Announcing 2022 Cave Canem/Maison Baldwin Fellow Ashunda Norris

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Check out our new partnership with La Maison Baldwin! We’ve joined forces to create the Cave Canem/Maison Baldwin Fellowship— an opportunity for an LGBTQ+ Cave Canem fellow.

Our inaugural winner is Ashunda Norris, who will be joining our June 2022 cohort for a monthlong residency in James Baldwin’s adopted French hometown. Born and raised in rural Georgia, Ashunda is a Black feminist multidisciplinary artist with creative work that encompasses film, poetry, archiving, and critical scholarship. Her art centers the complexities of Black {southern} womxnhood/girlhood, magical spiritual traditions of Southern Black folk, and Black fugitivity. A California Arts Council Individual Artist Fellow, Ashunda’s honors include fellowships from Cave Canem, Haile Germia’s Liberated Territory, EcoTheo’s Starshine & Clay and the New York State Summer Writers Institute. Her writing has been featured or is forthcoming in Obsidian, Taint Taint Taint, Root Work Journal, Fence, EcoTheo Review, PANK, Trampoline and elsewhere. A country blk girl at heart, Ashunda loves hot water cornbread, stargazing, obscure cinema, and the ocean.

“Bless my heart, I wasn’t ready to admit to myself that I was queer back when I first picked up Giovanni’s Room while in grad school at Howard. So picture me reading this book in the heart of one of the gayest, Blackest cities in America and nearly losing my shit at the words flowing on the page. I didn’t know it yet, but I needed those words, to see a reflection I didn’t know was possible. And that’s what Baldwin gave me: possibilities, new ways of seeing, a belief that to imagine is to manifest, to live is to be a whole version of one’s truest self.” — Ashunda Norris, 2022 Cave Canem Maison Baldwin Fellow.