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Janice N. Harrington (’09) and Helen Phillips (’11) receive 2020 Guggenheim Fellowships


Janice N. Harrington (left) (credit: Brian Stauffer) and Helen Phillips (right) (credit: David Barry)

Janice N. Harrington's (RJF ’09) writing reflects her beginnings in rural Alabama, her life in the Midwest, and her interests in cultural history, the natural world, and the visual arts. Harrington's latest book of poetry is Primitive: The Art and Life of Horace H. Pippin (BOA Editions). She is also the author of two earlier books of poetry, Even the Hollow My Body Made Is Gone (winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award) and The Hands of Strangers,as well as the author of award-winning children's books. A Cave Canem Fellow, a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow, and a winner of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award, Harrington has published poems inCallaloo, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Poetry, and many other literary journals as well asAngles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (Oxford University Press), andBlack Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry.She teaches creative writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Helen Phillips (RJF ’11) is the author of five books of fiction, including, most recently, the novel The Need (Simon & Schuster, 2019), which was a 2019 National Book Award nominee, a New York Times Notable Book of 2019, and a TIME Magazine Top 10 Book of 2019. Her short story collection Some Possible Solutions (Henry Holt, 2016) received the 2017 John Gardner Fiction Book Award. Her novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat (Henry Holt, 2015), a New York Times Notable Book of 2015, was a finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her debut collection And Yet They Were Happy (Leapfrog Press, 2011) was named a notable collection by The Story Prize. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award and the Italo Calvino Prize. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic and the New York Times, and on Selected ShortsThe Los Angeles Times called her “a master at building slightly askew worlds that resemble our own.” An associate professor at Brooklyn College, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband, artist and cartoonist Adam Douglas Thompson, and their children.


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