Introducing GrubStreet’s 2021-2022 Teaching Fellows

We’re thrilled to introduce GrubStreet’s 2021-2022 Teaching Fellows: Simone Dalton and Crystal Valentine.

Last year, we announced plans to launch a new year-long Teaching Fellowship program to provide financial and professional development support to two self-identified Black writers interested in teaching classes, participating in events, and working with our instructors and staff to deepen our curriculum.

We could not be more excited to congratulate and welcome Simone and Crystal, two brilliant, generous writers and educators. We hope this Fellowship will be a transformative and fun year, and we’re looking forward to seeing them around GrubStreet as they work on their manuscripts, teach classes, and generally nerd out with us on creative writing pedagogy.

Learn more about Simone and Crystal and find out what excites them about being the first GrubStreet teaching fellows:

Simone Dalton is an author, creative writing instructor, and the recipient of the 2020 RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Prize for nonfiction. She holds an MFA from the University of Guelph. Her work is anthologized in Watch Your Head; Black Writers Matter, winner of the 2020 Saskatchewan Award for Book Publishing; and The Unpublished City: Volume I, a finalist for the 2018 Toronto Book Awards. In 2019, her play “VOWS” was produced for RARE Theatre’s Welcome to My Underworld. For 12 years, she told stories for social change in her career as a public relations and communications professional. Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Simone started a foundation to support education for young steelpan artists and creatives.


GrubStreet: What are you most excited about for this fellowship? 

Simone Dalton: I am most excited about being in service to writers who are interested in experimenting with writing, language, and, ultimately, identity, as I am within my practice.

Crystal Valentine is a queer, Black woman from the Bronx now residing in Boston, Massachusetts. A former New York City Youth Poet Laureate and two-time winner of the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational, Crystal has been offered fellowships from Callaloo, Tin House and Bread Loaf. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic Anthology (Haymarket Books), TriQuarterly Magazine, Muzzle Magazine, Winter Tangerine and elsewhere. She received an MFA from New York University as a Goldwater Fellow. Currently, she is the festival manager for the Massachusetts Poetry Festival and GrubStreet's inaugural Black Teaching Fellow. When she isn’t writing or agonizing over line breaks, you can find her watching anime and dreaming.


GrubStreet: What are you most excited about for this fellowship?

Crystal Valentine: I have been working on my poetry manuscript which centers my mother, Tina Turner, and other Black female figures for the past five years, and am grateful for the space and resources to see it to completion. I am also extremely excited for the opportunity to expand my pedagogy and build with the GrubStreet community.

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