It’s in Queens
#NewsFlash | Queens Resident Wins Academy of American Poets Fellowship
The Academy of American Poets has selected an Astoria resident as a 2020 Fellow.
Maria Lisella will spend the fellowship hosting “Writing Your Way Home,” a curated series of readings and writing workshops for senior citizens in Queens. The readings will feature senior poets, and the workshops will culminate in public readings throughout the borough.
AAP will provide a $50,000 stipend to Lisella, who was selected as Queens Poet Laureate by the Borough President in 2015, and donate some funds for nonprofits that work with her.
Twice-nominated for the Pushcart Poetry Prize, Lisella has authored “Thieves in the Family” (NYQ Books) and the chapbooks “Amore on Hope Street” (Finishing Line Press) and “Two Naked Feet” (Poets Wear Prada). She also contributes articles to “USA Today” and “La Voce di New York,” which publishes in English and Italian. She holds degrees from Queensborough Community College, Queens College, and Polytechnic Institute of New York University.
To read her poem “Birthday,” click here.
Not far away, Tina Chang, who is the current Poet Laureate of Brooklyn, also won an AAP fellowship. She plans to launch and conduct the Brooklyn Poet-in-Residence program, which will provide resources, mentorship, workspace, library archives, career development, and civic engagement through workshops, public talks, and collaboration. She will also continue bringing children’s book authors to elementary age children.
Here’s a list of the other 2020 AAP Fellows and the communities they serve: Honey Bell-Bey (Cuyahoga County, OH); Tina Cane (Rhode Island); Nnamdi Chukwuocha and Al Mills aka the Twin Poets (Delaware); Rosemarie Dombrowski (Phoenix); Beth Ann Fennelly (Mississippi); Angelo Geter (Rock Hill, SC); Margaret Gibson (Connecticut); Rodney Gomez (McAllen, TX); Elizabeth Jacobson (Santa Fe, NM); Stuart Kestenbaum (Maine); Susan Landgraf (Auburn, WA); Porsha Olayiwola (Boston); Alexandria Peary (New Hampshire); Emmy Pérez (Texas); Mary Ruefle (Vermont); Janice Lobo Sapigao (Santa Clara County, CA); John Warner Smith (Louisiana); Laura Tohe (Navajo Nation); Amie Whittemore (Murfreesboro, TN); and Assétou Xango (Aurora, CO).
Image: Maria Lisella