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Poetry Foundation Supports Sonia Sanchez Fellowship at MacDowell

- June 9, 2022

Type: Press Releases, Events, Fellowships

Honor to coincide with novelist Walter Mosley introducing 2022 MacDowell Medalist Sonia Sanchez during free, in-person public Medal Day ceremony July 10.

A $12,500 donation from the Poetry Foundation will support a new poetry Fellowship at MacDowell, the nation’s first artist residency program. The donation comes a month before MacDowell Fellow and best-selling mystery novelist Walter Mosley will be in Peterborough to introduce 2022 Edward MacDowell Medalist Sonia Sanchez on Medal Day, July 10, at a free public celebration on the artist residency grounds.

The donation, matched by a pledge in the same amount by MacDowell President of the Board of Directors Andrew M. Senchak, will create a Sonia Sanchez Fellowship to be awarded to a poet for the fall-winter residency session.

"It is a pleasure to partner with MacDowell in celebration of a poet as vibrant and inimitable as Sonia Sanchez," said Poetry Foundation President Michelle T. Boone. "This residency commemorates Sanchez's receipt of this honor and holds space for artists who might follow the path she has cleared and tended."

“Read Sonia Sanchez,” said Senchak in explaining his enthusiasm for honoring this year’s medalist. “Her strength, passion, and tenderness make you a better human. It’s art. That is what we celebrate on Medal Day.”

“From the Black Arts Movement to Black Lives Matter, from Birmingham to Harlem, from the blues to haiku, from anti-racism to anti-plastic - Ms. Sonia Sanchez is a leader who knows how to follow, an innovator who knows how to listen, and a song to sing for us all,” said Mosley.

“We are beyond grateful to receive this generous support from the Poetry Foundation,” said MacDowell Executive Director Philip Himberg. “Not only does it honor this year’s MacDowell Medalist, but it allows us to support and uplift emerging poets, ensuring a circle of inter-generational creative opportunities. Each MacDowell Fellowship provides uninterrupted time to make new work and the rare opportunity for multidisciplinary exchange.”

The Poetry Foundation was formed from Poetry, which was founded by MacDowell Fellow Harriet Monroe in 1912 and is the longest-running monthly magazine devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. The magazine publishes new works from poets in the U.S. and beyond and continues to evolve alongside the art it highlights.

From Stephen Vincent Benét and Edwin Arlington Robinson to Marianne Moore, Eileen Myles, and Tyehimba Jess, poets have been finding focus at MacDowell since its inception in 1907. Poets that have received the Edward MacDowell Medal include Robert Frost and Richard Wilbur. This year, we honor Sanchez, the author of more than 17 internationally renowned volumes of verse. She will receive the Medal at a ceremony on the MacDowell grounds on Sunday, July 10, 2022. The return of the outdoor public celebration, including picnicking on the grounds, will be the first since August of 2019.

A panel of distinguished professionals in each discipline selects Fellows based on their talent and vision, as reflected by a work sample and project description. While at MacDowell, Fellows are provided a private studio, three meals a day, and accommodations for a period of up to eight weeks.