Art Omi: Writers
Art Omi: Writers hosts authors and translators from around the world for residencies throughout the spring and fall. The program’s strong international emphasis provides exposure for global literary voices and reflects the spirit of cultural exchange that is essential to Art Omi’s mission.
Guests may select a residency of one week to two months; about ten writers at a time gather to live and work in a rural setting overlooking the Catskill Mountains. Daytime is reserved for writing and quiet activities, while evenings are more communal. A program of weekly visits bring guests from the New York publishing community. Noted editors, agents and book scouts are invited to share dinner and conversation on both creative and practical subjects, offering insight into the workings of the publishing industry, and introductions to some of its key professionals. Readings throughout the year invite the public to experience finished and in-process work by writers and translators in residence.
Art Omi: Writers welcomes published writers and translators of every type of literature. All text-based projects -- fiction, nonfiction, theater, film, poetry, etc.—are eligible. International, cultural and creative exchange is a foundation of our mission, and a wide distribution of national background is an important part of our selection process.
All residencies are fully funded with accommodations, food, local transport and public programming provided. However, please note that Art Omi: Writers does not provide travel funds. Selected residents are responsible for funding their own travel or securing travel funds from a third party.
Notable alumni include:
- Joseph O'Neill author of Netherland, which won the Pen/Faulkner Award
- Aleksander Hemon, author of The Question of Bruno, recipient of a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation
- Gary Shteyngart, bestselling author of The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Absurdistan, and Super Sad True Love Story
- Susan Choi, bestselling author of American Woman and inaugural recipient of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award.
- Goce Smilevski, author of Freud's Sister, which one the European Union Prize for Literature
- Jan Brandt, bestselling author of Gegen Die Welt (Against the World)
- Buket Uzuner, international bestselling author of Istanbulians
- James Hannaham, author of Delicious Foods, which won the PEN/Faulker Award and the Hurston-Wright Award.
- Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin which won the National Book Award
- Kiran Desai, bestselling author of Inheritance of Loss, which won the Man Booker Prize
- Mikhail Shishkin, bestselling author of The Taking of Izmail, which won the Russian Booker Prize
- Shehan Karunatilaka, author of Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Matthew, which won the Commonwealth Prize
In early November, Art Omi: Writers hosts an annual Translation Lab, in which four English language translators are invited to work alongside the writers whose work they translate. The focused residency provides an integral stage of refinement, allowing translators to dialogue with the writers about text-specific questions. The Translation Lab emphasizes translation as a means towards cultural exchange.
The focused residency provides an integral stage of refinement, allowing translators to dialogue with the writers about text-specific questions. Following in the tradition of the Art Omi: Writers residency as started by Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlt, the Translation Lab emphasizes translation as a means towards cultural exchange. It serves as an essential community builder for English language translators who are working to increase the amount of international literature available to American readers, as it is currently estimated that less than three percent of all books published in the United States are translated works.
The residency is a rare and unique opportunity for writers and their translators to work together, considering that most writers never meet their translators in person. All text-based projects—fiction, nonfiction, theater, film, poetry, etc.—are eligible.
Translation Lab is fully funded, including travel, room and board, meals, and workspaces and are made possible in part by Amazon.com.
Accommodations & Facilities
Art Omi is located two and a half hours north of New York City in the historic Hudson River Valley. Named for a neighboring village, Omi is close to the small town of Ghent, New York, as well as Albany and Hudson, which offer train connections only thirty minutes away.
The facilities, situated on three hundred acres of open land, include a large two-story barn with indoor studios; contemporary residence buildings designed with a vernacular reference to local barns, surrounded by abundant perennial beds, expansive lawns dotted with fruit trees, adjacent to The Sculpture and Architecture Park. Residents receive private bedroom accommodations with shared bathrooms and common areas.
A Federal Period farm house serves as a gathering center, providing a full kitchen and library; while the front porch overlooks rolling hills and the majestic outline of the Catskill Range. A swimming pool, bicycles, WiFi access and a computer with printing capability is available on the premises.
Columbia County, and the nearby Berkshire Mountains, are popular destinations because of their historical, natural and cultural riches. From bird sanctuaries to modern dance, presidential mansions to farmer’s markets, the environs offer a singular blend of rural quiet and cultural stimulation. Staff and friends in the neighborhood are often available for excursions of interest to residents. The local library has a modest collection, but is a member of the Mid-Hudson group, calling on the resources of libraries within much of eastern New York.
How to Apply
2020 Open Call for Applications: August 15 - October 15, 2019 CLOSED
2020 Residency Dates: Spring, March 20 - June 5, 2020 / Fall, September 4 - November 6, 2020
Application Requirements: CV/work history, work statement, writing sample, letter of reference. Alumni of the program are eligible to reapply. 2020 residency applicants will be notified in January 2020.
Director & Board
Director, Art Omi: Writers
DW Gibson is the author of The Edge Becomes the Center: An Oral History of Gentrification in the Twenty-First Century (winner of the 2015 Brooklyn Eagle Literary Prize) and Not Working: People Talk About Losing a Job and Finding Their Way in Today's Changing Economy. He shared a National Magazine Award for his work on ""This Is the Story of One Block in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn"" (New York Magazine.) His work has also appeared in Harper's, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The Village Voice, The Caravan, and he has been a contributor to NPR's All Things Considered.
Deputy Director, Art Omi: Writers
Carol Frederick worked at Time Equities, Inc. as Director of Public Relations, and directed the International Scouting Department of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Since relocating upstate, she has worked as an editorial consultant and a chef, founding the cafe at the Benenson Visitors Center. Carol has been an active board member of Art Omi: Writers from its inception until she joined the staff as Residency Host.
- Esther Allen
- Dorthe Binkert
- Dominique Bourgois
- Bill Clegg
- Chandler Crawford
- Nayana Currimbhoy
- Nicholas Ellison
- Barbara Epler
- Inge Feltrinelli *
- Alexander Fest
- Gary Fisketjon
- Karin Graf
- Francis Greenburger, Chair & Founder
- Nikolaus Hansen, Co-Chair
- Beena Kamlani
- David Knowles
- Karsten Kredel
- Agnes Krup
- Antje Landshoff-Ellermann
- Jeffrey Lependorf
- Carol Mann
- Viktor Niemann
- Marleen Reimer
- Daniel Slager
- Thomas Überhoff
- Barbara Tolley, Co-Chair
- Luciana Villas-Boas
- Lucas Wittmann
- Sally Wofford-Girand
- Edward J. Acton
- T.D. Allman
- Sara Bershtel
- Anna Bourgeois
- Oliver Bourgeois
- George Cockcroft
- Ariane Fink
- Jack Macrae
- Emily Mann
- Michael Naumann
- Nenad Popovich
- Ulla Rowohlt
- Siegfried Lenz Foundation
- Whiting Foundation
- National Foundation for Jewish Culture
- Piper Verlag
- Rowohlt Verlag
- Dutch Foundation for Literature
- Amazon Literary Partnerships
- Pro Helvetia
- Institut Ramon Llull
- Aufbau Verlag
- Kommunikationsaubau Foundation
- The Robert Buchbinder Fellowship
- Francis J. Greenburger Fellowship
- Joseph Brodsky Foundation