J.C. Todd

2014 Pew Fellow

1/4: J.C. Todd, 2014 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
2/4: J.C. Todd. Photograph by Mark Hillringhouse.
3/4: Cover of J.C. Todd’s What Space This Body (Wind Publications, 2008). Design by Christina Manucy. Photograph by Ellen M. Siddons.
4/4: Photo courtesy of J.C. Todd.

“Art-making leads to art-making. I learned to write by writing.”

J.C. Todd’s (b. 1943) poems investigate the impact of war, with an insistent eye and ear on language. Her current project, War Zone, explores containments and outbursts of resistance, with sonnets that “complicate and contemporize the tradition of war poems.” Todd’s writing seeks out the tender moments that exist in contrast to devastation. “If language bears the trace of war, how can that be revealed and perhaps shaken loose?” she asks. Todd received her M.F.A. in creative writing from Warren Wilson College in 1990, and she has since taught at universities and in the Writers-in-the-Schools Program. Her works include What Space This Body (Wind Publications, 2008) as well as two chapbooks: Nightshade and Entering Pisces (Pine Press, 1995 and 1985, respectively). She’s received fellowships and grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Leeway Foundation, and the Latvian Cultural Capital Fund. Other honors include an International Artist Exchange Award from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and a scholarship to the Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators.

References

The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance is an evening-length autobiographical dance, the culmination of Philadelphia-based breakdancer Raphael Xavier’s 30 years of experience in hip-hop genres. Xavier, a 2013 Pew Fellow, plays with the rhythms of rap, break dancing and narrative to draw parallels between the performer’s body and the stage itself.

Questions of Practice

Visual artist Brent Wahl works primarily in photography and time-based mediums, transforming everyday materials and detritus into mesmerizing compositions.

Grants & Grantees

Influenced by Italian neo-realism’s emphasis on working-class protagonists, Saman’s films examine cultural identity, family, class, and daily life among Arab Americans.

An actor, director, stage designer, and playwright, Thaddeus Phillips “creates visual spectacles that take audiences to new frontiers.”

Grants & Grantees

Tina Morton (Pew Fellow, 2010) left a career as an X-ray technician to pursue documentary filmmaking.

SAADA is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a more inclusive society by giving voice to South Asian Americans through documenting, preserving, and sharing stories that represent their unique and diverse experiences.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news highlights, sculptor Kukuli Velarde and media artists Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib have been named 2015 Guggenheim Fellows. DJ and electronic musician King Britt lets followers get behind the scenes with a new subscription service.

Grants & Grantees

Dorothy Wilkie’s (Pew Fellow, 2007) choreography involves the re-staging and re-choreographing of traditional West African and Afro-Cuban dances.

The prize, established in 1981, “recognizes exemplary and provocative work by young practitioners and provides a public forum for the exchange of their ideas.”

Grants & Grantees

Toby Twining is a musician and a 2003 Pew Fellow.

Raphael Xavier presents Raphstravaganza, a contemporary circus-style performance featuring street performers, extreme BMX riders, acrobatic contortionists, and live music.

Questions of Practice

We asked the 2013 Pew Fellow poets to share samples of their work. Watch Frank Sherlock read a selection from his poem “Little Sensation.”