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2021 Poetry Residency

at Bethany Arts Community

During their time on site, these poets will develop new works while engaging with the local community.

Resident Artists

Erika Meitner, Jacob Goldwasser, Nicole Callihan, Jason Schneiderman,  Rachael Phillips Shapiro, Pichchenda Bao, Gemma Cooper-Novack

In recognition of 25th anniversary of National Poetry Month in April 2021, Bethany Arts Community is offering our first ever residency focused on poetry. Honoring the deep and long connection between the arts and poetry, where artists have inspired poets, poets have inspired artists, and the two have created hand in hand, we are pleased to welcome these poets to Bethany!

Erika Meitner

Erika Meitner

About Residency

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Residency Plan 

plan to start work on a new book of poems called Assembled Audience—my seventh collection, which sets out to explore notions of eschatology, resistance, and survival in the Anthropocene against a backdrop of global, national, and local crises: a pandemic, environmental collapse, an immigration crisis, and the erosion of democracy in the US, as well as continued racialized violence and resulting nationwide protests. These are not abstract or impersonal topics for me. As the Jewish mother of a white son and a Black son in the Appalachian South—as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors—as the daughter of a refugee and an immigrant—as an educator at a public university with a diverse student body—the current events of the past two years have impacted nearly every aspect of my life.  

Bio

Erika Meitner is the author of five books of poems, including Ideal Cities (HarperCollins, 2010), which was a 2009 National Poetry series winner; Copia (BOA Editions, 2014); and Holy Moly Carry Me (BOA Editions, 2018), which won the 2018 National Jewish Book Award in Poetry, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her sixth book of poems, Useful Junk, is forthcoming from BOA Editions in 2022. Meitner’s poems have been anthologized widely, and have appeared in publications including Best American Poetry, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and Tin House. Other honors include fellowships from MacDowell, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Hermitage Artist Retreat, and Blue Mountain Center. She was also the 2015 US-UK Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast. Meitner is currently a professor of English at Virginia Tech.

Jacob Goldwasser

Jacob Goldwasser

About Residency

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Residency Plan
Jake will be working on poetry and graphic narrative based on his experience living abroad in Germany for a year after college. 

Bio
Jake Goldwasser is a poet, cartoonist, and workshop facilitator based in Brooklyn. His cartoon work has appeared in The New Yorker and Weekly Humorist, and his poetry has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Grist, The Meadow, and The Fiddlehead. Jake is a New Jewish Culture Fellow for 2020-2021. You can find out more about him on his website, jake-goldwasser.com 

Nicole Callihan

Nicole Callihan

About Residency

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Residency Plan

While in residence, Nicole will continue to write poems about her recent experiences with breast cancer and associated treatments and begin assembling a manuscript. 

Bio
Nicole Callihan writes poems, stories and essays. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming in, among others, American Poetry Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Tin House, Copper Nickel, PEN–America, and as a Poem-a-Day feature from the Academy of American Poets. Her books include the 2012 nonfiction Henry River Mill Village, cowritten with Ruby Young Kellar, which documented the rise and fall  of a tiny mill village turned ghost town in North Carolina, as well  as, SuperLoop, a collection of poems published in early 2014.  In 2015, she received, with Zoë Ryder White, the Baltic Writing  Residency Chapbook Contest Award for A Study in Spring which was released by Rabbit Catastrophe Press in fall 2015. Her book, The Deeply Flawed Human, was released by Deadly Chaps Press in summer 2016; in summer 2017, Finishing Line Press published Downtown; in Spring, 2018 Aging was released by YES Poetry, and, in summer 2018, Translucence, a dual-language, cross-culture collaboration with Palestinian poet Samar Jaber Abdel was published by Indolent Books. The Couples, a novella, was published in summer 2019 from Mason Jar Press. Her latest project, ELSEWHERE, also with Zoë Ryder White, won the 2019 Sixth Finch Chapbook Prize and was released in spring 2020. The  Assistant Director and a Senior Language Lecturer at New York  University’s Tandon School of Engineering, Nicole frequently collaborates with artists and actors throughout New York City. She currently serves as Artist-in-Residence at Asterix Journal where she is documenting her September 2020 diagnosis with breast cancer and the treatment that followed. 

Jason Schneiderman

Jason Schneiderman

About Residency

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Residency Plan 
I will be using my time to work on my current poetry manuscript, tentatively titled Tap Water. This will be my fifth book of poems when published. I am currently about half-way through its composition, and while its initial impulse seemed to be toward a history of apocalyptic events (starting with the extinction of the dinosaurs and moving forward in time), lately I find my poems exploring how civilizations hold themselves together, with tap water the emergent metonym for the network that joins humans to each other to the natural world. In researching the history of plumbing, I find that I’m not alone in being concerned about water. There is a rich body of reporting on the current crises in the United States over drinking water—particularly in Flint and Evart, Michigan—as well as rich histories of how this public utility has been structured and threatened.  

