UPDATE: Fellowship application deadline has been extended! New deadline is Friday, February 16th, 2018.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MERWIN CONSERVANCY TO LAUNCH NEW FELLOWSHIP
FOR TEACHERS IN HAWAII
Applications Now Open; Award-Winning Poet & Childrens’ Book Author
Naomi Shihab Nye to Co-Facilitate
HA‘IKU, HAWAII – December 21 – In Summer 2018, the Merwin Conservancy will launch a first-of-its-kind teaching fellowship dedicated to exploring and developing teachers’ creative potential, imagination, and social-emotional learning, the organization announced today. Fifteen Hawaii-based teachers will be selected in early 2018 to participate, and teachers throughout the state whose students are in the “middle years” of ages 10 through 15 are eligible to apply. A partnership with Maui-based professional development expert Marnie Masuda-Cleveland and her company The Creative Core, the Merwin Creative Teaching Fellowship will enter its pilot year in 2018, which begins with a five-day professional development workshop led by Masuda-Cleveland and her co-facilitator Naomi Shihab Nye, who is an educator, celebrated award winning poet and children’s book author, and former Chancellor at the Academy of American Poets. The institute will be held June 20 – 24, 2018 on Maui’s north shore. Applications are now open and can be submitted online through the Merwin Conservancy’s website, www.merwinconservancy.org/merwin-creative-teaching-fellowhip. The application deadline is Friday, February 16th.
The Merwin Creative Teaching Fellowship offers Hawaii’s teachers the opportunity to experience W.S. Merwin’s living legacy first-hand and receive unparalleled guidance and support, providing them with the renewal, rejuvenation, and inspiration they need foster their own creativity, engage their imaginations, and gain new tools to make creativity and imaginations come alive in their students.
For the pilot year of this program, The Merwin Conservancy’s education programs committee will hand-select a cohort of talented Hawaii-based teachers, from public and private schools who teach students between the age of 10 and 15, to be part of a unique professional development opportunity on Maui, spending time immersed in nature on the grounds W.S. Merwin’s residence and his world-renowned palm garden. Approximately half of participating teachers will be from Maui County, with the remainder coming from the rest of the islands.
Interested teachers must complete a Fellowship application (available here) before midnight on February 16th, 2018, and participants will be selected by The Merwin Conservancy’s education programs committee in early March 2018. Travel and lodging expenses for off-island (or remote Maui resident) fellows will be included in the Fellowship. Fellows will also have the option to apply for professional development credits with the Hawaii Department of Education.
“The Merwin Teaching Fellowship is like no other professional learning opportunity teachers have ever experienced,” said Marnie Masuda-Cleveland of The Creative Core, who co-developed the Fellowship program with The Merwin Conservancy. “The Summer Institute, and the intensive collaboration which follows, changes the way teachers approach teaching and creates deep, transformative relationships between teachers and their students.”
Poet and author Naomi Shihab Nye, who also serves on The Merwin Conservancy’s board of directors , shared that she was hopeful that the program would “infuse teachers with a similar great joy and confidence in writing and reading poetry, and energizing their own curriculums, that William Merwin’s poetry has given all his readers all these years.”
The timeline of the Merwin Creative Teaching Fellowship is as follows:
- December 21, 2018: Application Process Opened
- February 16, 2018: Application Process Closes
- March 1, 2018: Committee Selects Fellows Cohort
- March 9, 2018: Fellows Announced
- June 20-24, 2018: Summer Institute on Maui
- Fall/Spring 2018-19: School Year Fellows Collaborate
- Late Spring/Early Summer 2019: Fellows Publish Results.
For more information about the Merwin Creative Teaching Fellowship, or to get involved as a sponsor to underwrite this program, please reach out to Sara Tekula, Director of Communications & Outreach at The Merwin Conservancy at 808-871-5270 or by emailing email@example.com
About The Merwin Conservancy
The Merwin Conservancy is a Maui-based nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization with a mission to preserve the living legacy of W. S. Merwin, his home and palm forest, for future retreat and study for botanists and writers, for environmental advocacy and community education. For more information on the organization, its programs, or the Merwin property, visit http://www.merwinconservancy.org
About The Creative Core
The Creative Core is a full-service curriculum design and custom professional development resource that works closely with administrators and teacher leaders (K-graduate level) to transform struggling schools into dynamic, rigorous, fully-engaged schools of excellence. They challenge and inspire effective schools to grow into exciting school/community hubs of innovation and design thinking. For more information, visit http://www.creativecore.org
About Naomi Shihab Nye:
Naomi Shihab Nye describes herself as a “wandering poet.” She has spent 40 years traveling the country and the world to lead writing workshops and inspiring students of all ages. Nye was born to a Palestinian father and an American mother and grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio. Drawing on her Palestinian-American heritage, the cultural diversity of her home in Texas, and her experiences traveling in Asia, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East, Nye uses her writing to attest to our shared humanity.
Naomi Shihab Nye is the author and/or editor of more than 30 volumes. Her books of poetry include 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East , A Maze Me: Poems for Girls, Red Suitcase, Words Under the Words, Fuel, and You & Yours (a best-selling poetry book of 2006). She is also the author of Mint Snowball, Never in a Hurry, I’ll Ask You Three Times, Are you Okay? Tales of Driving and Being Driven (essays); Habibi and Going Going (novels for young readers); Baby Radar, Sitti’s Secrets, and Famous(picture books) and There Is No Long Distance Now (a collection of very short stories). Other works include several prize-winning poetry anthologies for young readers, including Time You Let Me In, This Same Sky, The Space Between Our Footsteps: Poems & Paintings from the Middle East, What Have You Lost?, and Transfer. Her collection of poems for young adults entitled Honeybee won the 2008 Arab American Book Award in the Children’s/Young Adult category. Her novel for children, The Turtle of Oman, was chosen both a Best Book of 2014 by The Horn Book and a 2015 Notable Children’s Book by the American Library Association. The Turtle of Oman was also awarded the 2015 Middle East Book Award for Youth Literature. Her next book will be Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners (Feb 2018; Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins).
Naomi Shihab Nye has been a Lannan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Witter Bynner Fellow (Library of Congress). She has received a Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, four Pushcart Prizes, the Robert Creeley Prize, and “The Betty Prize” from Poets House, for service to poetry, and numerous honors for her children’s literature, including two Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards. In 2011 Nye won the Golden Rose Award given by the New England Poetry Club, the oldest poetry reading series in the country. Her collection 19 Varieties of Gazelle was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her work has been presented on National Public Radio on “A Prairie Home Companion” and “The Writer’s Almanac”. She has been featured on two PBS poetry specials including “The Language of Life with Bill Moyers” and also appeared on “NOW with Bill Moyers”. She has been affiliated with The Michener Center for writers at the University of Texas at Austin for 20 years and also poetry editor at The Texas Observer for 20 years. In January 2010 Nye was elected to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets. She is also laureate of the 2013 NSK Neustadt Award for Children’s Literature. In 2017 the American Library Association presented Naomi Shihab Nye with the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award.