Ucross and Cave Canem have joined forces to present a literary fellowship that provides creative support to Black poets. The 2022 Toi Derricotte Residency at Ucross has been awarded to interdisciplinary poet S. Erin Batiste of Brooklyn, New York.
Presented once a year to an emerging or mid-career poet, the fellowship offers a four-week residency, which consists of uninterrupted time, studio space, living accommodations, meals by a professional chef, and the experience of the majestic High Plains on Ucross’s 20,000-acre ranch in northern Wyoming. The award also includes a $1,000 cash prize and a $1,000 Ucross stipend to defray travel costs.
“Ucross is deeply honored to work with Cave Canem to expand support to Black poets,” said Ucross President William Belcher. “We look forward to sharing the gift of uninterrupted time and space with S. Erin Batiste this fall through the Toi Derricotte Residency at Ucross.”
The fellowship is named for the award-winning writer Toi Derricotte, who was a Ucross Fellow in 1995 and went on to cofound Cave Canem with Cornelius Eady in 1996. Over the past 25 years, Cave Canem has nurtured nearly 500 Black poets who have gone on to publish acclaimed works, win prestigious awards, and become valued educators throughout the nation.
“Cave Canem is delighted to be in partnership with Ucross to offer this residency opportunity to its Fellowship, created in honor of our beloved cofounder Toi Derricotte,” said Cave Canem Executive Director Lisa Willis. “We are excited that Batiste has been selected and will be able to further cultivate her poetic craft as a result of this valuable experience.”
Batiste is the author of the chapbook Glory to All Fleeting Things. She is a 2022 Tin House Debut 40 Writer in Residence and SWWIM Writer in Residence. Her work has been nominated for Pushcart, Best New Poets, and Best of the Net awards; it has been exhibited in New York, is anthologized, and appears in Interim, Magma, Michigan Quarterly Review and wildness, among other decorated journals. She is also a reader for The Rumpus.
Batiste is the third poet to receive the Toi Derricotte Residency at Ucross, which launched with a pilot program in 2020.
“Ucross makes room for the wild silence we all need in order to live more courageously into our voices,” said inaugural Fellow Karma Mayet Johnson, an acclaimed writer and performer.
"I'm thankful for the partnership between Ucross and Cave Canem,” said Darrel Alejandro Holnes, the 2021 Fellow, whose book, Stepmotherland, has received many accolades since its publication in February. “(Cave Canem) is a home for Black poetry, and I'm so grateful that the home space includes the beautiful Ucross Foundation.”