The Rubem Alves Award for Theopoetics


 Rubem Alves

Rubem Alves

Named in honor of the Brazilian educator, theologian, and author, the Rubem Alves Award for Theopoetics is given by ARC to acknowledge the contributions of an emerging thinker, scholar, artist, and/or activist whose work reflects a commitment to the role of imagination and the arts in theological or religious reflection. Particular interest is given to those applicants under 40 years of age whose work has had significant engagement with education, youth, and/or the importance of bodies and embodiment. Successful nominees will demonstrate a commitment to a specific community in which they have encouraged growth and spiritual nourishment associated with creative practices aimed at liberation, solidarity, and freedom.

This award has been directly and decidedly established in the wake of Alves’s life and influence. Applicants unfamiliar with his work may wish to consult his book The Poet, The Warrior, The Prophet or Callid Keefe-Perry’s chapter on Alves from Way to Water for additional insight into his trajectory and contributions.

Nominees do not need to identify as Christian to be eligible for consideration: successful applicants simply must reflect on how it is their work is resonant with the vision and goals stated above and then submit an articulation of that understanding via an email sent to by January 1, 2018. The subject line should read “Alves Award.” The style and/or genre of the application is entirely at the discretion of the applicant, however the format of the application should be one (and only one) of the following:

• 2 pages of text
• a 5 minute video
• a 5 minute audio recording
(If audio or video please do not attach the file, but upload it and send a link in the email)

Be bold. Assume this award is for you and apply accordingly.

Self-nominations are strongly encouraged, though we will consider applications nominating another person.

By Jan. 15, 2018 the ARC Board will select the award recipient who will receive:

1. Travel to and from the 2018 Theopoetics Conference (with flight originating within the continental US) in outside Boston, MA.
2. Room and Board at the conference
3. A $200 award honorarium
4. The opportunity (if they desire) to use 30 minutes on Saturday night of the event as a special guest of ARC, with the whole of the conference in attendance for a talk, performance, or multi-media presentation.

Questions about the award and/or the award process should be sent to with the subject line "Question."

Note: Several people have asked, so we'd like to clarify: we're sticking very firm on the " 2 pages of text OR a 5 minute video OR a 5 minute audio recording" guidelines. We're making sure that all submissions that come in are given the same opportunity and that means, for example, that if you send us 3 pages of text we'll only look at 2, or, if you send us a video with an accompanying email we'll only watch the video. We would encourage you all to consider submissions in which you think creatively about how to communicate the importance of your content given the limitations we've set out.


Past Recipients

The 2017 recipient of the inaugural Award is Tevyn East of Holy Fool Arts. East's work includes "Leaps and Bounds," a one woman show about the intersections of faith, ecology, and our economic systems; the Carnival de Resistance, an arts-based touring eco-village demonstration project and education and outreach initiative that produces annual residencies in different parts of the United States; and the creation of Holy Fool Arts, East's organization that "seeks to speak prophetically to the failings of our current economic and ecological paradigm and call all into the emerging paradigm of sufficiency and solidarity, cooperation and creative embodiment."