2012 - 2013 Fellows

Kelli Ford
Z Z Packer

Kelli Ford
Photo by Valerie Hancock

ZZ Packer
Photo by Darren Carroll

ZZ Packer and Kelli Ford have been awarded the 2012 - 2013 Dobie Paisano Writing Fellowships sponsored by the Graduate School at The University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Institute of Letters.  First runner-up for the Johnston Fellowship is poet Suzan Somers-Willet, and second runner-up  is novelist Angie Cruz.  Runner-up for the Jones Fellowship is poet Malachi Black.

The fellowships allow writers to spend four to six months at the Paisano Ranch, J. Frank Dobie’s former retreat west of Austin, and now owned and maintained by The University of Texas at Austin.  The Dobie Paisano Fellowship Program provides solitude, time and a comfortable place for Texas writers or writers who have written significantly about Texas.

Kelli Ford is the recipient of the Jesse H. Jones Creative Writing Fellowship and will spend six months at the Paisano Ranch.  Kelli was born in Tahlequah, the capital of the Cherokee Nation, and grew up in North Texas.  She teaches English at the College of Western Idaho in Boise, where she lives with her husband Scott and a mutt named Sylvia.  Kelli completed an M.F.A. at George Mason University, was awarded George Mason’s Narrative Thesis Fellowship, and served as Fiction Editor at Phoebe: A Journal of Literature and Art

She’ll spend her time at the ranch finishing up Crooked Hallelujah, a collection of linked short stories that takes place in Indian Country and along the banks of the Red River.  Her work appears or is forthcoming in Fifty-Two Stories, Drunken Boat, and SmokeLong Quarterly, among other places.

ZZ Packer has been awarded the Ralph A. Johnston Memorial Fellowship.  ZZ is the author of the short story collection, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, a PEN/Faulkner finalist and a New York Times Notable Book.  Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Story, Ploughshares, Zoetrope and The Best American Short Stories 2000 and 2004 and have been read on NPR’s Selected Shorts.

Her nonfiction has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Magazine, The American Prospect, Essence, O, The Believer and Salon.  She is a contributor to The Huffington Post, and has appeared several times as a commentator on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and MSNBC.
ZZ taught Creative Writing at the Michener Center for Writers at The University of Texas at Austin in 2008, and was the Visiting Professor in the MFA Program of Creative Writing at Texas State University in 2010.  She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and was recently named one of  America’s Young Innovators by Smithsonian Magazine as well as one America’s Best Young novelists by Granta Magazine.