MoAD is proud to announce our 2019 Poets-in-Residence:

Tonya M. Foster & Alan Peláez Lopéz

Tonya M. Foster was raised in New Orleans, LA. She is an Assistant Professor of Writing & Literature, and of Graduate Writing at California College of the Arts. A poet and essayist, she is the author of A Swarm of Bees in High Court (Belladonna*, 2015), the bilingual chapbook La Grammaire des Os (joca seria, 2016), and is a co-editor of Third Mind: Teaching Creative Writing through Visual Art (Teachers & Writers Collaborative, 2002). She is currently a poetry editor at Fence Magazine, and a member of the poetry and fiction editing collective at The African-American Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, Obsidian, Boundary2, Poetry Project Newsletter, the Harvard Review, Best American Experimental Writing, Letters to the Future: Black Women/Radical Writing, and elsewhere. Foster is a recipient of fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Macdowell Artists Colony, the Headlands Center, and New York Foundation for the Arts, among others. She is currently working on A Mathematics of Chaos, a cross-genre collection that revolves around New Orleans, home, family, and displacement.
Alan Peláez López is an Afro-Indigenous poet, collage and adornment artist from the southern Pacific coast of Oaxaca, México. Their writing has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and “Best of the Net,” and appears/is forthcoming in Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan University Press), POETRY Magazine, Puerto del Sol,  Everyday Feminism & elsewhere. Their debut collection, Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien, is forthcoming from The Operating System Press (2020), and their chapbook, to love and mourn in the age of displacement, is forthcoming from Nomadic Press (September 2019). More at and @migrantscribble.

The Museum of the African Diaspora Poet-in-Residence program was founded in 2018.  This program provides writers with opportunities to respond to contemporary art of the African Diaspora and extend the reach of the museum through programming embedded within the historically marginalized Bay Area communities.

We currently host two concurrent writing residencies per year. This year, the four-month residency runs September 1—December 31, 2019.

Residents enjoy flexible, drop-in access to the Museum of the African Diaspora, located in San Francisco, California.  For the term of the residency, every resident receives:

  • A monthly stipend of $1500 (for 4 months)
  • No-cost access to the museum exhibitions, on-site programs and events
  • Designated work space
  • a 10% discount on all Museum store purchases
  • Wi-Fi access
  • Publicity for public programs on social media
  • Staff support for programming
  • Access to learning more about the work of the Museum of the African Diaspora from curatorial and education staff

The residency welcomes writers to pursue their own writing projects in addition to responding to the artistic collections.  The residency does require that writers implement a school-based writing program in partnership with ARISE High School.  Residencies last for one academic semester or 4 months.  The workshops will include at least 6 site visits and one visit with students at the museum.

While the Museum does not retain ownership of any works created as part of the residency, we do require a printed compilation of that work to be preserved within the museum archives and that, should work be published by the author in a book form, that the Museum is acknowledged for contributing to the author’s creative process.