Reading: Southern Post-Colonial Emerging Writers

June 22, 7pm

With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Georgia Review published a special issue titled “SoPoCo” (Southern Post-Colonial) in Spring 2022. This project celebrates the voices, history, and cultures of diasporic communities that have established themselves in the American Southeast since the late twentieth century. As part of this effort, The Georgia Review offered their SoPoCo Emerging Writer Fellowship, which granted not only publication in this issue and a $1,500 honorarium, but also a month-long writing residency in Georgia. The three winners, Aria Curtis, Sadia Hassan, and Tanya Rey will be publicly sharing work at the Athenaeum.

Aria Curtis is an Iranian-American writer from Atlanta. She holds an MFA from Arizona State University and is the recipient of fellowships from the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hayden’s Ferry ReviewThe OffingThe Shallow EndsYemassee, and elsewhere. According to GR associate poetry editor Soham Patel, “Aria Curtis’s poems offer a sinuous interrogation of hair as decoration, as vehicle, as loss, as touch. Poignant and courageous, her work’s sensual engagement ‘pulls the tide,’ working to remind us how the body acts as witness and conduit of the bio-cultural.”

Sadia Hassan is a poet and prose writer from Clarkston, Georgia. Her chapbook Enumerationwas published in 2020 by Akashic Press and the African Poetry Book Fund. Hassan has received fellowships from Hedgebrook, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and the Mesa Refuge. Winner of the 2020 Hurston/Wright College Writers Award and 2019 finalist for the Krause Essay Prize, Hassan currently writes and teaches in Oxford, Mississippi, where she is pursuing her MFA at the University of Mississippi. More of her work can be found in the Academy of American Poets’, Boston ReviewLongreads, and elsewhere. Patel writes that “‘Indian Creek’ considers the cultural expressions of adolescence. Set against the background of Clarkston, Georgia, Sadia Hassan’s entry offers a striking and complex coming-of-age story that deftly evokes the generational responses a family has to sexual evolution through the various lenses that refract it.”

Tanya Rey is a queer Cuban-American writer who was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, Granta, The Sun, Roads & Kingdoms, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Catapult, among othersShe holds an MFA in fiction from New York University and has received fellowships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, San Francisco Writers Grotto, MacDowell, Hedgebrook, UCross, Blue Mountain Center, I-Park, Anderson Center, and others. An early draft of her novel-in-progress was selected as a semifinalist for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship, and an excerpt was shortlisted for the 2020 Disquiet Literary Prize. She lives in Oakland, California. Says associate prose editor Doug Carlson, “From Miami to New York to the Apalachee Correctional Institute, Rey’s characters—drawn with compassion, humor, and wisdom—spiral through scenes both poignant and powerful, told in a voice at once nuanced and direct.”

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