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MacDowell Awards Charlotte Sheedy Fellowship to Cathleen Bailey

Press Release - April 26, 2016

Type: Press Releases, Artist News, Fellowships

Cathleen Bailey worked in Phi Beta Studio while at MacDowell. (Joanna Eldredge Morrissey photo)

Cathleen Bailey worked in Phi Beta Studio while at MacDowell. (Joanna Eldredge Morrissey photo)

NEW YORK, April 26, 2016 – Writer Cathleen Richardson Bailey has been named the first recipient of the Charlotte Sheedy Fellowship at The MacDowell Colony.

Bailey is a poet, writer, curator, and visual artist. She received an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine at Stonecoast, and her stories and poems have appeared in Shooting Star Literary Review, A & U Magazine, Cake Train, Sage Woman, Word Play Sound, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, and Border Crossing, among others. She is the author of two poetry collections, Spit Rock/Cracked Cave and Wild Howling Woman. Her beaded and textile art pieces have shown at the Renwick Gallery of American Art in Washington, D.C., among others.

The Charlotte Sheedy Fellowship was established in 2015 to support one writer each year whose work represents populations across racial and cultural boundaries. Named in honor of literary agent Charlotte Sheedy, whose 40-year career has championed groundbreaking writers across a wide range of perspectives, the fellowship reinforces MacDowell’s commitment to inclusivity in support of those who would become great contributors to the literary canon such as James Baldwin, Pauli Murray, Eileen Chang, Makoto Oda, Alice Walker, and Audre Lorde.

During her time at MacDowell in the summer of 2015, Bailey worked on a fictionalized memoir, an eclectic hybrid that includes original songs, prose, poetry, interviews, clinical notes, excerpts from historical documents and letters. The project focuses on historically obscured American voices.

“Artist residencies are not indulgences,” Bailey said of her time at MacDowell. “This time, space, quiet and structure are necessary components of creativity. I am writing more confidently than ever. This experience is a gift. I shall carry with me always, the liberation of submitting my days, time, and space to my work.”

Bailey is a 2011 grant recipient of The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh award; a 2009 recipient of The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ Master/Apprentice Fellowship in Traditional Quilting; a 2004 recipient of a Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts Residency; and a 2003 recipient of The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ Fellowship in Literature.

All accepted applicants will be awarded residencies covering all residency costs, and are eligible for financial aid for travel and other expenses while away. Writers who apply for any of MacDowell’s three annual application deadlines and fit the fellowship criteria are considered for the Charlotte Sheedy Fellowship. All artists are encouraged to apply for the next deadline on September 15, 2016 at or by writing