january, 2024

18jan6:30 pmLiving Legacy: An Evening with the Ashley Bryan Fellows6:30 pm Mechanics' Hall

Event Details

In honor of award-winning writer and artist Ashley Bryan’s life, the MWPA offers the Ashley Bryan Fellowships, which support emerging Maine writers who are Black, people of color, and/or members of one of the Wabanaki Nations or other Native peoples.

“I love to celebrate the artistry of people around the world in whatever material or form they work” –Ashley Bryan

Visit Here to RSVP &  For More Information

For more information about the Ashley Bryan Fellowship, visit here.

About the Authors:

Linda Ashe-Ford is a veteran in the early education field and was a classroom teacher for over 45 years. She is a past president of the Maine Association for the Education of Young Children as well as a past treasurer of the New England Association for the Education Of Young Children. Linda holds a Master’s in Education from Antioch New England Graduate School and a BA in Theater and Communications from the University of Hartford. Using her background in theater, she has written, produced and performed both original and scripted materials on various topics. Linda is a storyteller who brings the history and folktales of people of color to life. She believes that through story we can begin to deepen our understanding of each other.


Johan Alexander F has been an Ashley Bryan Fellow in 2021, and was a Maine Lit Fest Fellow in 2022. His writing has also received support from the Periplus Collective and Anaphora Arts Writing Residencies, both national organizations supporting BIPOC writers. His short stories have been published in various places, with his last three works appearing in LatineLit Journal Winter ’24 (forthcoming), Eunoia Review, and the Periplus Anthology ’23. Born in Medellin, Colombia, he lives in Portland, where he mentors Young Writers and Leaders at the Telling Room.


Liz Iversen was born in the Philippines and grew up in South Dakota. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Creative Nonfiction, Passages North, Room, and J Journal: New Writing on Justice. She has received support from Tin House and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. Currently based in Portland, Maine, she is a copywriter for a radio and podcast advertising agency. You can find her online at liziversen.com.


Coco McCracken is a Chinese-Canadian author living in Portland. Her chapbook, The Rabbit, was selected by bestselling author Melissa Febos as the winner of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance’s 2021 Maine Chapbook Series. She is a 2022 Ashley Bryan Fellow and was named a Lit Fest Fellow by the MWPA, in which capacity she helped organize the state’s first inaugural Maine Lit Fest. She also serves on the Community Advisory Board for the MWPA. She was accepted for a residency for the 2022 summer season at Hewnoaks, where she was additionally awarded a grant from the Maine Arts Commission to complete her first manuscript. In 2023, she was chosen to be on the jury for the Maine Literary Awards.


Leila Christine Nadir is an Afghan-American artist and writer whose work appears in literary and scholarly journals, in museums and galleries, and in forests, classrooms, and kitchens. Her writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly ReviewKhôraBlack Warrior ReviewNorth American ReviewASAP, and Aster(ix), and has been supported by awards and fellowships from MacDowell, Hedgebrook, Bread Loaf, Tin House, the de Groot Foundation, and Aspen Words. More info: www.leila.xyz. Instagram: @afghan_vegan.


Minquansis Sapiel is a Passamaquoddy TribaI member, mother of three daughters and has a Masters in Social Work. Her daughter also illustrated the children’s book she wrote Little People of the Dawn. She grew up on the Sipayik Reservation and moved off to go to college at the University of Maine. She also has her Captain’s license and offers whale watching tours.


(Thursday) 6:30 pm


Mechanics' Hall


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