|I am grateful to all of these organizations, whose gifts of time, space, funding, or fellowship (in some cases, all four) have made my work possible.
Grants & Awards
This agency offers generous grants for arts and cultural work -- by individual artists, groups of artists, and non-profit organizations -- in King County, Washington, thanks to the local lodging tax. I am grateful for their support of four of my writing and community literature projects over the past six years.
A key source of funding, excellent advice, technical assistance, professional development training, and good parties, Artist Trust supports the work of many creative folk in Washington State. Their "Grants for Artist Projects" have supported my writing about Mexico, and about grief and loss.
Grub Street National Book Prize
This energetic and enormously welcoming literary arts center in Boston (if only it had existed when I lived there...) is a treasure. They offer an excellent array of classes and writing workshops -- some of them free! Grub Street also has a National Book Prize series to bring writers from outside New England to Beantown and expland their readership. Seattle-area authors have been prize-winners each of the last three years; I am honored to be #3; No Word for Welcome won the 2011 Nonfiction Prize.
Institute of Current World Affairs
With its two-year full fellowships for young professionals (and some not-so-professionals) to live, work and write in other countries, this foundation changes lives.
K2 Family Foundation
This foundation, based in Maine, has this breathtakingly inspring mission statement: "[S]upport individuals who strive -- through art, education, or action -- to promote more creative and sustainable ways of living. Such endeavors may directly or indirectly engage notions of sustainable living, though all will likely foster the sort of dialogue that itself honors diversity of opinion and promotes knowledge as a route to understanding."
Mayor's Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, City of Seattle
A dedicated, talented staff foments city-wide creativity, making grants to individual artists, cultural organizations, and education projects to brew up all kinds of art in every corner of the city.
Oberlin College Alumni Association
This association helps Obie alum continue their educations, even decades after leaving Oberlin. They supported my work on my first book and my MFA in 2006.
Richard Hugo House
Seattle’s literary center offers a writers-in-residence program, classes for writers and readers aged 9 to 99, a members’ library, performing space for writers and theatre companies, and much more.
Society for Professional Journalists, Washington Chapter
Their memberships offer all sorts of professional development opportunities, even discounts on professional products. And once each year, their Excellence in Journalism awards recognize writers and other journalists.
Washington State Arts Commission
A variety of Commission programs connect artists and arts organizations to grants and other sorts of support. Travel grants and funding for arts in education are just two of the gifts they have offered artists in Washington State.
Acadia National Park
The first national park to be created east of the Mississippi River has one of the largest Artist in Residence programs in the country, hosting twenty-five artists (working in a wide range of media) each year. The Schoondic Education and Research Center (SERC) coodinates this wide-ranging program. Learn about all the Artist in Residence programs in our national parks here.
American Antiquarian Society
For nearly two centuries, AAS has collected books, publications, images, and ephemera at their library in Worcester, Massachusetts. They invite writers and artists working in all media to come and make use of their rich collection of material culture from pre-1900 America.
Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies
In the delightful river town of Red Wing, Minnesota, this center gives writers, translators, visual artists, composers, dancers, and scholars both space to work and a community with which to share the work.
Blue Mountain Center
By a lake in the Adirondacks, writers, visual artists, composers, and social change activists generate new work, make connections, and replenish creative wells.
Is it something in the air? Or the quality of light? Whatever it is, the artists, thinkers, creators and performers who come to this haven on the Olympic Peninsula can feel the creativity pulsing through their minds and bodies.
Each month, this college's twelve-hundred students take just one course, immersing themselves entirely in the subject of their choice. Twice each year, visiting writers travel to this hillop in Mount Vernon, Iowa to teach a group of those students.
Everglades National Park
A park ranger says of this unique natural wonder: "The Everglades are a test. If we pass, we get to keep the planet." Each year the Artist in Residence in the Everglades (AIRIE) program invites one dozen writers and artists to each spend a month in the park, to help tip the very steep odds away from failing. I was part of this effort in January 2013.
Harborview Medical Center
Art Program Manager (and virtuoso arts instigator) Peggy Weiss
has been connecting the arts and healing for a decade through the Harborview Art Program. Grants from 4Culture and the Seattle CityArtist Program -- and the generosity of dozens of Harborview clinicians, staff,and patients -- made possible my June-July 2010 residency at this truly amazing place.
