The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Flamboyan Foundation’s Arts Fund have jointly established the Letras Boricuas Fellowship, which will support emerging and established Puerto Rican writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s literature. Each of the 30 fellowships will come with an unrestricted $25,000 grant, with the first 15 writers to be announced this November.
The fellowships are open to Puerto Rican writers living in Puerto Rico and from across the diaspora in the United States. Applications may be submitted in either Spanish or English. The deadline is June 20.
“The literature of Puerto Rico—poems, memoirs, fiction, nonfiction, and creatively mixed genres—is an open window into Puerto Rico’s rich and complex cultural lineages, on the island and in diaspora,” Mellon Foundation president Elizabeth Alexander said in a statement. “Mellon’s program initiative and funding in Puerto Rico was one of my first commitments when I came to lead the Foundation, and we are now thrilled to partner with our friends at the Flamboyan Foundation to fund the Letras Boricuas Fellowship.”
Carlos Rodríguez Silvestre, executive director of Flamboyan, added: “We can’t think of a better way to honor the rich heritage and diversity of Puerto Rican literature in the archipelago and the diaspora than creating a fellowship that lets writers do what they know how to do best. Our Flamboyan Arts Fund recognizes the existing lack of support for this particular sector and the absence of funding opportunities for them in Puerto Rico and abroad.”
Since 2018, the Mellon Foundation has committed more than $11 million in funding to support the arts and humanities in Puerto Rico, with the Flamboyan Foundation providing more than $10 million of its own in the wake of hurricanes María and Irma. The two foundations also worked jointly in response to the Covid-19 pandemic to provide $1 million in emergency relief to 89 art organizations and 450 individual artists in Puerto Rico in 2020.