Bio 
Jason Schneiderman is the author of four books of poems: Hold Me Tight (2020), Primary Source (Red Hen Press 2016); Striking Surface (Ashland Poetry Press 2010); and Sublimation Point (Four Way Books 2004). He edited the anthology Queer: A Reader for Writers (Oxford University Press 2016). His poetry and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry, Poetry London, Grand Street, and The Penguin Book of the Sonnet. He is an Associate Professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. 

 

Rachael Phillips Shapiro

Rachael Phillips Shapiro

About Residency

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Residency Plan
Rachael will use the residency opportunity of uninterrupted time to go deeper into her current work – revising and editing poems which are in process.    

Bio
Rachael Philipps Shapiro
is a British-born writer and journalist. She was the recipient of an AWP Writer to Writer mentorship for poetry in 2020. She has been accepted to the Sarah Lawrence MFA program in poetry for 2021. Her journalism spans titles from The New York Times to Food and Wine and Edible Westchester to Time Out London. Rachael has settled on poetry as her favorite creative form. “I find the metaphorical nature allows for the kind of hints and nuance around tender subjects that other writing does not. Poetry allows feelings and ideas to seep in from the edges.” Her poetry explores the joys and challenges of parenting, the natural world, and hiraeth (homesickness) for her homeland on the borders of England and Wales.

 

Pichchenda Bao

Pichchenda Bao

About Residency

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Residency Plan 
I will be at work on my first poetry collection, tentatively titled, Muscle Memory. It is about the gestures and reflexes of survival, post-war and post-partum. These poems not only deal with the aftermath of surviving the Khmer Rouge; they also delve into the alienation of mothers, fathers, girls, refugees, and humanity itself, widening the lens to consider the extended, rippling costs of resilience and survival. 

 I will use my time at Bethany Arts to revise and polish individual poems, arrange the collection’s order, and fortify its connective tissue through meaningful conversations with other artists and community members. 

Bio
Pichchenda
 Bao is a Cambodian American writer and poet, infant survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime, daughter of refugees and feminist stay-at-home mother in New York City. Her work explores themes of survival, resilience, grief, childhood, motherhood, feminism, alienation and life as a Cambodian former refugee and feminist.  

 Her work has been published in the Adirondack Review, New Ohio Review, Newtown Literary, great weather for MEDIA, and elsewhere. She has won fellowships and grants from Aspen Words, Queens Council on the Arts, and Kundiman. Listen to her poem at the 21st Street-Queensbridge stop on Queensbound or read more at www.pichchendabao.com.  

Gemma Cooper-Novack

Gemma Cooper-Novack

About Residency

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Residency Plan
For the last four years I’ve been working on a doctorate in literacy education, which has significantly impeded the revision of my second collection, The Marriages. The Marriages explores cultural and historical images of marriage through three distinct poetic threads: “The marriages,” which looks at stories of human marriages to non-humans from history, mythology, and contemporary documentary; “Once on a Ghost Ship,” which borrows a phrase from Cheryl Strayed to bring onto sea unrealized possibilities, lives unlived; and “Travelogues,” which detail the experiences of travelling to and from weddings. I’ve been working on the manuscript for nearly a decade and am eager to take the time at the Bethany Arts Center to revise the manuscript and prepare it for possible publication. This requires few resources aside from internet access and my notebooks and computer, except time, space, gentleness, and supportive community, all of which it is quite clear that BAC will provide. 

While in residency, Gemma will conduct a workshop with the local Ossining schools.  

Bio
 Gemma Cooper-Novack is the author of We Might As Well Be Underwater (Unsolicited Press, 2017). Her poetry and fiction have appeared in more than twenty journals, including Glass, Midway Journal, and Lambda’s Poetry Spotlight, and been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes and Best of the Net Awards. Published chapbooks include Too Much Like a Landscape (2015, with Warren Tales) and “Bedside Manner” (The Head and the Hand, 2020). Gemma’s plays have been produced in Chicago, Boston, and New York. She was a runner-up for the 2016 James Jones First Novel Fellowship, and has been awarded artist’s residencies from Catalonia to Virginia and a grant from the Barbara Deming Fund. Gemma is a doctoral candidate in Literacy Education at Syracuse University. 

 

Programs at Bethany Arts Community are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Westchester, and numerous individual donors.

National Endowment for the Arts
The New York State Council on the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts

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