This utterly ideal island retreat for women writers worldwide is the epicenter of a wonderful women's word-loving community in Western Washington.
Jack Straw Artist Support Program
Each year, Seattle's Jack Straw Productions offers singers, muscians, performers, and other sonically inclinced artists twenty free hours in their recording studio. In 2011, this program will allow me to record a trilingual CD (in English, Spanish and Zapotec) with Mexican poet Irma Pineda: her bilingual poems and and my English translations of them.
Jack Straw Writers Program
Not a "residency" in the usual sense of the word, Seattle's Jack Straw Productions gives a dozen
local writers voice and presentation training, as well as print, online, live, and broadcast venues for sharing new work.
Joshua Tree National Park
I spent a good chunk of my childhood in the desert of California-Mexico border, not far from this national park. Each year, five artists and writers have the opportunity to live and work (in an off-the-grid studio) in this park, which is larger than the state of Rhode Island. I was there in November-December 2012.
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park
Each year, one artist is lucky enough to spend two months in residence at this park in Woodstock, Vermont -- one of the newest in the National Park Service and the only one to focus on the history of environmental stewardship. My two months at the park in August-September 2011 launched a new, multi-year writing project.
New College of Florida
Each spring, one writer has the honor of teaching two creative writing classes for the enormously inspiring and hard-working students of Florida's public honors college.
North Cascades National Park
My "local" national park offers residency opportunities for two to four artists each
year. In April-May 2011, I was the first writer to participate in the Artist in Residence program in Stehekin, a town near the eastern border of the park that is accessible only by foot, boat, or plane.
Penland School of Crafts
This Blue Ridge heaven is one of the nation's finest craft schools. The Windgate Charitable Foundation made possible my two-week collaboration with visual artist Jen Coon, in Penland's printmaking and letterpress studios.
Two hundreds artists every year are given the space and sustenance to do their best work, in this 1897 Arts & Crafts home on the prairie, north of Chicago. A fellowship from the Katharine Washburn Winegarden Fund for Writing and Translation made my month-long stay possible.
The Studios at Key West
At this community arts center on the famed isle at Mile 0, students of all ages create art, as do many local artists who maintain studios there, and a dozen or so artists and cultural managers who visit from all over the world each year. Read about their innovative residency program here.
Every winter, the Creative Writing Program of Seattle University invites a trio of writers to be "Distinguished Northwest Writers in Residence." Each holds office hours and offers a class in her area of expertise.
Vermont Studio Center
At the nation’s largest artists’ colony, writers benefit from the visual and creative energy provided by painters and sculptors from all over the world.
Helen Riaboff Whiteley Center of the University of Washington
Perhaps the only year-round writers’ and scholars’ retreat based at a marine biology field station, this center on Washington’s San Juan Island is a reclusive writer’s dream. I have gone there each year since 2005, for stays as short as three days or as long as six weeks.
Writers’ Room of the Seattle Public Library
They say that Seattle is one of the country’s most literary cities – thanks in large part to our fabulous library system. Writers of all kinds have a room of their own (with a view) at the downtown library.
Conference & Workshop Scholarships
Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference
The best and most beautiful place in the country to learn how the publishing world works and meet some of the writers you most admire.
This home in the woods for Western writers opens its doors and welcomes the tribe once each summer and winter.
Hassayampa Institute for Creative Writing
A cozy summer conference in the hills of Prescott, Arizona welcomes Southwestern writers each summer.
Interamerican University Studies Institute
A source for all things Spanish, from high school summer programs to post-graduate study in Spanish-English translation, all IUSI programs come with high-quality instruction.
Begun in Sandra Cisneros’s kitchen in 1995, this annual writers’ workshop-gathering-miracle happens in San Antonio every August, operating almost entirely on volunteer labor and love.
Penland School of Crafts
This is a little corner of heaven in the Blue Ridge Mountains for anyone who makes books, prints, blown glass, sculpture, textiles, pottery, photographs, drawings, or iron/wood sculpture.
Washington State Arts Alliance / Foundation
Their annual Cultural Congress brings individual artists and arts organizations from across the state together, at the lovely Sleeping Lady Resort in the mountain town of Leavenworth.
Wesleyan Writers Conference
For more than half a century, writers have come together for a summer week of learning and listening at Wesleyan University.