2021-2022 Literary Arts Emergency Fund Panelists


Diana Marie Delgado. Photo credit: Felicia Zamora

Diana Marie Delgado is the Literary Director of the University of Arizona Poetry Center and has more than twenty years of experience working in not-for-profits focused on advancing social justice and the arts. Her first collection, Tracing the Horse, was a New York Times noteworthy pick and follows the coming-of-age of a young Chicana trying to make sense of who she is amidst a family and community weighted by violence and addiction. She possesses an MFA from Columbia University, and her selected honors and awards include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Hedgebrook, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts.


James G. Thomas, Jr.

James G. Thomas, Jr. is the associate director for publications at the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture and the director of the Center’s Oxford Conference for the Book. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy, a master’s degree in Southern studies, and a master’s of fine arts in documentary expression, each from the University of Mississippi. In 2003, he began work at the Center as managing editor of the twenty-four-volume New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. He is editor of Conversations with Barry Hannah; co-editor with Jay Watson of the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha series; and associate editor of the print and online Mississippi Encyclopedia. His work has appeared in Ethnic Heritage in Mississippi: The Twentieth CenturySouthern Cultures, Southern Quarterly, and Living Blues. Thomas also teaches research writing for the University of Mississippi’s Department of Writing and Rhetoric, is on the Board of Directors for the University Press of Mississippi, and is past president of the Board of Governors for the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters.

Jafreen Uddin. Photo credit: Aslan Chalom

Jafreen Uddin was appointed Executive Director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop (AAWW) in January 2020. She is the first woman to lead the organization since its founding in 1991. With over a decade of experience working in the public sector, she specializes in communications, education, and fundraising. She most recently served as Deputy Director of Development for Special Events with PEN America. She began her career with a nearly-eight-year stint at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where she helped create the infrastructure for the public programming calendar of events, and spent nearly three years managing an online Book Salon for Aslan Media, spotlighting writers and artists from the greater Middle East/South Asia region. She previously served as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for Laal NYC, and currently serves as Chair of the Adult Internship Committee for We Need Diverse Books and as a Literary Council Member for the Brooklyn Book Festival. She received her BA in political economics from Barnard College, Columbia University, and her MA in global history from NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Science.

The Literary Arts Emergency Fund is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Read more about the Fund here.