Antoinette Cooper '20 and C. Quintana '13 Awarded 2022 Winter Literature Grants

Rebecca Pinwei Tseng
April 15, 2022

Poetry alumna Antoinette Cooper '20 and Theatre alumna C. Quintana '13 were recently awarded 2022 Winter Literature Grants from The Café Royal Cultural Foundation NYC to support their current projects.

Established in 2007, The Café Royal Cultural Foundation offers grants and support for artists working in music, visual arts, performance, and literature. The Literature Grant awards up to $10,000 to selected authors of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting in New York City to help fund writing practices. The committee selects grantees based on creativity and originality, writing style, the importance of the project and cultural relevance, and the author's promise of future achievements in writing.

Cooper was awarded a grant for her upcoming book, Unruly. In Unruly, Cooper explores "the landscape of the Black female body through multiple narratives—medical, historical, contemporary social justice, and the personal." Unruly is a multi-genre collection that utilizes documentary poetry, prose, medical narratives, and images to document the history and present violence of anti-Blackness in social, legal, financial, medical, and countless other systems.

Antoinette Cooper, born in Jamaica and raised in NYC, is a writer, rainmaker, and TEDx speaker. Along with her MFA from Columbia, she holds a B.A. from Cornell and sits on the board of Narrative Medicine at CUNY School of Medicine. When she isn’t writing of the confluence of beauty and brutality then she is reimagining reparations through Black Exhale, a space for the liberated collective Black body.

Quintana was awarded a grant for her novel-in-progress, The Twisted Fate of La Media Luna. The novel follows Evangeline Odio, a native islander from the invented island of La Media Luna—an island that reflects a collision of the complex cultural worlds of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. By melding Yoruban and Taíno lore, The Twisted Fate of La Media Luna explores "the multitudes of queer women and nonbinary figures of color, as well as new mythology in a contemporary world not unlike our own."

C. Quintana, or CQ (she/any) is a queer writer with Cuban and Louisiana roots based on unceded Canarsee and Munsee Lenape land in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. CQ is the author of the full-length play Scissoring (Dramatists Play Service) and The Heart Wants, a chapbook of poetry (Finishing Line Press). The recipient of residencies and fellowships from MacDowell, Playwrights Realm, Van Lier New Voices at the Lark, Queer/Art, and Lambda Literary, their poetry, lyric essay, and fiction is published or forthcoming in Third CoastFoglifterBOMB MagazineLatino Book Reviewgreat weather for MEDIA, and beyond. She is currently staffed on a new cable television series, developing an Audible Emerging Playwrights Fund commission, and her musical adaptation of Elizabeth Acevedo's Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths with composer Janelle Lawrence premieres at the Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences this month.