a year at oz: a special project with oz arts Nashville

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Our cohort of writers will attend, free of charge, OZ Arts Nashville’s entire 2018-2019 performance season, including works by Phantom Limb Company, New Dialect, Kronos Quartet, and others. They’ll create new literary and critical works in response to, and informed by, each performance. The adult cohort will work closely with Porch co-director Susannah Felts, and the youth cohort will work closely with SLANT director Joe Kane. Group discussions and critique sessions around each performance will help shape the cohort’s individual works.

Work created for this project may take many forms: poetry, narrative, hybrid forms, critical essay, participatory journalism, spoken word, and more. We are interested in discovering what the experience of OZ’s season provokes in this team of writers and how they are inspired to adapt their responses into language-based form on the page.



Carissa Stolting is the Managing Director of The Big Ears Festival and non-profit, and founder of Left Bank Artists.  Big Ears is an annual 4-day event in Knoxville, TN, featuring over one hundred performances of genre-defying, world class music, art and film.  Left Bank Artists is an independent management and development company supporting deeply innovative artists, events and projects.  In addition, writing is her #1 love.  Carissa’s work has been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, and she’s presented her short stories and poetry at a number of literary events in Nashville including Heartbreak Happy Hour, FMRL, and That Time of the Month.  

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Chris Clancy has been a journalist, researcher, columnist, and blogger for more than 20 years. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from American University, where he won the 2003 Myra Sklarew Award in Prose for Sight Reading, a thesis collection of short stories. His work has appeared in Alligator Juniper, Folio, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, the Nashville Scene, and 372WN.

Brandy A. Rogers's mission is to inspire, love, lead, and challenge others to live life to the fullest and NOTHING less. She brings an eclectic perspective to her writing as a spoken word artist, actress, dancer, writer and educator. As a lover of Jesus, she advocates for personal transformation in all of her creative processes. Every artistic process is an EXPERIENCE! Her most recent spoken word & performance works include “Stolen: African Myths Turned American” (Blue Moves Modern Dance/OZ Arts MusiCircus) and her traveling and teaching work, "Project 24.” You can follow her on Instagram @brandy_a_artistry & iambrandya.com

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Kelley Bell writes narrative essays, short fiction, flash fiction, and poetry. Recently, three of her poems were featured in the the podcast Versify, and she was the recipient of the 2017 So to Speak Fiction Prize for her short story Resurrection Man. She works full time as an education program manager at the Nashville Symphony, and has an abiding passion for ballet and modern dance.


Patriq James was raised an only child & military kid, where creative writing was a safe haven to evolve his unique experience into artistry. He danced for six years with Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company (Harlem, NY); was a Presidential Vocal Scholar at Elmhurst College; and sang BGV's for Carrie Underwood, Wynonna Judd, and Marcus Hummon. He also attended Fisk & Vanderbilt University, focusing on Speech & Communications, as well as Liberal Arts. In January of this year, Patriq's film team, Et Al Films, won a NAFCA award (African Oscar) for "In The Spotlight". His debut one-man show, La Bella Noir Noir, is a performance art/poetic journey through the importance of darkness. He continues to advocate for artists and stretch boundaries through innovative and honest live experiences. Art is the cure. 

Our Youth Cohort includes:

Owen Flanagan

Linh Pham

Grace Mays

Olivia Whitney

Sierra Jones