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Saturday, August 31, 2019


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APPLICATION DEADLINE ​— ​Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 11:59PM 

Selected 2019-20 Fellows will be notified by mid-October 2019


Emerge–Surface–Be ​is a natural extension of The Poetry Project’s program offerings. It formalizes the distinct yet unspoken pedagogical aspect of The Poetry Project’s programs while providing a unique opportunity to support, develop, and present emerging NYC ​based poets of promise.
Poet Mentors​ hattie gossett​,​ Fred Moten​, and ​Trace Peterson​ will each select an emerging poet to work with. Over the course of nine months, Fellows will be given the opportunity to work one-on-one with their Mentor to develop their craft; explore publication and performance opportunities; and reflect on the professional and community-based dimensions of a writing life. Ideal Fellows will have a project they are working on or want to embark upon, and feel that they would benefit from guidance and support. ​Each Fellow will receive an award of $3,000. In adherence with US tax requirements, ESB Fellows will be issued an IRS 1099 Form.

In addition to working with their Mentors, Fellows will have access to all Poetry Project events (free workshops, free readings, free publications) and be included in the Annual New Year’s Day Marathon Reading. Fellows will also read within The Poetry Project’s Monday or Friday Night Reading Series as a culminating event with introductions made by their Mentors. Fellows will be invited to attend gatherings with Poetry Project staff and other 2019-20 Fellows and Mentors. Poetry Project staff and Mentors will also work with each Fellow to find other unique opportunities for deepening, sharing, and connecting their poetry to specific goals the Fellows might have.

The most important criteria will be the demonstration of potential, as well as unique vision and voice, in the applicant’s work sample. While applicants who have achieved some measure of local, regional, or national professional recognition will have these merits taken into account, we equally welcome -- and encourage -- applications from individuals who may have not yet had highly visible or public opportunities to share their work.

Our definition of “emerging” ranges from writers who are just beginning to share their work publicly; to writers who have local and perhaps regional recognition; and up to writers who are approaching national exposure, though not yet national recognition. ​As a top limit, an emerging writer has published no more than one full-length perfect bound book and no more than three chapbooks (not including self-published work in chapbook form)​.


New York City resident at the time of application and have lived in NYC at least one year prior to the application deadline;

● Eighteen years of age and older;

Individuals enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree-​granting writing programs are not eligible. ​However, individuals who enroll in degree-​granting writing programs or take classes after the time of application submission are eligible for Fellowships providing they maintain an active, professional practice of creating and presenting work to the public.


● Project description, including project goals and long-term artistic goals;
● Work Sample:
- Seven to ten (7​-10) page sample of project manuscript ​OR - Seven to ten (7​-10) pages of prior work;
● Creative resume ​and​ bio;
● Optional video clip or mp3 of applicant reading

 The Poetry Project embraces diversity in the broadest sense of the word. This principle is reflected in the choice of mentor poets and will be reflected in the selection of Fellows.
Please email ​​ with questions.