April Bernard and Caryl Phillips
Writers Reading—Summer 2022
OPEN THE PUBLIC VIRTUALLY | April Bernard is a poet, novelist, and essayist. A new book of poems, The World Behind the World, will be coming out from W.W. Norton in 2023; previous collections are Brawl & Jag, Romanticism, Swan Electric, Psalms, and Blackbird Bye Bye, which won the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her novels are Pirate Jenny and Miss Fuller, shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Prize, and she has published short stories in Little Star, Electric Literature, and The Southampton Review. Bernard is a contributor to The New York Review of Books and other journals. She has received a Guggenheim and a Whitney Humanities Center fellowship. Educated at Harvard University, she worked in book and magazine publishing in New York City, and has taught widely. She is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Skidmore College as well as a faculty member of the Bennington MFA Writing Seminars.
Caryl Phillips began writing for the theatre and his plays include Strange Fruit (1980), Where There is Darkness (1982) and The Shelter (1983). He won the BBC Giles Cooper Award for Best Radio Play of the year with The Wasted Years (1984). He has written many dramas and documentaries for radio and television, including, in 1996, the three-hour film of his own novel The Final Passage. He wrote the screenplay for the film Playing Away (1986) and his screenplay for the Merchant Ivory adaptation of V.S.Naipaul's The Mystic Masseur (2001) won the Silver Ombu for best screenplay at the Mar Del Plata film festival in Argentina. His novels are: The Final Passage (1985), A State of Independence (1986), Higher Ground (1989), Cambridge (1991), Crossing the River (1993), The Nature of Blood (1997), A Distant Shore (2003), Dancing in the Dark (2005), Foreigners (2007), In the Falling Snow (2009), The Lost Child (2015), and A View of the Empire at Sunset (2018). His non-fiction: The European Tribe (1987), The Atlantic Sound (2000), A New World Order (2001), and Colour Me English (2011). He is the editor of two anthologies: Extravagant Strangers: A Literature of Belonging (1997) and The Right Set: An Anthology of Writing on Tennis (1999). His work has been translated into over a dozen languages. He was named Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year in 1992 and was on the 1993 Granta list of Best of Young British Writers. His literary awards include the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a British Council Fellowship, a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, and Britain's oldest literary award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, for Crossing the River which was also shortlisted for the 1993 Booker Prize. A Distant Shore was longlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize, and won the 2004 Commonwealth Writers Prize; Dancing in the Dark won the 2006 PEN/Open Book Award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of the Arts, and recipient of the 2013 Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Award for Excellence. He has taught at universities in Ghana, Sweden, Singapore, Barbados, India, and the United States, and in 1999 was the University of the West Indies Humanities Scholar of the Year. In 2002-3 he was a Fellow at the Centre for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. Formerly Henry R. Luce Professor of Migration and Social Order at Columbia University, he is presently Professor of English at Yale University. He is an Honorary Fellow of The Queen's College, Oxford University.