Literature Projects That Break the Mold


Discover the incredible range of projects our 2023 Creative Capital Literature grantees are exploring, with complex subjects such as, public health, Chinese diaspora, and proposing that the US should return all federal lands to Native Americans.

An illustrated image of 7 Black people in front of rolling green hills and a pale orange sky. The seven people come in many shades of brown with different hairstyles and features. Brea Baker

Elders are gateways to remembering. With The Black Land Papers, Brea Baker will leverage the people most trusted by Black elders—their descendants—to create a new record of Black people’s relationship to land.

“The Tool Room,” from The Dendron Project (2022). A photograph of the interior of a dollhouse. There are two bright green doors with yellow-trimmed windows at the top and black and white checkerboard at the bottom, picture of tools and a toolbox on one wall. The floor is dirty and has a strip of black and yellow stripes in front of the doors, which are open and show mud leaves and asphalt. Emily Bass

The Dendron Project includes a book, visual art, and dialogues in virtual and physical space that, together, constitute “immune responses” to the politics of public health in pandemic times.

Bright white full moon in a blue gray sky with pinprick stars and a few near-glowing clouds, a grove of trees, with two taller trees nearby, green grass in the foreground and lights from three distant houses in the background. Kelli Jo Ford

An alternate-history novel, Nvgvgotanvhi centers a Cherokee mother and daughter who must overcome their differences to subvert 1995’s Oklahoma City bombing.

Portrait of Kristin Leong in blues and greens. She looks slightly to the side, her expression is pensive. It looks like she is under water. The quote over the image is attributed to Leong and says, “Single parenthood is like drowning and being on fire at the same time and meanwhile everyone will go on and on about how beautiful the spectacle is—how strong you are, what brave work you’re doing, how they could never do something so incredible.” Kristin Leong

The Unwed Mother Agenda is an essay collection and audio series weaving reporting on America’s family court system into the author’s experience as a single mother fighting for the protection of her son.

Photo of miscellaneous items on Trisha Low’s vanity, including a photo of Sandrine Bonnaire and Maurice Pialat, a photo of Bob Flanagan, a scene from Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend (1967), her grandmother’s clock, cans of Sailor Moon soda, a Victorian hair receiver, perfume bottles and a lighter labelled “Miami.” Trisha Low

Fated is a genre-bending novel about friends Diane and En, whose different experiences of Chinese diaspora guide their attempts to thwart narrative conclusions of futurity and identity.

A Black woman in a double image, in an orange/brown dress, in a state of expressiveness. heidi andrea restrepo rhodes & Tala Khanmalek

Vital Signs is a coauthored experimental book combining cultural criticism, critical theory, and lyrical essay, toward an anti-colonial, queer-of-color disability politics and aesthetics.

Sheck photo by Nina Subin. Shows authormat desk in dark shirt. Laurie Sheck

cyborg futures: poems and essay poems is an investigation in poetic/hybrid form of technological and pharmaceutical interventions in living bodies.

Image of young Maya Angelou watercolor by Pamela Sneed. Pamela Sneed

America is Ready is a book of epics and long-form poems. The title poem is predicated on Audre Lorde’s Poetry Is Not a Luxury. It investigates and champions artistic roles in the culture.

A young trans woman in Olongapo City, Philippines at night, covering her face with her hands while posing for a picture. Meredith Talusan

The Shadow Worker: A Novel
In the nearish future, two half-sisters with a fused consciousness try to use digital marketing to shift the direction of climate change.

Indigenous backpackers climb through burned forest in the North Cascades Mountains. Joe Whittle

Landback: The Return Of All Federal Lands to Native Americans is a series of seven essays and public presentations proposing and defending the idea that the US should return all federal lands to Native Americans.

Close up detail image of bright green strands of algae clinging to a web of a white 3D printed bubble-like armature. Anicka Yi

Initiated by conceptual artist Anicka Yi, Tumbling Ecologies is a trilogy of books that discloses new ways of living and being through three kinds of life: algae, bacteria, and fungi.


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