Institutional News

Nico Amador Selected as Residential Teaching Fellow at Bennington Writing Seminars

Nico Amador MFA '22, a second-term MFA student in poetry, has been selected to be the fifth Residential Teaching Fellow at the Bennington Writing Seminars.

Image of Nico Amador

The fellowship is the first of its kind in the country to offer full-time undergraduate teaching experience in a low-residency MFA format. Benefits include full tuition remission for one term, housing and board, and enrollment in an on-campus class.

“We conceived this fellowship to give Bennington students a unique opportunity to have full-time teaching experience and also to work closely with our literary partners,” said Mark Wunderlich, Director of the Bennington Writing Seminars. “We’re thrilled to have Nico here as a Residential Teaching Fellow. His skills and experience are well-suited to the shift to hybrid learning during the pandemic.”

Amador is working with Bennington faculty member Manuel Gonzales in his course Screenwriting: The Story Studio. His duties include grading, advising, assisting in the development of course materials, guest lecturing, and research, among other responsibilities.

Amador will also gain experience in arts administration while assisting Michael Dumanis with duties at The Bennington Review, along with continuing his regular MFA coursework.

“During a time of so much isolation, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Bennington community this fall and excited to connect with undergraduates who are learning about themselves as writers and developing a vision for their creative work,” said Amador.

Amador previously served as the Executive Director for Training for Change, a national organization dedicated to promoting skills, analysis and training in popular education methods among people using direct action and other strategies to create social change. His prior work has also included efforts to fight mass incarceration, win a living wage, establish sanctuary policies, and end a public transportation system policy that discriminated against trans and non-binary passengers in Philadelphia. His poems have appeared in Bettering American Poetry, Vol 3., the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, The Cortland Review, Hypertext Review, Poets Reading the News, Nimrod International Journal, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Flower
, was selected as the winner of the Anzaldúa Poetry Prize and published by Newfound Press in 2017. He is a recent grant recipient from the Vermont Arts Council and an alumni of the Lambda Literary Foundation's Writers Retreat.

This competitive fellowship is open to Bennington MFA students rising into their second, third, or fourth term. Students are mentored one-on-one with the on-campus faculty member with whom they are working, and by the faculty mentor with whom they have been assigned to work on their manuscript. Amador has studied with Bennington faculty members Craig Morgan Teicher and Jennifer Chang.