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Artist Fellowship, news, UK, writing life

Lots to Celebrate…


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.

About Abdul Ali

I'm a fellow at American University studying creative nonfiction and poetry. I write across a few genres but it's all brought together by larger questions about culture.


3 thoughts on “Lots to Celebrate…

  1. So, does this make us two of the talented tenth? Congrats! I was so excited about the news that I hadn’t focused that they had only awarded 10 grants in this cycle. That makes me definitely want to do something I wouldn’t have an opportunity to do otherwise with this.

    For now I want to go to Paris to do something similar to what you plan to do in the UK but after thinking about the amazing Black literature coming out of the UK I just may ask to tag along with you. There is some incredible literature there and just like jazz it seems to be taken more seriously and respected. A few of my favorites are Ben Okri, Caryl Phillips, and Abdulrazak Gurnah with whom I had the fortune to discuss craft with over drinks when I was in Oxfordshire earlier this year.

    Kudos, my brother.

    Posted by Juan | November 5, 2009, 1:25 PM
  2. Congrats, I look forward to reading more of your work in the near future! Maybe one day you will see mine as well.

    Posted by Keyea | November 6, 2009, 9:43 PM

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