Biography Fellowships for 2016-2017

Former fellows who have published books worked on during their fellowships include Adam Begley (Updike), James Davis (Eric Walrond: A Life in the Harlem Renaissance and the Transatlantic Caribbean), Langdon Hammer (James Merrill: Life and Art), Elizabeth Kendall (Balanchine and the Lost Muse), Wendy Lesser (Music for Silenced Voices: Shostakovich and His Fifteen Quartets), John Matteson (The Lives of Margaret Fuller), D.T. Max (Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace), Pamela Newkirk (Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga), Molly Peacock (The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life's Work at 72), and Siobhan Roberts (Genius at Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway).


The Leon Levy Center for Biography aims to cultivate a lively interdisciplinary discussion about the art and craft of biography historically and in our time, both in and out of the academy. Applications are particularly welcome from CUNY faculty, but fellows may not teach or partake in other full-time employment during their academic year-in-residence. While our selection committees evaluate each application on its own merits, preference in the award of fellowships is given to those who have not yet published a biography or received fellowships for the writing of a biography. We also welcome applications from published and accomplished writers who are undertaking their first biography. The Leon Levy Center for Biography does not award fellowships for work on autobiographies, memoirs, essays, plays, films, or fiction. 


Applications for 2016-2017 Biography Fellowships are available for download and online submission on our website, with a deadline of December 15, 2015. Applications require a brief resume or CV (3 pages max), a narrative account of the applicant's career (250 words), a project description (750 words), a sample of the proposed biography (maximum 2,500 words), and four letters of reference. Fellowship decisions will be announced, and all applicants notified, in mid-April.


For more information, please visit



Michael Gately

Program Director, Leon Levy Center for Biography

The Graduate Center, CUNY

365 Fifth Ave., Room 6104

New York, NY 10016