I just received my notification letter that I am one of ten recipients awarded the Artist Fellowship grant from the DC Commission on the Arts for Literature.
To say that I’m ecstatic is an understatement. Nonetheless, there is this heavy feeling that I need to make good use of this award for the advancement of my craft but also in using my craft as a service to the various communities in DC. My proposal was to work on a manuscript of poems surrounding the lore of Washington D.C. I thought in working with different groups I could witness various stories from different angles via Washingtonian first-hand accounts and workshops. So this goes back to my idea of writer as anthropologist. This also builds on the work I’ve done with photographer, Mig Dooley, in our Washington Caravan exhibit that was on display over the summer at the American Poetry Museum.
I’ll keep a ticker tape of what I’m doing and when. For starters, I would like to make a trip to the UK next summer to discover Literary Black Britain. This is something that I think would enhance my view of black writing. In addition, I can share some of my poems about Washington and my native land, New York City.
Lastly, I’d like to extend a big congratulations to all of my fellow writers who also won this distinction. I should be learning in the coming days who those writers are. Drop me a line if you’re reading.