Announcing FAWC’s Newest Global Cohort of Writing and Visual Arts Fellows
The 2023-24 Fellows show extraordinary promise, a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives, and a body of innovative works
Provincetown, MA (August 1, 2023) – Twenty writers and visual artists from eight countries have been selected for the Fine Arts Work Center’s 2023-24 Fellowship program and will spend seven months in the town that inspired generations of creative luminaries like Eugene O’Neill, Jackson Pollock, and Edna St. Vincent Millay.
The Fine Arts Work Center counts authors Viet Thanh Nguyen, Jhumpa Lahiri, Michael Cunningham, Jacqueline Woodson, Denis Johnson, and Ann Patchett; poets Louise Glück and Ada Limón; photographer Jack Pierson; filmmaker Jennie Livingston; and groundbreaking visual artists Jacolby Satterwhite and Tala Madani among its alumni. More than 1,000 fellows have passed through the program in its lifetime and have gone on to win, among other honors and awards, one Nobel Prize for Literature, two Poet Laureate appointments, four Pulitzer Prizes in fiction, four Pulitzer Prizes in poetry, four MacArthur Fellowships, and five National Book Awards.
The ten writers and ten visual artists in the 2023-24 cohort were selected from a pool of nearly 1,200 applicants for the seven-month residency program, a rare “no strings attached” fellowship that doesn’t require recipients to teach or work and allows them to focus solely on their own creative development. The 2023-24 Fellows hail from Iran, Finland, Egypt, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Canada, Venezuela, and across the United States. The residency includes housing, workspaces, and a monthly stipend valued at approximately $50,000 per fellowship. The Fellows are chosen through a rigorous, blind jury process that is focused solely on the merits of their work. Aligned with its Strategic Plan, the Work Center has also offered an increased stipend and a new access fund for extraordinary fellows’ costs such as travel, moving, and visa processing.
“We’re excited to welcome one of the most internationally diverse classes of new Fellows in our history,” said Fine Arts Work Center Executive Director Sharon Polli. “Our Fellowship program allows artists and writers uninterrupted time to focus on their work for seven months in a landscape that’s known for its beauty and solitude, giving them both the space to create and the support of a new group of visionary peers.”
“For me, it was total freedom to be the person I needed to be,” said past Writing Fellow and Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri of her residency experience. “And so, in some sense, I’ve never left.”
In 2022, the Rona Jaffe Foundation established a new fellowship for an emerging woman writer of exceptional promise in partnership with the Fine Arts Work Center, in honor of celebrated author Rona Jaffe. The inaugural Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow is writer Hannah Perrin King, who won The Georgia Review‘s 2020 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize, Narrative Magazine’s Eleventh Annual Poetry Contest, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ Kurt Brown Prize for Poetry, and New Millennium Writings’ 48th New Millennium Award for Poetry. “To say my experience at FAWC was a gift does not begin to describe it. It was a portal, a metamorphosis. I am new, and for that I will always be grateful,” said Perrin King.
The 2023-24 Writing Fellows work in different forms spanning novels, essays, poetry, and short stories. The Visual Arts Fellows work in mediums including painting, sculpture, video installation, participatory projects in public spaces, and collage. The writers’ and artists’ practices draw on a diverse range of topics including immigration and identity, cross-border conflicts, and queer experiences from adolescence through adulthood.
During the residency, some Fellows share ideas with each other across disciplines, taking advantage of the Work Center’s opportunity for unique collaborations. Other past Fellows have spoken about how living near the sea for the first time in their lives has brought out surprising, powerful, and occasionally unsettling elements in their work. While in residence, Fellows have the opportunity to share their work, and experience their colleagues’ work, through public readings and exhibitions that are open to the community and are often attended by past Fellows, residents and visitors, leadership of the town’s cultural institutions, and many illustrious local artists and writers.
“When I finished graduate school, I was lucky enough to receive a fellowship to the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. After I settled in, I found a path of rocks, called the breakwater, that led to the Long Point Light Station. The walk was about nine miles, round trip. That’s where I began to dream, to think of possibilities of a new life,” said current U.S. Poet Laureate and past Fellow Ada Limón.
The Work Center was founded in 1968 by a group of brilliant creatives, including painters Robert Motherwell and Jack Tworkov and poet Stanley Kunitz to provide artists and writers with a community where they could gather in the early stages of their development. For more than half a century, the Work Center has remained true to its mission of granting artists time, space, and a group of supportive peers. Each generation of Fellows ideally moves on from the Work Center with a firm belief in their ability to pursue a life as a practicing artist or writer.
2023-24 Writing Fellows
Molly Anders, Second-year Fellow
David Hutcheson, Second-year Fellow
Kéchi Nne Nomu
2023-24 Visual Arts Fellows
Rehab El Sadek
Micha Patiniott, Second-year Fellow
Tinja Ruusuvuori, Second-year Fellow
Zeinab Shahidi Marnani
To learn more about the 2023-2024 Fellows, click here.