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In Conversation: Tiphanie Yanique and Elizabeth Nunez

Wednesday June 15, 2011
07:00 pm

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Yanique NunezElizabeth Nunez (Prospero’s Daughter; Anna In-Between) introduced and talked with recent Rona Jaffe Award winner Tiphanie Yanique (How to Escape from A Leper Colony).


Tiphanie Yanique, a fiction writer, poet, and essayist, is the author of  the critically acclaimed story collection How to Escape from a Leper Colony (Graywolf Press, 2010). She is the winner  of a Pushcart Prize, the Kore Press Fiction Prize, the Academy of  American Poets Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship in writing, and the Boston Review Fiction Prize.  In 2010 she won the Rona Jaffe Prize in  Fiction, and was one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.” Her writing has appeared in Best African American Fiction, Transition Magazine, American Short Fiction, the London  Magazine, Prism International, Callaloo, and other journals and  anthologies. She has had residencies with Bread Loaf, Callaloo, Squaw  Valley and the Cropper Foundation for Caribbean Writers. Yanique is a professor of Creative Writing and Caribbean Literature at Drew University. She is from the Virgin Islands and lives most of the  year in Brooklyn, New York. Her debut novel, The Land of Love and Drowning, is forthcoming from Riverhead.


Elizabeth Nunez is the award-winning author of seven novels: Anna In-Between (Akashic Books, 2009), received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice. It was selected for the 2010 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for literary excellence. Nunez’s other novels include Prospero's Daughter (New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, 2006 Florida Center for the Literary Arts One Book, One Community selection, 2006 Novel of the Year for Black Issues Book Review and 2010 Trinidad and Tobago One Book, One Community selection); Bruised Hibiscus (American Book Award); Discretion (short-listed for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award); Grace; Beyond the Limbo Silence (IPPY Book Award); and When Rocks Dance. Nunez was co-founder of the National Black Writers Conference, which she directed for eighteen years with grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Reed Foundation and the Nathan Cummings Foundation. She chaired the PEN American Open Book committee, helping to launch the PEN Beyond Margins award for writers of color. For many years, she conducted interviews with immigrant writers on WBAI, New York, and on B-CAT TV. She was executive producer for the 2004 Emmy nominated CUNY TV series, Black Writers in America, aired on public television stations across the country. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Fiction, Marian University and CUNY TV, and is on the Advisory Council of PEN America. Currently, she conducts creative writing workshops for community residents in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Nunez received her PhD in English from New York University and is a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College, the City University of New York, where she teaches creative writing, fiction. In March 2011 she received the Poets & Writers Barnes and Noble Writers for Writers Award.