with any questions. The initial cohort of applicants will be notified of the status of their application by the end of April.
Poets & Writers seeded the fund with $50,000 from the organization’s reserves; donors including Zibby Owens and Michael Pietsch have provided additional support. The emergency fund is an extension of an overarching mission to foster the professional development of poets and writers, to promote communication throughout the literary community, and to help create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible public.
“Doctor, you say there are no haloes / around the streetlights in Paris / and what I see is an aberration...” In the Paris Review’s “Poets on Couches” video series, Maya C. Popa reads Lisel Mueller’s “Monet Refuses the Operation” and speaks about how the poem brings her comfort. In the poem, Mueller imagines a conversation between a doctor and the painter Monet, who pushes back against having surgery to correct his cataracts, which may just be the source of his artistic vision. Write an essay where you express your unique vision of the world. Was there a moment in your life when you had to fight to be true to yourself?
The Adirondack Center for Writing offers a residency from October 4 to October 18 to six poets, fiction writers, or creative nonfiction writers at a lodge on Twitchell Lake in the Adirondack Mountains in New York. Residents are provided with a private room, private bathroom, work space, and all meals. There is no cost to attend the residency, but residents are responsible for travel expenses to and from Twitchell Lake. Using only the online submission system, submit a writing sample of up to 10 pages with a $30 application fee from July 1 to July 15.
Anne LaBastille Memorial Writers Residency, Adirondack Center for Writing, P.O. Box 956, Saranac Lake, NY 12983. (518) 354-1261.
Red Mountain Press offers two- and four-week residencies from November 14 to December 12 to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers in a private home on Sanibel Island, Florida. Residents are provided with private lodging, dinners, and access to a shared kitchen. There is no cost to attend the residency. Using only the online submission system, submit up to 10 pages of poetry or up to 15 pages of prose, a project proposal, a curriculum vitae, and a $35 application fee by July 31. Visit the website for more information.
Red Mountain Press Writers’ Retreat, P.O. Box 32205, Santa Fe, NM 87594.
Happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, fear, and surprise have been named by twentieth-century psychologists as our basic human emotions, but what about other types of feelings? In her first essay collection, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, published in February by One World, Cathy Park Hong writes that “minor feelings occur when American optimism is enforced upon you, which contradicts your own racialized reality, thereby creating a static of cognitive dissonance.” Hong writes that minor feelings are related to cultural theorist Sianne Ngai’s idea of ugly feelings, which are “non-cathartic states of emotion.” Think about a time when you have felt cognitive dissonance with the state of current events or between your personal reality and how the larger world perceives you. Write a personal essay that explores the experience of minor feelings, such as boredom or irritation or envy, that lead to no cathartic outlet or breakthrough. What do you find when you trace these feelings to larger sociocultural or historical forces?
Taleamor Park offers two-week residencies from May through September and residencies of at least two weeks from October to April to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers on a scenic 350-acre working grain farm in northern Indiana, near Lake Michigan. Residents are provided with a private, air-conditioned room in an 1854 brick Italianate house, work space, access to a library, local transportation, and a welcome meal; other meals and travel expenses are not included.
Taleamor Park, P.O. Box 456, LaPorte, IN 46352. Clifford Peterson and Lisa Lee Peterson, Codirectors.
The Ragdale Foundation offers residencies of 18 and 25 days year-round to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers on 50 acres of prairie in Lake Forest, Illinois, 30 miles north of Chicago. Residents are provided with a private room and meals. The residency fee is $630 for an 18-day residency and $875 for a 25-day residency. Financial aid and fellowships are available on a limited basis.
Ragdale, 1260 North Green Bay Road, Lake Forest, IL 60045. (847) 234-1063, ext. 28. Amy Sinclair, Grants and Admissions Manager.