Sundress Academy for the Arts Announces Spring 2023 Fellowships

Sundress Academy for the Arts

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is pleased to announce our Spring 2023 residency fellows: Saleem Hue Penny, recipient of the Black and/or Indigenous Identifying Writers Fellowship, and Rasha Abdulhadi and Shlagha Borah, winners of the Spring 2023 LGBTQIA fellowships. A. Martinez and Saleem Hue Penny were this spring’s support grant recipients for Black and/or Indigenous identifying writers. These residencies are designed to give artists time and space to explore their creative projects in a quiet and productive environment. 

Rasha Abdulhadi

Rasha Abdulhadi is a queer Palestinian Southerner living with Long Covid. Their writing has recently appeared in Poem-a-Day, carte blanche, Shade Journal, FIYAH, Strange Horizons, and Mizna and is anthologized in Essential Voices: A COVID-19 Anthology (forthcoming), Unfettered Hexes, Halal if You Hear Me, and Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler. A fiber artist, poet, and speculative fiction writer and editor, Rasha is a member of Muslims for Just Futures, the Radius of Arab American Writers, and Alternate ROOTS. Their current chapbook is WHO IS OWED SPRINGTIME (Neon Hemlock, 2021). 

Shlagha Borah

Shlagha Borah (she/her) is a queer poet and mental health activist from Assam, India. She is the co-founder of Pink Freud, a mental health collective working to make mental health services accessible in India. She currently attends the MFA program in Poetry at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her work centres around parentification, grief, trauma and their intersection as experienced by female bodies and appears in or is forthcoming in Longleaf Review, Rogue Agent, Nonbinary Review, Ninety Seven Poems (Terribly Tiny Tales – Penguin), and elsewhere. Twitter: @shlaghaborah Instagram: @shlaghab

Saleem Hue Penny

Saleem Hue Penny (him/friend) is a Black disabled “rural hip-hop blues” poet who punctuates his work with drum loops, field sounds, gouache, and birch bark. He is the 2021 Poetry Coalition Fellow at Zoeglossia, an Assistant Poetry Editor at Bellevue Literary Review, a member of Obsidian’s Inaugural “O|Sessions Black Listening” 2022 cohort, and a proud Cave Canem Fellow. Saleem is excited to  continue his hybrid project, The Happy Land Liniment,  during his residency. See this and other recent publications at

A.Martinez, a mother with light brown skin and a short curly dark brown afro in a white short sleeved linen dress stands facing to the right in front of a white bedsheet backdrop. Her (then) five year old, Asher, with light brown skin and upper back length curly dark brown hair with no shirt and light gray sweatpants stands behind her back and wraps his arms around her neck, where they hold hands in front of her chest. Their faces touching at the cheekbone. They both have their heads turned to look directly into the camera with pleasant semi-smiling faces, their skin glowing from the late afternoon June sunlight.
Photo Credit: Chelsea Alexandra

A. Martinez (she/her) is a poet, visual artist, mother, and organizer living and working in Chicago. Her work explores family, rituals, nature, and the body. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Writing Program and has been published in LVNG Magazine, Contratiempo, poiesis, and will soon self-release a limited edition artist book of poetry and prints entitled Turn. Alyssa also hosts participatory community gatherings including those for mothers in the arts, as well as works as an arts administrator for music performance organizations. You can find more of her work at

Finalists for our Spring 2023 residency fellowships were Nia Dickens, Yael Aldana, Ivy Marie Clarke, Mariah Bosch, Dante Fuoco, and Reese Menefee.

Applications are now open for our Summer 2023 residencies! Find out more at our website!


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