The 2020 A Public Space Writing Fellows

News February 18, 2020

In the past seven years, we've welcomed nearly twenty writers to the A Public Space fellowship program. As the Fellowship grows, we realized: so does its story, a story added to each year by the Fellows and their work.

This past fall, we set out to look for this year's storytellers. Nearly 1,000 applications, from around the world. Writers with killer sensibilities and wonderful potential. We are truly grateful to have had the chance to read each one.

It's a thrill to introduce the 2020 A Public Space Writing Fellows, and share a little bit about the writing they love. These are this year's storytellers:

Katie Foster is a writer, editor, and artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her writing concerns itself with dreams, notions of home, animals, and what sits just beyond the reach of language. She has worked as a bookseller at The Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas; at the Lawrence Public Library; and as an editorial intern at BOMB Magazine.

The art I love the most speaks to the reclamation of art by working people. Poets like Anne Boyer, Selah Saterstrom, and C. A. Conrad; science fiction writers Ursula K. Le Guin and Octavia Butler, and essayists such as Joanna Howard and Hanif Abdurraqib have all spoken to me deeply on personal and artistic levels.

Rosemarie Ho is a freelance writer and fact-checker. Her work has been published in the Nation, the Outline, and Popula.

I want to believe that one can, like Gail Scott, write beautifully without ceding to nostalgia, the onslaught of time, and the ahistorical belief in “progress” (yes, progress, but for whom?). Her investment in language as a way to undermine the ossified forms of living under the violence of settler-colonialism grounds me and my work.

Crawford Hunt grew up passing out peanuts on the Southwest Airlines flight between Austin, Texas, and Tampa, Florida. She studied linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin, where she received the Joynes Fellowship in Creative Writing; and received a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct oral histories with the speakers of the endangered Mayan language Tojolabal in Mexico. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she works as a content producer for TED Talks.

It is such a thrill to read Eve Babitz. All that glitter, all that snap. Her work tugs on the lines in a Chelsey Minnis poem, "You shouldn't be allowed to run around with me / I'll only give you a good time." I like this piece because her words smack your cheeks like wind coursing over a speedboat. It reminds me that you can be serious about pleasure as a writer and seriously good.

There will be updates from the Fellowships on our website, and we hope you'll visit us there. And, as always, we hope you'll join us in October in New York City for a reading and celebration of the Fellows' work during the Brooklyn Book Festival.

Don't miss the work of the 2019 Fellows—Vicki Madden, Sylvan Thomson,  Mihret M. Sibhat, and Kyle Williams. Subscribe today to read their work in A Public Space no. 29.

We are also pleased to highlight the winner of the 2019 Bette Howland Nonfiction Prize, Rocky Halpern. The prize, given annually to a graduating nonfiction student at the New School in New York City, was established by Honor Moore. Read "Candy for Dinner in the Desert."

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A Public Space is an independent, non-profit publisher of the award-winning literary and arts magazine; and A Public Space Books. Since 2006, under the direction of founding editor Brigid Hughes the mission of A Public Space has been to seek out and support overlooked and unclassifiable work.

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