Literary arts at Featherstone and Slough Farm team up for writing residency


Literary Arts at Featherstone (formerly Noepe Center for the Arts) and Slough Farm announce their partnership to create an invitational and nominated writing residency for historically underrepresented writers of Martha’s Vineyard.

According to a press release from Literary Arts, as of October 21, Brooklyn writers and poets Shira Erlichman and Angel Nafis, as well as island writer Esper Gaspardi, are living at the Slough Farm residence where they will be working on de new and ongoing writing projects through November 7. As part of this residency, the three writers will receive housing, a stipend, and a 1.5-hour writing workshop for a group of Charter and MVRHS students taking place at the Featherstone Center for the Arts.

Shira Erlichman is an author, visual artist and musician. She recently released her first poetry book “Odes to Lithium” and a children’s book “Be / Hold”. She has received scholarships from the Vermont Studio Center, Millay Residency and AIR Serenbe. His work has been featured in The Rumpus, PBS NewsHour’s Poetry Series, The Huffington Post, The Seattle Times, and The New York Times, among others.

Angel Nafis is the author of “BlackGirl Mansion” (Red Beard Press / New School Poetics, 2012). She received her BA from Hunter College and her MA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. His work has been published in “The BreakBeat Poets Anthology”, The Rumpus, Poetry Magazine, Buzzfeed Reader and elsewhere. Nafis is a member of Cave Canem, recipient of a Millay Colony residency, Urban Word NYC mentor, and founder and curator of the Greenlight Bookstore Poetry Salon. In 2011, she represented New York at the Women of the World Poetry Slam and at the National Poetry Slam. She is half of the ODES FOR YOU tour with poet, musician and visual artist Shira Erlichman and with poet Morgan parker, she runs The other collective of black girls, a Black Feminist poetry duo on international tour. Facilitating writing workshops and reading poems around the world, she lives in Brooklyn. In 2016, Nafis received the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and in 2017, she received a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Esper Gaspardi attended the Institute of American Indian Arts and Sterling College of Vermont, where they earned a degree in Sustainable Food Systems. At a young age, Esper began writing his own short stories and fairy tales to read after running out of books in the children’s section of the library, but their interest in writing fiction increased after taking the programs. from The Telling Room High School (of Maine). When they started their graduation thesis, they became passionate about writing non-fiction. For nearly two years, they interviewed Indigenous communities to document the preservation of Indigenous farming techniques and creation stories that are closely tied to the Indigenous cultures of North and Central America.

Originally, when the Noepe Center for Literary Arts was based at the Point Way Inn in Edgartown, there was a strong residency program. Pursuing this residency program has been a long-term goal of the literary arts at Featherstone, the statement said.

For more information on literary arts programs at the Featherstone Center for the Arts, call Mathea Morais at 508-564-2789, or email literary [email protected].

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