The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 “My Time” fellowship for writers who are also parents of dependent children under the age of 18. Writers of any literary genre were invited to apply. Laureen Laglagaron and Rachel Morgan were selected from 74 applications received from writers across the U.S. Their writing proposals and samples were selected by the judges as rating the highest for literary merit and likelihood of publication. Laglagaron and Morgan will each receive a fully funded one-week residency at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow as well as a stipend to cover travel and childcare. This will be the first residency at a writers’ colony for both writers.
Laureen Laglagaron is a full-time working mother from the Washington, DC, area. She immigrated to the United States in high school and, over time, became a highly accomplished immigration and civil rights attorney with over two decades of experience. She has served as a keynote speaker at international meetings and workshops focused on immigrant integration and writes fiction set in the Filipino diaspora and creative non-fiction. Her creative, academic, and professional work focus on the challenges of migration and settlement. She has published legal and policy articles on immigration, immigrant integration, and civil rights and won awards for her professional work.
Laglagaron will be a writer-in-residence at WCDH in October when she will be working on completing her novel, “The Left Behind.” The story, based on the lives of close family members, is about a mother who must leave her husband and seven-year-old daughter behind in the Philippines to work as an undocumented nanny in the U.S. to provide financial stability for her family. Her writing confronts the issues of race, class, immigration status, and financial struggle. Laglagaron said, “For millions of people around the world, parental absence is an economic necessity, but we rarely see or hear their stories.” She continues, “I write about the confluence of guilt, resentment, and gratitude immigrant families experience when a mother physically abandons her children to provide for a ‘better’ life for them in America. In short, I write about the varied textures of immigrant love in the Filipino diaspora.”
Rachel Morgan is a poet and full-time working single mother from Iowa. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently teaches at the University of Northern Iowa in the Department of Language and Literature. She is the Poetry Editor for the North American Review, America’s oldest literary magazine, and a reader for poetry competitions and reviews. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Honey & Blood, Blood & Honey (Final Thursday Press, 2017), and Things We Lost in the Fire (Flag Pond Press, 2000). Her work has been included in a long list of journals and anthologies and she has received many awards and honors for both her writing and teaching. Learn more at www.rachelmorganpoet.com.
Morgan will be a writer-in-residence at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in August when she will be completing her full-length manuscript. The First Condition examines the chronic nature of some diseases, particularly childhood diseases like type 1 diabetes, exploring medical language in a tight lyric space. The first version was a semi-finalist for the prestigious 2017 National Poetry Series among other first book awards. Morgan will be writing new poems to weave the book together. She explained, “After feedback from colleagues and fellow poets, much of the revision is not cutting, which has been done, but to add to the core of the manuscript.”
Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow Executive Director, Michelle Hannon, said, “It’s an honor to be able to provide uninterrupted writing time and a space that nurtures writers’ creativity and productivity, but it’s especially meaningful for parent writers who have so many responsibilities at home.” Laglagaron said, “As a full-time working mother during a pandemic, I long for uninterrupted time to center my storytelling practice and better understand how art advances justice.” Morgan adds, “During the Pandemic, I sought advice from colleagues and fellow poets, and now I have their feedback, but not the sustained time to revised deeply.”
The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow would like to thank Tony and Caroline Grant and the Sustainable Arts Foundation for generously funding this fellowship. For more information about sponsoring a fellowship supporting a genre and/or area of interest you are passionate about, visit www.writerscolony.org/sponsor-a-fellowship.
The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is “to nurture writers of all backgrounds, genres, and levels of experience in a supportive environment that builds community, stimulates new thinking, energizes creative expression, and optimizes productivity.” Since opening its doors to writers in 2000, the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow has made a lasting impact on the arts and literary communities hosting over 1,800 writers from 48 states and 13 countries. For more information, please call (479)253-7444.