Friends with Money: JP Howard of Women Writers in Bloom
Welcome to our new profile column Friends with Money, where you can get to know the people that bring BAC Grants to life!
I was honored to take part in JP Howard’s funded project, Women Writers in Bloom, this past weekend. I was welcomed into a salon member’s beautiful home in Fort Greene, where I was surrounded by dynamic women artists. The environment was so nurturing, I even read some work of my own for the first time! Read on to find out more about JP Howard and her work. – mlt
Name: JP Howard
AKA: Juliet P. Howard
Hometown: Sugar Hill, Harlem!
How long have you lived in Brooklyn? Over 16 years
Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn
Favorite thing about neighborhood: It’s in walking distance to the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park and close to every train.
Funded project: My funded project Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon (WWBPS) Literary Salon & Open Mic Series is a travelling Literary Salon. I host Potluck Salons and Open Mics, with a visiting featured poet, who facilitates a monthly interactive writing workshop. Our guest poets give a reading of their work, engage in a Q & A and we end with an Open Mic, open to all participants. The Salons are held either in the homes of generous Salon members or in donated or low-cost community spaces. Thanks to the BAC grant, I was able to host last month’s magical Three-Year Anniversary Salon Celebration in DUMBO Sky loft space, with spectacular views of the East River and Manhattan. My next BAC funded Salon is Sat. June 7, 1-5pm at NYFA in DUMBO: Goddess Rising: Awakening the Sacred V comes to Women Writers in Bloom.
What else are you working on? I just completed a new poetry chapbook manuscript, Remembering Mama: Reflections on a Diva, which is in search of a home. I was recently accepted into the 2014 VONA/Voices Writing Workshop (poetry with Willie Perdomo!!!) at The University of California at Berkeley. This Spring I Curated my first Reading Series at The Bowery Poetry Club: Celebrating a Sacred Space for Women’s Voices: Women Writers in Bloom. The series features dynamic Salon poets and exposes them to a larger audience. The next installment of this Series is Sunday, May 18 at 1pm. Come down and check us out!
What’s your jam? It’s silly, but singing and dancing to the Happy video by Pharrell Williams with my 9-year son Nicholas. One of the best parts of being a parent is acting as silly as I want, without being judged. #DontJudge
Anything you’re totally over? I’m totally over folks who aren’t about truly supporting and building up community. So much more gets done when we work together, so I’ve learned to focus on working with folks who want to help build up, not tear down.
When not making art you are: Spending time traveling with my sweet family, then returning home to search for a new creative writing residency or fellowship so I can make more art!
JP HOWARD is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and recipient of a Lambda Literary Foundation Fellowship. JP curates Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon (WWBPS), a forum offering women writers at all levels, a venue to come together, in a positive and supportive space. She hosts monthly traveling literary Salons with featured guest poets. JP was accepted into VONA/Voices Workshop for 2014. She was a Cave Canem Fellow in Residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and finalist for Astraea’s Lesbian Writers Fund for poetry. JP is a member of The Hot Poets Collective. Her poems have been widely published. She was awarded an MFA in Creative Writing from The City College of New York in 2009.