Discipline: Literature – poetry

Destiny Birdsong

Discipline: Literature – poetry
Region: Nashville, TN
MacDowell Fellowships: 2018

Destiny O. Birdsong is a Louisiana-born poet, essayist, and editor whose work has either appeared or is forthcoming in African American Review, The Adroit Journal, The BreakBeat Poets Presents: Black Girl Magic, Split This Rock’s Poem of the Week, and elsewhere. Her critical work recently appeared in African American Review and The Cambridge Companion to Transnational American Literature. Destiny has won the Academy of American Poets Prize, Naugatuck River Review’s 2016 Poetry Contest, and Meridian’s 2017 “Borders” Contest in Poetry. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, Jack Jones Literary Arts, The Ragdale Foundation, and MacDowell. Destiny earned both her M.F.A. and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, and now lives and works in Nashville. Destiny’s work centers on issues faced by women of color, including (but not limited to), emotional labor, trauma (and the silencing of narratives in the aftermath), cultural exploitation, and marginalization in healthcare. During her first residency at MacDowell, she penned fiction, edited poems for her second manuscript (which is tentatively titled Negotiations), and read books from Savidge Library’s extensive collection. To learn more about her work, please visit www.destinybirdsong.com.

Portrait by Hunter Armistead



Destiny Birdsong worked in the Schelling studio.

Marian MacDowell funded construction of this studio the year that the organization was established and the first artists arrived for residency. It was called Bark Studio until 1933, when it was renamed in honor of Ernest Schelling, a composer, pianist, and orchestral leader who served as president of what was then called the Edward MacDowell…

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