The Dan Lewis Fellowship
About Dan Lewis:
Dan R. Lewis
November 1946 – July 2017
About the Fellowship:
After his death, Dan Lewis’s family created an endowment with the Worcester County Poetry Association to support an annual fellowship bequest in his name to provide an aspiring Worcester County poet the means to fulfill a need in that poet’s development which might otherwise go unmet. The 2024 Fellowship award will be $2,500.
About Dan Lewis:
Dan was born in Oakland, California and moved to Wilton Connecticut with his family in 1960. He received a BA Degree from the University of Connecticut, majoring in English. After a number of jobs to put food on the table, Dan moved to Provincetown and worked as a Librarian. In 1988 Dan relocated to Worcester, Massachusetts and set up his own business – Lewis Editorial Services. After 5 years of struggling to make it work, Dan worked at several computer companies, writing and editing user manuals, as well as all round fix-it guy.
Dan started writing poetry and short stories in his teen years, and did it sporadically thorough college and while in Provincetown. Upon moving to Worcester he became acquainted and involved with the Worcester County Poetry Association. This was a turning point in his poetry as he was now in a community that offered support, assistance and encouragement. Through this organization, he learned about many opportunities, and with assistance was able to attend the Dodge Festival several times, as well as the Monadnock Pastoral Writers Retreat. In addition, upon retirement he had the time to publish three poetry collections and one chap book.
Dan was a long-term member of the Four by Four visual artists and poets. He also mentored other poets. It was through all of these experiences Dan became the poet he was, and understood the need for funds and/or time needed for someone to excel.
Dan published five collections of poetry, was the Frank O’Hara Prize winner in 2012 and and was awarded the Stanley Kunitz Medal in 2016. He described himself this way: “Lives on the edge of Worcester’s Patch Reservoir. Old enough to know better, he finds himself walking in the world agog.” He called “Manifesto” his statement to the world.
This is exactly what I mean. In the middle
of the half-acre dump, piled with broken bricks, old tires,
and the street sweeper’s waste, two bright sunflowers
stand beatified in the slant light of morning.
We must over and over again bear witness
to the wonder of this world. After the bone-rich
ash is shoveled from the ovens, after the scarred witnesses
have told their terrible tales, after the weapons have been gathered
and burned, someone must still have voice to sing. This
is the only ground we have to stand on, this
scorched and defiled garden. It is here we must raise
the cry until our throats tear with the fierce hymn of praise.
The fellowship limits the use of the funds provided to supporting, nurturing, and developing the literary capacities of an annual recipient poet via education, engagement, related travel expense, and literary research and production that will best nurture that poet’s creativity. The applicant must be a legal resident of Worcester County, Massachusetts.
The applicant will demonstrate how this fellowship will fill a need not otherwise easily available to the poet. Upon notification, the recipient will receive 80% of the fellowship award to be awarded at the WCPA’s Annual Meeting. The remaining 20% will be paid out upon the WCPA receiving a final certification to the community (within 30 days of the conclusion of the fellowship which generally would arise one year after the award.) Such a report could include, as examples, a reading, publication or talk showcasing how the fellowship supported the poet’s development. This report should include a one-page document detailing the support the fellowship provided to the poet.
In order to ensure as much equity as possible, three judges will independently judge each application to determine the 2024 recipient fellow.
Deadlines: There is a two-month window to submit an application for this fellowship. Beginning September 1, 2023, applications will be accepted via the link noted below. Applications window closes at midnight, November 1, 2023. Applications received after closing will not be considered. The fellowship recipient will be notified after January 15, 2024. The presentation of the award will occur at the 2024 Annual meeting of the WCPA.
About the Application:
Submissions will be entered via webpage at WCPA website for basic info plus file attachments of required information such as poetry and resume.
To fill out the application please CLICK HERE