Mahogany Browne (M.F.A. Writing ’16) and Jive Poetic (M.F.A. Writing ’17) have been selected as the first two recipients of the newly instituted Stacy Doris Scholarship Fund.

The scholarship provides tuition relief for first- and second-year MFA in Writing students, and was named for renowned experimental poet, educator, and translator Stacy Doris (1962-2012). It was made possible by a $30,000 grant earlier this year from the Tamaas Foundation, a cross-cultural arts organization that focuses on placing artists and thinkers in direct contact with disempowered communities. Tamaas will also provide an additional $2,000 a year to underwrite visiting lectures. The foundation was co-founded by visiting assistant professor Sarah Riggs, a core MFA in Writing faculty member.

“Tamaas wishes to support the Pratt M.F.A. in Writing because of its pioneering work in bridging creativity and activism,” noted Riggs.

The new Pratt MFA in Writing is a ground-breaking program designed to incubate writing practices that are culturally and politically informed, and to activate these practices in the world. The premise of the program is that writing can be transformative at all scales, and outside engagement—extending one’s writing practice beyond the page—is central to its vision.

Browne, who founded the group Women Writers of Color (WWOC) at Pratt, said, “With the assistance of the Stacy Doris Scholarship Fund I have been able to focus on my newest collection of short stories while finalizing the details of my field work project titled The Women Writers of Color Reading Room.”

For Poetic, the scholarship will offer support in achieving a cherished objective. “It has always been my position that the education of an artist and activist should never come to an end. I am certain that without this financial assistance I would not be in any position to pursue my goal of obtaining an M.F.A. in Writing,” he said.