Edra Stephens

University of South Carolina Beaufort English major, Gullah poet and novelist Edra Stephens has been selected as a manuscript fellow for prestigious writers’ workshop The Watering Hole. She is the first USCB student to be chosen for this honor. The Watering Hole hosts the only Southern writing retreat for poets of color and draws 50-60 poets each year. She was invited to the tenth annual winter retreat, held in McCormick, SC, and will attend two more week-long retreats with the group in 2023.

Stephens, who grew up on Hilton Head Island, will bring to the group selected poems and a section of her first novel, “Born White, Dying Black.”

The Watering Hole has its roots in Cave Canem, a writers retreat hosted by Dr. Kwame Dawes, editor of Prairie Schooner, with sessions led by National Book Award winner Nikky Finney, International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent inductee Patricia Smith, and co-founder of Affrilachian Poets Frank X Walker.