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British-Caribbean Author Caryl Phillips Tapped as U.Va.’s Second Kapnick Distinguished Writer-in-Residence

Published September 23, 2015 in News

By: Anne E. Bromley | UVAToday

An award-winning writer of transatlantic literature will visit Grounds in April as the University of Virginia’s second Kapnick Distinguished Writer-in-Residence.

Caryl Phillips, whose work explores the African diaspora in the Caribbean, England and the United States, will come to the Department of English’s Creative Writing Program April 11 to 22 to teach a seminar and meet one-on-one with writers in the graduate and undergraduate programs. During his time at U.Va., he will also give a public lecture and a public reading.

Born in St. Kitts, Phillips was raised in Leeds, one of the largest cities in the United Kingdom, and studied English literature at Oxford University. Currently a professor of English at Yale University, he has published 10 novels and five collections of essays, as well as plays, screenplays and two anthologies. His work tackles issues of belonging and identity, race and immigration.

The Kapnick Distinguished Writer-in-Residence Program, launched last fall with James Salter (who died in June) as its first guest, was created in the tradition of William Faulkner’s legendary residencies at the University in 1957 and ’58. The program aims to bring writers of international stature to the Grounds to teach and engage with U.Va. students and the literary community.

Ian Baucom, U.Va.’s Buckner W. Clay Dean of Arts & Sciences said, “The Kapnick Distinguished Writer-in-Residence program builds on the tradition of Faulkner’s residencies, and we’re excited to have Caryl Phillips visit Grounds to inspire our talented student writers and to enrich the U.Va. community through his public events.”

“Caryl Phillips is seen by many as the father of Afro-British fiction,” Jeffery Renard Allen wrote in a May New York Times review of Phillips’ latest novel, “The Lost Child.” (Allen joined the faculty of U.Va.’s Creative Writing Program this semester.)

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