2018 Eliza So Fellowship Winners

06/07/2018

It is with great excitement that we at Submittable share the results from our second annual Eliza So Fellowship. Our team and judges were impressed and delighted by the variety and excellence of applications received from US Immigrant writers and Montana Indigenous writers. A big thanks to all who participated, to our judges, to partners at the Writer’s Block and Plympton, and to everyone that helped us get the word out. For more on the 2018 fellowship, please see this announcement.

Our Eliza So Fellowship winners for 2018 are Paul Tran, selected by Sun Yung Shin, and Sheree Winslow, selected by Debra Magpie Earling. Fellowship runners-up are Rajnesh Chakrapani, Genevieve DeGuzman, and Jessica Mehta. Please join us in congratulating these outstanding writers. Find out more about our fellowship winners below, and be on the lookout for their wonderful books in the wide world soon.

About Paul Tran:

Paul Tran is a 2018 “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize winner. They live in Missouri, where they are Poetry Editor at The Offing Magazine and Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow in The Writing Program at Washington University in St. Louis. Their work appears in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere, including the anthology Inheriting the War (W.W. Norton, 2017) and movie Love Beats Rhymes (Lionsgate, 2017).

A recipient of fellowships and awards from Kundiman, Poets House, Lambda Literary Foundation, Napa Valley Writers Conference, John Ashbery Home School, Vermont Studio Center, The Conversation, Palm Peach Poetry Festival, Miami Writers Institute, Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, and Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Paul is the first Asian American since 1993 to win the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam, placing Top 10 at the Individual World Poetry Slam and Top 2 at the National Poetry Slam.

From Paul about their project:

“Driven by autobiography, my first book project, I Want to Say it Plain, documents the impact of the Vietnam War on Vietnamese refugees and their children. The manuscript sees what historians call “the Specter of Vietnam” as not mere fact, but as the daily struggle towards freedom, citizenship, and civil rights that Vietnamese Americans face. One such “specter” I excavate in this manuscript is that of my father, a South Vietnamese soldier, who molested me and then disappeared when I was seven years old. Another “specter” is that of my mother and women like her who bury their immigrant dreams in their children. The sonnet crown I am writing about the Voyager 2 looks at how this space probe, which contains two phonographic plates designed to relay to our alien neighbors the “diversity and culture of life on Earth,” failed to include people like me and experiences like mine. Although a recording of President Jimmy Carter reading The Joy of Sex, a sex manual published by Alex Comfort in 1972, is rumored to be on the Voyager 2, there is no evidence pointing at the sexual violence haunting every aspect of human life. Both my sonnet crown and my manuscript aims to correct this. I believe the poems are primary source artifacts. They are eyewitness accounts of the struggle my blood and chosen family in Southern California endure every day. They recognize the failures, grace, and dignity of people that American history and literature overlook and, in doing so, build a local record of our resistance against politically oppressive regimes, exile, and ongoing disenfranchisement.”

From Sun Yung Shin:

I Want to Say it Plain is bold, tactile, rhythmic, and urgent. I loved the sense of the body on its sharp quest, “sky I go blind scouring for the sun.” These poems are full of pulsing motion, full of the needle, the burial, mad dogs, and the dead. Readers will be richly rewarded!”

About Sheree Winslow:

Sheree Winslow received the name Many Trails Many Roads Woman from the medicine man of her Northern Cheyenne tribe. She’s wondered and wandered along many paths and through forty-nine states. Her work is published/forthcoming in Beecher’s and Past Ten. She’s written for Savvy Auntie and reported for the Orange County Register and Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies. Sheree received her B.A. from Vassar College and her M.F.A. from Vermont College of Fine Arts. A native of Montana, she now resides in Southern California with King Louis, a dog who likes to watch TV. More at shereewinslow.com.

From Sheree about her project:

“In a memoir titled Feeding Myself, I explore struggles with food addiction and body obsession. The story begins in the midst of trouble regarding my engagement to a man I met on an escalator at the Louvre Museum in Paris. A passionate relationship that once seemed like a fairytale is unraveling after a series of humiliations and threats of physical abuse. As I look for a way out, the manuscript moves back in time to confront the roots of my self-esteem issues. Though others play a role in this self-perception, I must ultimately face the one person who has caused the most harm—me.”

From Debra Magpie Earling:

“In the era of the #MeToo movement, Sheree Winslow’s story poignantly reveals a deeply personal struggle for self-acceptance in a world that too often condemns and stigmatizes women’s choices and desires. Winslow’s story reveals a frank willingness to confront others’ ideations about body image and scrutinizes not only the male gaze but her own gaze as well. Her story is both visceral and potent. Feeding Myself is an uncensored and compelling look at ultimate identity. I look forward to the fruition of this honest and heartfelt story.”

Rachel Mindell

Rachel Mindell is a content creator and strategist for Submittable's marketing and product teams. She also writes and teaches poetry. You can find Rachel's creative work here: rachelmindell.com