supporting artists and writers with families
Fall 2012 Award Winners
Carin ClevidenceCarin Clevidence is a novelist and mother of two whose first book, The House on Salt Hay Road, explores the aftermath of a fireworks factory explosion in a tightly-knit Long Island town. It’s a quiet, character-driven book, deeply rooted in place. Her novel in progress, My Family In Cuneiform, casts a broader thematic net, investigating big questions about childhood, poverty, and family ties. We were pulled in from the very first pages and couldn’t stop reading.
Suzanne KamataSuzanne Kamata is an American writer living in rural Japan with her husband and twin children. Despite living far from a traditional network of writing support, she’s published books in an impressive range of genres: three anthologies, a YA, a picture book, a novel and an award-winning collection of short stories. Her work, while steeped in the daily realities of life in a mixed-race, rural family, reaches broadly and gives clear voice to those who are not well represented in literature. Her next project is perhaps the most personal in that vein, as she plans to use her grant to research a nonfiction book about exploring the world with someone who is deaf and uses a wheelchair – her own teenage daughter.
Sara PressSara Press is a book artist who produces small handmade editions of meticulous care. Her books cover a wide range of subjects, with an emphasis on old vs. new—modern-day interpretations of historical subjects and events, from bears to brawls. She lives in Pasadena, CA with her husband and two children.
Adrian SykesAdrian Sykes is a UK artist whose architectural landscapes create the perfect blend of realism and fantasy. His compositions are instantly satisfying, but the real strength of his work is in the painstaking detail which allows for deep exploration. He lives in Bristol with his partner and daughter.
Stefanie ZadravecIt can be difficult to get the feel for a play without seeing it performed, but Stefanie Zadravec’s writing makes her work spring vividly to life from the page. Her plays, set in familiar places and peopled with ordinary characters, captivated us with their elements of the fantastic and their dark humor. Zadravec lives in Brooklyn with her husband and twin sons.
Fall 2012 Promise Award WinnersDon't be misled by the name: our Promise Award winners show more than just promise – they are highly accomplished artists and writers who have already demonstrated great success. We're delighted to support them in their future work.
Anna Laurie Mackay AllredAnna Laurie Mackay Allred uses inventive techniques to enhance what are already solid charcoal drawings. By making meticulous cut patterns or folding the paper on which they are drawn, she adds a depth that's absolutely alluring. She lives with her husband and son in Columbus, OH.
Lacy M. JohnsonLacy M. Johnson is a writer living in Houston with her husband and two children. Her first book, Trespasses—a memoir in prose poems about her family’s long history in rural Missouri—compelled us with its unique form and diverse voices. The memoir she is working on now originates in a singularly horrific event: the five hours she spent as prisoner of a man who intended to kill her. Johnson’s book is a meticulously researched and fascinating inquiry into memory and trauma, neurobiology and anthropology, the culture of violence against women and the meaning of truth. It is a dark but utterly absorbing and important book.
Derek SheffieldDerek Sheffield is a poet, an English professor, a husband, and father who lives in central Washington. His work is beautifully anchored in the daily realities of life with his two young daughters: a child opening a present; a drive to school; a medical procedure. We found the vivid details of his language and the ease of his metaphors deeply satisfying. “We are,” he writes of how parents orbit a child, “exactly where she keeps us // whirling.”
Ashley ShelbyAshley Shelby's' novel, Winter-Over, takes place over two seasons in the science research station on the South Pole. Into this intense, isolated community of diverse inhabitants—from astrophysicists and molecular biologists to cooks, solid waste managers, carpenters, construction staff, human resources personnel, a chaplain, and artists – come two medical crises: a pregnancy and a mental breakdown. It’s a beautifully-written page-turner which we can’t wait to see in print. Shelby lives with her husband and two children in Minnesota.
Krista SteinkeKrista Steinke is a self-described "lens-based artist" based in Ambler, PA. Her practice involves homemade lenses and filters which produce a textural quality in her work that could easily be misinterpreted as brush strokes. We found them enchanting, and can't wait to see more.
Sarah Pemberton StrongSarah Pemberton Strong is a novelist, poet, and—as far as we know—the first plumber to win an SAF grant. Her poems, rooted in everyday objects (a fish tank; a lamp) and common events (losing a tooth; Thanksgiving logistics), explore family relationships and the connection between the mundane and the sacred. She speaks for many parent-artists when she writes of the ways parenting affects her writing life “as the constraints of a sonnet: approached with patience and understanding of the form, the restrictions they impose give shape and meaning to the poem created there.” She lives in Connecticut with her daughter and spouse.
Peter TonningsenPeter Tonningsen is a bay area artist whose large scale multiple-exposure prints reinvent the landscape. Bursting with color and texture, they provide a sense of place—not with realistic purity, but with a layered impressionism that's beautiful to look at. He lives in Alameda, CA with his wife and two sons.
Learn more about our previous awardees.