Molly McCully Brown has been named the inaugural recipient of The Oxford American Literary Project’s Jeff Baskin Writers Fellowship, to be accompanied by a $10,000 stipend, housing and a nine-month editorial apprenticeship at the magazine in support of McCully Brown’s debut work of creative nonfiction.

That debut work, the OA reports, is to be an expansion of McCully Brown’s manuscript “What We Are,” which its author describes as “a collection of personal essays which approach, from a variety of angles, my evolving understanding of the intersection between the physical body and that intangible other I have come to call the soul.” Citing McCully Brown’s “unreluctant intellection, candid and crisp and often poignant,” judge Brian Blanchfield said the writer’s essays “certainly account what it is to live and work and teach and love with cerebral palsy, but her condition is not ultimately the subject of the capacious, reflective essays that make up the proposed collection. In understated, supple prose, she writes about the uses and limits of anger; about the relationship between disability and religious devotion; about the ways in which ‘explaining is a kind of erasure’ and yielding to stillness brings discovery.”

The fellowship is funded with support from ACANSA Arts Festival, Argenta Arts Foundation, Tenenbaum Recycling Group, Argenta Flats Apartments and Salter Properties, and honors the late Jeff Baskin, who headed the Willian F. Laman Public Library in North Little Rock and was an advocate for the arts.