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Berkshire County Historical Society Announces Melville Fellows
12:22PM / Wednesday, August 25, 2021
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire County Historical Society has named Shawna Hennessy, Aylen Dominguez, and Hazel Richards Melville Fellows for 2021-22. 
The fellowship program, which began in 2018, annually awards  Berkshire County college students the opportunity to work at Herman Melville's Arrowhead to create one or more pieces of original writing inspired by Arrowhead's surroundings and the BCHS collection. The fellowship program does not restrict the type or subject of the works created, giving participants a breadth of creative freedom. Arrowhead's Writer-in-Residence Emeritus Jana Laiz spearheads the program and works in groups and individually with each Fellow from Sept. 15 to Dec. 15. 
"I am excited to work with these talented, passionate young writers in this very meaningful space, mentoring them and helping them hone their craft," said Laiz.
Fellows will read their original works at a public event in February, 2022.
"Arrowhead inspired some of Melville's greatest writings," said Executive Director Lesley Herzberg. "We are pleased to share the source of his inspiration with such a talented group of young writers."
The Fellows, In Their Own Words
Shawna Hennessy—Lunenburg, Massachusetts; MCLA; Creative Writing; Class of 2022
"I am excited to be a part of the Melville Fellows program because it gives me the opportunity to write in an environment full of like-minded people who care about writing as much as I do and puts me in a place where I am forced by the very atmosphere to write pieces that I'm passionate about just as Herman Melville did. I hope to get out of this experience a more disciplined approach to my writing and pursue my passion of storytelling…"
Aylen Dominguez—Buenos Aires/Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Berkshire Community College; Liberal Arts; Class of 2023
"I feel so grateful and beyond excited to partake in this amazing opportunity. I cherish this because as a person who dreams of becoming an author, it's priceless to be able to experience with my own five senses and gather inspiration from a place where the great Herman Melville lived and created. Not to mention I will have the chance and honor of working with Jana Laiz."
Hazel Richards—Ashland, Oregon; Williams College; History, Comparative Literature, and French triple major; Class of 2023
"I am so excited to be a Melville Fellow as I am someone who loves physical spaces, museums, and books! I think that being where something was created or happened is very important and I cannot wait to spend time at Arrowhead."
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