NEA/ARPA Grant Supports Organization for Poets with Disabilities Co-Founded by NMSU Professor


Newsletter Report

As part of the American Rescue Plan, Zoeglossia, “a community of disabled poets” co-founded by a New Mexico State University professor, will receive a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“This is the first time that a portion of the Covid emergency funding has provided grants to distribute to arts organizations,” said Zoeglossia co-founder Connie Voisine, who is a published poet and English teacher at the University. NMSU College of Arts and Sciences. “It’s a recognition that the arts are an important part of our economy.

The grant is part of a $57.7 million effort to help the U.S. arts and culture sector recover from the impact of the global pandemic, NMSU said in a press release. Zoeglossia is one of 567 local arts organizations receiving grants.

Zoeglossia was founded by Voisine and fellow poets Jennifer Bartlett and Sheila Black “as an emerging literary organization dedicated to providing an inclusive space for poets who identify as disabled through an annual literary retreat,” the statement said. Press.

Zoeglossia’s third annual retreat, hosted virtually through a partnership with NMSU, will be held May 11-15.

“If you are a writer over the age of 21 who identifies as having a disability, and especially if you are from historically underrepresented communities, please apply,” Voisine said. “We would really like to see your work.”

The NEA grant will provide support to help the organization develop a structure and staff to continue its work promoting the work of Zoeglossia scholars, develop a social media strategy that effectively promotes voices with disabilities in cultural spaces, and develop content video or a “Zoeglossia channel” that provides an accessible video platform for poets and writers with disabilities, NMSU said.

Voisine is the author of “The Bower” and “And God Created Women”. Her work was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and won the Associated Writing Program in Poetry award, according to the Zoeglossa website. She has poems published in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine and elsewhere. Voisine is a former Fulbright Scholar at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.



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