The Museum of the African Diaspora Poets-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 and educational workshops with local high school students.
2019 PIR Awardees
Alán Pelaez Lopez, @migrantscribble
Bio (from their website): Alán Pelaez Lopez is an AfroIndigenous poet, installation and adornment artist from Oaxaca, México. Their work attends to the quotidian realities of undocumented migrants in the United States, the Black condition in Latin America, and the intimate kinship units that trans and nonbinary people build in the face of violence. Their debut visual poetry collection, Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien (The Operating System, 2020), was a finalist for the 2020 International Latino Book Award. They are also the author of the chapbook to love and mourn in the age of displacement (Nomadic Press, 2020). While they are an artist, Alan has also been organizing with undocumented migrants in the United States for over ten years and firmly believes that art is a portal into the future, but which future? That depends on the artist and the ideologies that move them.
Tonya Foster, @fosterpoet
Bio (from her website): Tonya M. Foster is the author of A Swarm of Bees in High Court, and the bilingual chapbook La Grammaire des Os; and coeditor of Third Mind: Creative Writing through Visual Art. Her writing and research focus on ideas of place and emplacement, and on intersections between the visual and the written. She is an editor at Fence Magazine, and at The African-American Review. Her poetry, prose, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Callaloo, Tripwire, boundary2, MiPOESIAS, NYFA Arts Quarterly, the Poetry Project Newsletter, and elsewhere. Tonya is a recipient of awards and fellowships from the Ford and the Mellon Foundations, from NYFA; and has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts and at the Macdowell colony. Her next collections are a cross-genre collection on New Orleans—A Mathematics of Chaos::Thingification (forthcoming from Ugly Presse 2021), and Monkey Talk, a cross-genre series about race, paranoia, aesthestics, and surveillance. She is an Assistant Professor at California College of the Arts.