Providence, RI – Three Rhode Island writers have been named recipients of prestigious MacColl Johnson Fellowships from The Rhode Island Foundation. EMS World contributor Michael Morse, Angel Green and Stephanie Reents will receive $25,000 each—one of the largest no-strings-attached awards available to writers in the United States.
The Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Fellowship Fund, established at the Foundation in 2003, provides up to three artist fellowships each year, rotating among composers, writers, and visual artists on a three-year cycle. The financial support of $25,000 enables artists to concentrate time on the creative process, focus on personal or professional development, expand their body of work, and explore new directions. In the last eight years, 24 composers, writers, and visual artists have received more than $600,000.
The 2012 MacColl Johnson Fellows are:
- Michael Morse has served as an emergency medical technician and firefighter with the Providence Fire Department for more than 20 years. He will retire from service this year and hopes to transition into a full time writing career. Morse has published two narrative non-fiction books: Rescuing Providence (2007) and Responding EMS: It Happens Now (2011). Both books follow Morse on the job as he responds to emergencies throughout the city. A native of Warwick, this is the first grant or fellowship to which Morse has ever applied. Having spent many years working on an old computer between emergency calls, Morse plans to use a portion of his grant to purchase a new computer.
- Angel Green is on the faculty at University of Rhode Island (URI), teaching in the interdisciplinary studies program and the English department. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, she has published short stories in URI Review, Potomac Review, and African American Review and has been honored with the URI English Department's Creative Nonfiction Award (1999), the Nancy Potter Short Story Award (2000), and a URI Foundation Dissertation Fellowship (2000). Green is working on an historical sociology that explores “American racism sited on the black female body.” A Newport resident, Green plans to use the fellowship to travel to Barbuda and the African island of Goree for research, as well as to a former breeding plantation off the coast of North Carolina. The fellowship will also allow Green to take some time off from teaching to focus on writing.
- Stephanie Reents has taught as an assistant professor of English at Holy Cross since 2005. She has been named a Bread Loaf Conference Scholar, a Stegner Fellow, and a Rhodes Scholar. Her first book, The Kissing List (2012) received wide praise, including from The New Yorker and The New York Times. Additionally, Reents’ short stories have been included in the O. Henry Prize Stories, noted in the Best American Short Stories, and appeared in numerous journals. A resident of Providence, Reents plans to use the fellowship to take a leave from her teaching duties and return to Oxford, England, the setting of her novel in progress, The Claustrophobic House.
The Fellows were determined by a panel of four out-of-state professionals in the literary arts. The panel also named three finalists. These writers receive no cash award, but were recommended to be recognized: