Annie Wenstrup

Fairbanks
2023 Project AwardLiterary Arts/Scriptworks

2023 Project Award

Wenstrup will revise a collection of her poems and complete “The Museum of Unnatural Histories” about the experiences of a mixed-race, Dena’ina woman. These poems present a unique perspective of urban Indigeneity informed by Dena’ina and Western culture through the filters of race, gender and class.

Wenstrup’s poetry creates portals and moments of connection between the author, the text and the reader. Wenstrup is Dena’ina and the traditional Dena’ina stories braided throughout the collection belong to her family. Telling these stories will deepen her own connection to her family and culture and will offer her poems’ speakers alternate lenses for experiencing their own selves.

During this year-long period of research and revision, Wenstrup will attend residencies and travel to museums to meet with curators and docents to learn about the artwork included in her poetry. She will consult with a Dena’ina language teacher and culture bearer to ensure her work is accurate. The award will also help with the cost of childcare while she completes her manuscript to submit for publication.

Artwork samples

Experience Wenstrup’s poem “I worry about what will happen to my body during the Rapture:

Listen to and read Wenstrup’s poem “Sukdu’a” on the Poetry Foundation website, first published in POETRY Magazine’s July/August 2023 issue.