The Edna Payne Clarke Fellowship
The Edna Payne Clarke Fellowship was created by Breena Clarke and Cheryl Clarke and provided full Retreat funding for an African American woman/woman of the African diaspora.
Breena shared with AROHO her intention for the fellowship as well as her thoughts on what it means to be part of the legacy of women writers on AROHO’s Legacy Circle scarf (below):
I’m thrilled to be in such august company. I’m sure my mother, Edna Payne Clarke, would be so very pleased as well. There we are : The Clarke sisters. It is always a point of pride for me to say that I’m an AROHO sister. My first AROHO retreat was the first one I think. I had a success with my debut novel, River, Cross My Heart, and I was asked to read and talk and conduct a workshop. This was a nervous time for me. I was trying desperately to complete a manuscript that was not coming together so well. The Retreat – the camaraderie — the other women searching and struggling and floundering and succeeding gave me a lift. And a lift is a great thing.
I am always proud to recommend the AROHO Foundation and its programs to a sister writer. I especially believe in the magical enrichment of the AROHO Retreat at Ghost Ranch. I was at the AROHO Retreat in 2003 when news reached me that my mother had died. The deep emotions of that moment and the dazzling mesas and the warmth and strength of my colleagues/sisters is printed indelibly in my mind. It is with great pride and profound joy that my sister, Cheryl Clarke and I created The Edna Payne Clarke Fellowship. In memory of our mother, Edna Payne Clarke, we’d like to continue the legacy of supporting the opportunity for an African American/African diaspora woman to attend the AROHO Retreat at Ghost Ranch.
The Retreat – the camaraderie — the other women searching and struggling and floundering and succeeding gave me a lift. And a lift is a great thing.