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The view from an artist’s desk at UCross. “I feel so grateful to this place,” Nicole Sara Simpkins said. “There is something so impactful about the quietness and attention that the landscape demands.”

UCROSS — Ucross, a prestigious artist residency program and creative laboratory for the arts, announced its Fall 2021 Fellowships for Native American Visual Artists and Writers. 

Novelist Brandon Hobson lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where he is assistant professor of English at New Mexico State University. He also teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Interdisciplinary artist Jessica Mehta, currently based in Exeter, England, is completing a PhD at the University of Exeter. She was recently awarded a 2021/2022 Fulbright U.S. Scholar award in Bangalore, India. Both fellows are enrolled citizens of the Cherokee (Aniyunwiya) Nation.

Hobson and Mehta will each receive residencies that include uninterrupted time, studio space and living accommodations on the 20,000-acre Ucross ranch. Each fellow is awarded a $2,000 stipend, as well as opportunities to present their work publicly, at Ucross or elsewhere.

“We are honored to award our Native American Fellowships for Writers and Visual Artists to Brandon and Jessica,” said Ucross President and Executive Director Sharon Dynak. “These two accomplished artists have shown excellence and great dedication to their craft. We are thrilled to be able to support each of them with the gift of uninterrupted time, and to welcome them to Ucross this fall.”

Hobson’s most recent novel is “The Removed,” published to high praise earlier this year by Ecco Press. His previous novel, “Where the Dead Sit Talking,” was a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Reading the West Book Award and longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award. He is also the author of “Desolation of Avenues Untold” and “Deep Ellum.” At Ucross, he plans to work on a book that will be published by Scholastic. His writing has won a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in many journals, including McSweeney’s and Conjunctions.

Mehta is the recipient of a 2021 GLEAN: Portland award, Regional Arts and Culture Council Make/Learn/Build award and is the upcoming poet in residence at Hugo House in Seattle. In 2020, she was a First Peoples Fund Artist in Business Fellow. She has two books releasing this year, “When We Talk of Stolen Sisters” (Not a Pipe Publishing) and “Antipodes” (New Rivers Press). Her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries, including Carnation Contemporary Gallery in Portland and the International Print Center in New York. While completing her PhD in Literature at the University of Exeter, she serves as a post-graduate researcher at the largest Victorian Centre in England, the first Native American to hold this position.

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