San Antonio Poet Laureate Andrea 'Vocab' Sanderson wins $50,000 fellowship

click to enlarge San Antonio Poet Laureate Andrea "Vocab" Sanderson has won a $50,000 grand to fund The Echo Project. - JADE ESTEBAN ESTRADA
Jade Esteban Estrada
San Antonio Poet Laureate Andrea "Vocab" Sanderson has won a $50,000 grand to fund The Echo Project.
San Antonio poet laureate Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson has landed a $50,000 fellowship from the American Academy of Poets for a project that will collect community members' oral histories and use them to create works of art.

Sanderson was one of 23 city and state poets laureate to win 2021 fellowships through an American Academy of Poets program created to fund public poetry initiatives.

Sanderson's fellowship will fund The Echo Project, which will help young artists record oral histories of "elders, historians, leaders, veteran artists, activists and educators," according to the academy's announcement. The young creatives will use those stories as a basis for poetry and other artistic expressions.

Sanderson will work in partnership with the Carver Community Cultural Center and others on the program.

In an interview with the San Antonio Report, Sanderson said she wants The Echo Project to narrow a “generational gap” between young people and their elders, “who have great stories to tell and have contributed so much to the artistic culture of San Antonio.”

The American Academy of Poets is one of the nation's largest financial supporters of poets.

“As we begin emerging from COVID-19 restrictions, poetry, which has provided such comfort these past fifteen months, will continue to be a source of insight," said Jennifer Benka, the organization's president and executive director. "We are honored and humbled to fund poets who are devoted to their own craft and also their community. Poets will most certainly help guide us forward.”

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