photo by Erin Mayes
The winners of the Dobie Paisano writing fellowships for 2006-2007 are Sam Taylor, a poet, who is the caretaker of the Vallecitos Mountain Refuge in the Carson National Forest, New Mexico, and Vicente Lozano, a fiction writer. He is a Systems administrator for the Undergraduate Writing Center at UT Austin.
The fellowships, sponsored by The University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Institute of Letters, allow writers to spend six months at Paisano, the late author J. Frank Dobie's 254-acre retreat west of Austin, now owned and maintained by The University of Texas at Austin.
Taylor, who will hold the Ralph Johnston Memorial Fellowship, will begin residence at Paisano in September. Lozano will hold the Jesse Jones Writing Fellowship and begin residency at Paisano in March 2007.
A native of Florida, Taylor received his B.A. from Swarthmore College and his MFA in Writing from UT Austin, where he held a Michener Fellowship in Poetry. He has published poems in a wide variety of literary journals and his collection of poetry, Body of the World, was published by Ausable Press in 2005. At Paisano Taylor plans to work on a second collection of poems that "strives to achieve an engaged voice within the American landscape and that endeavors to speak as a citizen-poet into our collective moment of history."
When Lozano was 13, his father retired from the Air Force and moved the family back to the Texas Gulf Coast, where his Mexican-American forbears settled in the 1880s. He received a BA, an MA in English, and the Master of Library and Information Science from UT Austin. Lozano held a Michener post-graduate fellowship in fiction and was runner-up for the Paisano Fellowships in 2000. For 15 years he has pursued his family's complicated Border history, drawing on Chicano scholarship, archival material and family gossip. As the Texas Observer put it recently: Lozano "stumbled onto his great obsession, a family history that in its own way is a microcosm of the history of North America." For the past three years Lozano has participated in Sandra Cisneros's Macondo Workshop, a week of master classes by distinguished multi-cultural faculty for artists engaged in community work. During his residency Lozano plans to complete "The Free Floating Broadcast," the first installment of his fictionalized family history.
The runners-up for the fellowships are Michael Erard of Austin, a nonfiction writer, and Dao Strom, also of Austin, who is a writer of fiction. Her book of short stories, The Gentle Order of Girls and Boys, was published by Counterpoint Press in 2006.