Ryan Eckes

2016 Pew Fellow

1/5: Ryan Eckes, 2016 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
2/5: Ryan Eckes, 2016 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
3/5: Photo courtesy of Ryan Eckes.
4/5: Ryan Eckes’ Valu-Plus, Furniture Press Books. Photo courtesy of the artist.
5/5: Ryan Eckes. Photo courtesy of the artist.

“If history is an ongoing shared rootedness to a place, then poetry is made of voices and materials that hash out that place; that testify to the inextricability of our fates.”

Ryan Eckes’ (b.1979) narrative-driven poetry is, in his words, “a possible form of history:” a way to document the voices and conditions of urban life. He characterizes his writing as “deeply investigative” and “documentary-like.” Eckes’ book Old News (Furniture Press, 2011) weaves newspaper articles from the 1920s with his neighbors’ personal accounts of life in South Philadelphia in a series of poems that run between lyric and narrative. In his latest book, Valu-Plus (Furniture Press, 2014), Eckes continues his examination of Philadelphia, as he imaginatively makes use of corporate language, workplace correspondence, and other non-poetic texts, “in search of free expression and experience,” he says. Eckes is currently at work on a book about the influence of public and private transit on the conditions of city life. He has served as adjunct professor at numerous regional colleges over the past decade, and in recent years as a labor organizer in education. Eckes holds an MA in creative writing and English from Temple University.


Grants & Grantees

Nicholas Wardigo is a theater artist and a 2004 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

Named for Doylestown’s most famous son, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer James A. Michener, this museum was founded in 1988 with a regional focus, housing a collection of Pennsylvania impressionist paintings.

Pew Fellow and former Philadelphia Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez leads a poetry workshop exploring the history of Johnson House, Philadelphia’s only intact stop on the Underground Railroad.

Grants & Grantees

In 1998 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 52 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations in the greater Philadelphia region.

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.

Grants & Grantees

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

Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys are 2013 Pew Fellows, founding partners of PEG office of landscape + architecture, and PennDesign faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.

This research project will examine the unknown biography of aristocrat and eminent botanist William Hamilton and his role as a “bachelor gentleman” in 18th-century Philadelphia, with the goal of creating new interpretive programs that will enable visitors to connect to contemporary discourse on family, class, gender, and race.

Pew Fellow Geoff Sobelle’s award-winning production of The Object Lesson travels to Ohio’s Wexner Center for the Arts.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Carlos Basualdo is the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Curator of Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Grants & Grantees

The overall intent of my work is to develop a visual myth about the build up and aftermath of war.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Sigrid Nunez has published several novels and her work has appeared in several anthologies, including two Pushcart Prize volumes.