Thanks to the hard work of our juries, we will welcome two writers and one visual artist as fellows in 2016. We asked our 2016 fellows to introduce themselves and their work in their own words—so without further ado, please greet Kelly Sundberg, Jamie Kinroy, and Leila Chatti!
“I am a doctoral candidate in Creative Nonfiction at Ohio University, where I am also the Managing Editor of Brevity Magazine. My essays have appeared in Guernica, Slice, Denver Quarterly, Quarterly West, Mid-American Review, The Los Angeles Review, The Rumpus, and others. My essay “It Will Look Like a Sunset” was anthologized in Best American Essays 2015, and another essay was listed as “notable” in Best American Essays 2013. I am currently working on a memoir, Goodbye, Sweet Girl, which will be released by HarperCollins in 2017. I am an Idaho native, and I remain interested in the American West, landscape, and the often uneasy relationship between people and place. I divide my time between Appalachian Ohio, where I live with my ten-year-old son during the academic year, and Idaho, where I spend my summers. While at Dickinson House, I plan to complete an extensive portion of my memoir-in-progress, which in addition to describing the see-saw of love and abuse that is symptomatic of domestic violence, also chronicles my upbringing in a one-stoplight, cattle ranching town in rural Idaho.”
Jamie Kinroy is a Scottish artist, who makes drawings, prints and paintings. He lives and works in Edinburgh, although he has travelled in Japan, and lived in America for many years.
“My work is rooted firmly in comics; however, I reject sequential illustration, plot and linear storytelling, in the aim of achieving a more fluid sense of narrative. Instead, I focus on designing intricate hand-drawn environments. The images work together in the aim of building a comprehensive picture of a personal urban and rural cosmology, an imagined, but contemporary and global city, built out of my lived experience of a range of places. This world takes on ideas and aesthetics from an eclectic mixture of influences, for example, Dutch landscape pictures, The Legend of Zelda, Blade Runner, folk music. At the heart of my work is a fascination with the history of graphic representational drawing, and how approaches have differed and developed throughout art history. For example, I like to consider the idea that a thread runs from contemporary drawing—in comics and graphic novels—back through time to people like Hogarth or Thomas Bewick, and yet further to Breugel and Hieronymous Bosch. I work in a range of different styles—doodling, stippling, scratching, watercolouring, and, notably the ligne claire method (a style pioneered by Franco-Belgian comics artists). Currently, I am interested in expanding my stylistic repertoire yet further, and finding a way for differing drawing styles to exist together harmoniously, and to contribute to the same themes and narratives within an overall body of work.”
“I am a Tunisian-American poet, born in Oakland, California to an immigrant father and a mother from the outskirts of Detroit. I received my MFA in poetry from North Carolina State University in May of 2015. In the year since, I have focused on writing while traveling, with stays in Canada, Tunisia, Sweden, France, Ireland, and Michigan and North Carolina stateside. As a dual citizen, I have spent my life traveling between continents, and my work often deals with a sense of displacement, as well as the merging of disparate customs and beliefs.
“Currently, I am working towards two main projects. I am in the process of completing a chapbook of poems concerning faith and illness, which began during a two-year cancer scare and involves elements of my Islamic faith and my mother’s Catholic one. I am also working towards the completion of my first book, an examination of heritage, trauma, and the complexities of love during grief.
“My work has received awards from Narrative Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Southword Journal, and the Academy of American poets, and appears in Best New Poets 2015, Narrative, North American Review, Cimarron Review, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. I can be found online at www.leilachatti.com.”