Literary Arts at Featherstone and Slough Farm partner for writing residency


Literary Arts at Featherstone (formerly Noepe Center for the Arts) and Slough Farm announce their partnership to create an invitation and application-based writing residency for historically underrepresented writers from on and off Martha’s Vineyard.

According to a press release from Literary Arts, beginning Oct. 21, Brooklyn-based writers and poets Shira Erlichman and Angel Nafis, along with Island-based writer Esper Gaspardi, have been living at the Slough Farm residence where they will be working on new and ongoing writing projects until Nov. 7. As part of this residency, all three writers will receive housing, a stipend, and will offer an hour-and-a-half-long writing workshop to a group of Charter and MVRHS students that will take place at Featherstone Center for the Arts. 

Shira Erlichman is an author, visual artist, and musician. She recently released her debut poetry book “Odes to Lithium” and a children’s book “Be/Hold.” She’s received fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, Millay Residency, and AIR Serenbe. Her work has been featured in the Rumpus, PBS NewsHour’s Poetry Series, the Huffington Post, the Seattle Times, and the New York Times, among others.

Angel Nafis is the author of “BlackGirl Mansion” (Red Beard Press/ New School Poetics, 2012). She earned her bachelor’s degree at Hunter College and her MFA in poetry at Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in “The BreakBeat Poets Anthology,” the Rumpus, Poetry Magazine, Buzzfeed Reader, and elsewhere. Nafis is a Cave Canem fellow, the recipient of a Millay Colony residency, an Urban Word NYC mentor, and the founder and curator of the Greenlight Bookstore Poetry Salon. In 2011 she represented NYC at both the Women of the World Poetry Slam and the National Poetry Slam. She is half of the ODES FOR YOU TOUR with poet, musician, and visual artist Shira Erlichman and with poet Morgan Parker, she runs The Other Black Girl Collective, an internationally touring Black Feminist poetry duo. Facilitating writing workshops and reading poems globally, she lives in Brooklyn. In 2016, Nafis was a recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and in 2017 she was awarded a Creative Writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Esper Gaspardi attended the Institute of American Indian Arts and Sterling College of Vermont, where they earned a degree in sustainable food systems. At a young age Esper began writing their own short stories and fairytales to read after running out of books in the children’s section at the library, but their interest in writing fiction surged after attending The Telling Room (of Maine) high school programs. When they started their senior thesis, they became infatuated with writing non-fiction. For nearly two years they have been interviewing indigenous communities to document the preservation of indigenous farming techniques and the creation stories that are intertwined with the crops indigenous to North and Central America. 

Originally, when the Noepe Center for Literary Arts was housed in the Point Way Inn in Edgartown, there was a strong residency program. Continuing that residency program has been a long-term goal of Literary Arts at Featherstone, the release says. 

For more information about the programs at Literary Arts at Featherstone Center for the Arts,  call Mathea Morais at 508-564-2789, or email