Kentucky Arts Council Honors Three Louisville Writers with Al Smith Fellowships

Three of the six recipients of the 2014 Al Smith Fellowships from the Kentucky Arts Council live in Louisville. This year’s $7,500 fellowship awards recognize literary excellence in mid-career professionals. Applications for the next fellowship cycle will be considered in musical composition and visual art. 

This year’s Al Smith Fellows in the literary arts:

  • Christian Moody, fiction, Danville
  • Mark Eric Schimmoeller, creative nonfiction, Frankfort
  • Diana Grisanti, playwriting, Louisville
  • Makalani Bandele, poetry, Louisville
  • Steve Moulds, playwriting, Louisville
  • Carrie Jerrel, poetry, Murray

Poet and Louisville native Makalani Bandele is the author of “hellfightin‘,” his debut collection of poems published by Willow Books in 2012. Bandele is a member of the Affrilachian Poets, a writing movement and collective whose founding members include now-Kentucky poet laureate Frank X Walker and National Book Award winner Nikky Finney, and a fellow at Cave Canem, the premiere writing center in the country for African American poets. 

Diana Grisanti is a Louisville native whose plays have been produced by the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville and Walden Theatre. She was the inaugural recipient of the Marsha Norman Spirit of Achievement Lilly Award (2011) and her play “Semantics” was a finalist for the Kennedy Center’s Paula Vogel Award. She is a playwright-in-residence with Louisville’s Theatre [502], where she and Steve Moulds wrote last season’s serial play “The Stranger and Ludlow Quinn,” are are now writing and curating the “Ludlow Quinn Presents” new play series. 

Steve Moulds is a Jefferson Award-nominated playwright whose work has been produced in the Humana Festival (most recently, the writing team for the 2012 apprentice anthology “Oh, Gastronomy!”), The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis and History Theatre in Saint Paul. He is also a former National New Play Network Playwright in Residence at Denver’s Curious Theatre Company, and this year he was awarded a prestigious Jerome Fellowship for emerging playwrights from the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis.

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