MISSOULA, Mont., June 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Submittable, a software platform that helps anyone collect and review any type of content online, is proud to announce the recipients of its third annual Eliza So Fellowship. The goal of the fellowship is to offer one immigrant writer and one Native American writer the time and solitude needed to finish a book-length project of exceptional merit.

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Each fellow will receive private lodging in downtown Missoula, MT, where Submittable is headquartered, plus a $500 food stipend and $400 toward travel expenses. The fellows will each give a public reading when their individual residences take place, one in August 2019 and one in September 2019.

The fellowship was named in honor of Eliza So, the mother of Submittable’s Head of People Asta So. Eliza immigrated to the US from Hong Kong in 1982, with her husband and two daughters. She worked in administrative and housekeeping jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years. At age 58, she began showing signs of dementia, and she was diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer’s in 2012.

«My mother loved connecting with people and hearing their stories. She still does, in her own way,» said Asta So. «She would be so thrilled to know that the Eliza So Fellowship is supporting the voices and stories of brilliant writers from underrepresented groups. It’s an honor for my family to see this fellowship continue in her name, and to see Submittable continue to support the arts and artists. I’m particularly excited that the residencies this year are in Missoula, Montana, where Submittable started and has been all along.»

The 2019 fellows are Lehua Taitano, selected by Joan Naviyuk Kane, and Alan Pelaez Lopez, selected by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo.

The 2019 Eliza So Fellows:

Lehua M. Taitano is a queer, indigenous CHamoru writer and interdisciplinary artist from Yigu, Guåhan (Guam) and co-founder of Art 25. She is the author of two volumes of poetry—Inside Me an Island (WordTech Editions) and A Bell Made of Stones (TinFish Press). Her chapbook, appalachiapacific, won the 2010 Merriam-Frontier Award for short fiction. She has two recent chapbooks of poetry and visual art: Sonoma (Dropleaf Press) and Capacity (a Hawai’i Review e-chap).

Her poetry, essays, and Pushcart Prize-nominated fiction have appeared in Fence, Kartika Review, Poetry Magazine, and others. She has served as an APAture Featured Literary Artist via Kearny Street Workshop, a Kuwentuhan poet via The Poetry Center at SFSU, and as a Culture Lab visual artist and curatorial advisor for the Smithsonian Institute’s Asian Pacific American Center. Taitano’s work investigates modern indigeneity, decolonization, and cultural identity in the context of diaspora.

Taitano will use the residency to focus on their third book of poetry, A Queer Ornithology, an investigation of queer, genderfluid indigeneity, and interspecies-relational philosophy through deep observation of wild birds.

Praise from Joan Naviyuk Kane for Lehua Taitano
 «[Taitano] balances the diction of modernity with the profound observation of the world that surrounds us—its species, shores, and stories of the self despite the legacies of empire that yet may prove our demise, absent more work like the poems here, and the partnership of those who make and read them.» 

Alan Pelaez Lopez is an Afro-Indigenous poet, collage and adornment artist from the southern Pacific coast of Oaxaca, México. Their writing has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and «Best of the Net,» and has been published in POETRY Magazine, Puerto del Sol, Everyday Feminism & elsewhere. Their debut collection, Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien, is forthcoming from The Operating System Press (2020). More at www.alanpelaez.com and @migrantscribble.

Lopez will use the residency to focus on Libélulas, a choreopoem that traces the spiritual and emotional life of an unnamed Zapotec toddler who is forcibly removed from their village and must continuously reconfigure who they are in an age of displacement and dispossession.

Praise from Marcelo Hernandez Castillo for Alan Pelaez Lopez
«Libélulas is an extraordinary manuscript that imbues elements of music, song, dance, and theater into its poetic sensibilities and follows the form and tradition of the choreopoem developed by Ntozake Shange in 1975 … I look forward to seeing this project unfold and offer insight into how it is we grieve, celebrate, and pray for others whom we might never be able to reach.»

The 2019 Eliza So finalists are Christine Ma, Kanika Agrawal, Jean Ho, Pingmei Lan, Michael Leeb, Ruby Murray, Gwendolyn Edward, and Valerie Jackson.

To learn more about the 2019 Eliz So Fellows and what they’ll be working on visit discover.submittable.com.

About Submittable
Founded in 2010 in Missoula, MT, Submittable is the leading Submission Management Platform with over 3 million users and 10,000 clients using the platform to accept and review content, applications, and entries. The company is backed by local angel funds but also YCombinator, True Ventures, and Next Frontier Capital.

CONTACT: Rachel Mindell, [email protected]


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