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Lewis Center for the Arts Names Hodder Fellows for 2014-15
Choreographer Nora Chipaumire, playwright/screenwriter Gabriel Jason Dean, poet Roger Reeves, and visual artist Miko Veldkamp are selected

The Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University has announced the selection of four Mary MacKall Gwinn Hodder Fellows for the 2014-15 academic year. Choreographer Nora Chipaumire, playwright/screenwriter Gabriel Jason Dean, poet Roger Reeves, and visual artist Miko Veldkamp were chosen from a pool of over 900 applicants to receive this award, created to provide artists and humanists in the early stages of their career an opportunity to undertake significant new work.

"The Hodder Fellowships are awarded to people who have begun to build a respected body of work, but have not yet received widespread recognition," noted Lewis Center Chair Michael Cadden in making the announcement. "Mrs. Hodder created an opportunity for a year of what she called 'studious leisure' during which the fellows would have the time to move their work to the next level. Hodder Fellows do not teach. Their only obligation is to their work."

Hodder Fellows may be writers, composers, choreographers, visual artists, performance artists, or other kinds of artists or humanists who have, as the program outlines, "much more than ordinary intellectual and literary gifts"; they are selected more "for promise than for performance."   While many have published a first book or created other work that has contributed to their field of endeavor, the fellowship provides them the opportunity to devote themselves fully to their current or next project.  Artists from anywhere may apply in the fall each year for the following academic year.  Past Hodder Fellows have included poet John Berryman, novelist Chimamando Ngozi Adichie, playwright Doug Wright, and composer and lyricist Michael Friedman.

nora chipaumireNora Chipaumire is a Zimbabwean-born choreographer based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has earned her several awards including a 2012 Alpert Award in the Arts, a 2011 USA Ford Fellowship, and the 2009 AFROPOP Real Life Award for her choreography in the film, Nora. She is a two-time New York Dance and Performance ("Bessie") Awardee, in 2008 for her dance-theater work, Chimurenga, and in 2007 for her body of work with Urban Bush Women, where she was a featured performer (2003-2008) and Associate Artistic Director (2007-2008). She has studied dance in many parts of the world—including Africa (Senegal, Burkina Faso, Kenya, and South Africa), Cuba, Jamaica and the U.S.—and has led significant contemporary dance and choreographic workshops in east, central and West Africa. A graduate of the University of Zimbabwe's School of Law, Chipaumire holds an M.A. in Dance and M.F.A. in Choreography and Performance from Mills College. As a Hodder Fellow, Chipaumire hopes to complete the second installment in her Diptych: "portrait of myself as my father," a work that will deepen her inquiry into the self, blackness, Africa-ness, as well deepening the minimalist African aesthetic which she champions.

Gabriel Jason DeanGabriel Jason Dean is a Brooklyn-based playwright and screenwriter. His play, Javaaneh (In Bloom) received the Kennedy Center's Paula Vogel Prize and is currently under a Broadway option. Another play, D'Angelico, is currently optioned by Riovey Films with Dean as screenwriter.  His play for children, The Transition of Doodle Pequeño, received the American Alliance for Theatre & Education Distinguished Play Award and the New England Theatre Conference Aurand Harris Award. He is the recipient of Austin's 2013 B. Iden Payne Award for "Best Original Script" and "Best Comedy" for Qualities of Starlight, and his play Pigskin won the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival. His scripts are published through Samuel French, Dramatic Publishing and Playscripts. He is currently a Dramatist's Guild Fellow and a CORE Writer at The Playwright's Center in Minneapolis. He received his M.F.A. from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas-Austin. During his fellowship year, Dean will be working to complete his seven-play collection about the disappearance of a small town entitled The Attapulgus Elegies.

Roger ReevesRoger Reeves's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and Tin House, among others. Kim Addonizio selected his poem, "Kletic of Walt Whitman," for the Best New Poets 2009 anthology. He was awarded a 2013 NEA Fellowship, a 2013 Pushcart Prize, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship by the Poetry Foundation in 2008, two Bread Loaf Scholarships, an Alberta H. Walker Scholarship from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and two Cave Canem Fellowships. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and is currently an assistant professor of poetry at the University of Illinois, Chicago. His first book, King Me, has just been published by Copper Canyon Press. As a Hodder Fellow, he will continue work on The Last American Minstrel, a collection of poems that appropriates minstrel songs and iconography, vernacular and folk traditions, and African-American hand jive known as juba patting or hambone as a means of querying and exploring American notions of pleasure and spectacle. His book will revisit both slavery and these nineteenth century forms of entertainment as a means of writing a labor history of the nineteenth century via sound and lyric.

Miko VeldkampMiko Veldkamp is a Dutch visual artist. He started his career as an artist doing video and sculpture work, but in 2009 turned to painting, addressing his subject matter with observations of flatness, depth and movement. He combines everyday scenes, personal memories or sentiments with a vigorous painterly handwriting. In seeking to capture the essence of his subject he focusses on illusionist color composition and the process of painting. Veldkamp was a resident at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam in 2012 and 2013, and holds a B.A. in Fine Arts from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. During his fellowship year, he will elaborate on his current investigations into autobiography and flux, as well as expand his range of formal elements and materiality. He will conclude his fellowship by creating an exhibition with a single topical theme.

In addition to creating new work, Hodder Fellows engage in lectures, performances and other events at the Lewis Center for the Arts, most of which are open to the public.


Link to photos:
Photo caption:  Lewis Center for the Arts announces the 2014-15 Hodder Fellows: Choreographer Nora Chipaumire, playwright/screenwriter Gabriel Jason Dean, poet Roger Reeves, and visual artist Miko Veldkamp
Photo credits:  Photo of Nora Chipaumire ©antoine tempé; photo of Gabriel Jason Dean by Arthur Bryan Marroquin; photo of Roger Reeves by Julio Jimenez; photo of Miko Veldkamp by Eric Giraudet de Boudemange.

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