Monday, July 21, 2008

The Guild + Andrés Montoya + Cave Canem =

The Guild Literary Complex, Cave Canem
and Letras Latinas launch collaborative program

CHICAGO, IL -- On July 23, 8:30 pm, poets Dawn Lundy Martin and Sheryl Luna will read from their prize winning books at the California Clipper Lounge, 1002 North California Avenue, Chicago. Recipients, respectively, of the 2006 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and the inaugural Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, Martin and Luna will appear in connection with a cohort residency at The Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest, IL, piloted in 2008 by the Guild Literary Complex, Cave Canem Foundation and Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. With support from the Joyce Foundation, in addition to a two-week residency, the organizations awarded each of the poets a $1000 honorarium. The California Clipper's doors will open at 8 pm. The public, 21 years of age and older, is invited to attend.


In 2006, Ellen Wadey, Director of the Guild Literary Complex, conducted research about diversity initiatives at artist residencies across the country. She learned that many writers of color are unfamiliar with residency opportunities, and that many of those who do attend feel they are overly representative of their racial and ethnic backgrounds. At the same time, participants cited benefiting from the creative space and camaraderie the experience provided. Wadey's findings formed the basis for piloting a cohort residency for the winners of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a first book prize for African American poets, and the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, a first book award for Latino/a poets.


Dawn Lundy Martin
was awarded the 2006 Cave Canem Poetry Prize by Carl Phillips for her manuscript, A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering (University of Georgia Press, 2007). She is the author of The Morning Hour, selected in 2003 by C.D. Wright for the Poetry Society of America's National Chapbook Fellowship. In 2002 and 2006, she was awarded a Massachusetts Cultural Artists Grant for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in several journals, including Callaloo, nocturnes and Encyclopedia. She is the founding member of the Black Took Collective, a group of experimental black poets, and is the co-editor of a collection of essays, The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminisim. She is an Assistant Professor of English at University of Pittsburgh.

Sheryl Luna's collection of poetry, Pity the Drowned Horses (University of Notre Dame Press, 2005), was selected by Robert Vasquez for the 2004 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. A graduate of Texas Tech University, she earned a doctorate in contemporary literature from the University of North Texas and an M.F.A. from the University of Texas at El Paso. She also holds an M.A. in English from Texas Women's University. Her work has appeared in Amherst Review, Feminist Studies, Georgia Review, American Literary Review, Notre Dame Review, and many other journals. She has received scholarships from the Fine Arts Work Center and the Napa Valley Writer's Conference. She was a finalist for the National Poetry Series, the Perugia Press Prize and the 2006 Colorado Book Awards. She teaches at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

The Guild Literary Complex, Chicago, IL, is a community-based organization that presents and supports diverse, divergent and emerging voices through innovative programs, including performance and readings. For nearly 20 years, the Guild has looked at literary culture and asked, "What's missing?" The organization twice has been selected as a model literary center by the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to the Andrés Montoya and Cave Canem cohort residency, its signature programs include Palabra Pura, Poetry Performance Incubator and the Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award.



The winner of the 3rd edition
of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize
will be announced in mid-August.
The final judge,
who is still deliberating,
is Martín Espada.

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