Phillip Lopate

Phillip Lopate

Fellow: Awarded 1988
Field of Study: Fiction

Competition: US & Canada

University of Houston

Phillip Lopate was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1943, and received a B.A. degree from Columbia University in 1964 and a doctorate from the Union Graduate School in 1979.  He has written three personal essay collections–Bachelorhood (Little, Brown, 1981), Against Joie de Vivre ((Poseidon-Simon & Schuster, 1989), and Portrait of My Body  (Doubleday-Anchor, 1996); two novels, Confessions of Summer (Doubleday, 1979) and The Rug Merchant (Viking, 1987); two poetry collections, The Eyes Don’t Always Want to Stay Open  (Sun Press, 1972) and The Daily Round (Sun Press, 1976); a memoir of his teaching experiences,  Being With Children (Doubleday, 1975); a collection of his movie criticism, Totally Tenderly Tragically  (Doubleday-Anchor); an urbanist meditation,  Waterfront: A Journey Around Manhattan (Crown, 2004); and a biographical monograph,  Rudy Burckhardt: Photographer and Filmmaker (Harry N. Abrams, 2004).  In addition there is a Phillip Lopate reader, Getting Personal: Selected Writings (Basic Books, 2003).

He has edited the following anthologies:  The Art of the Personal Essay (Doubleday-Anchor, 1994); Writing New York (Library of America, 1998);  Journey of a Living Experiment (Virgil Press, 1979); The Anchor Essay Annual (1997-99),  in the Best Essays of the Year series; and American Movie Critics (Library of America, 2006).  His essays, fiction, poetry, film, and architectural criticism have appeared in The Best American Short Stories (1974), The Best American Essays (1987), several Pushcart Prize annuals, The Paris Review, Harper’s, Vogue, Esquire, Film Comment, Threepenny Review, Double Take, New York Times, Harvard Educational Review, Preservation, Cite, 7 Days, Metropolis, Conde Nast Traveler, and many other periodicals and anthologies.

In addition to his Guggenheim Fellowship, Mr. Lopate has been awarded a New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts grants, and two New York Foundation for the Arts grants.  He received a Christopher Medal for Being With Children, a Texas Institute of Letters award in the best nonfiction book of the year category for Bachelorhood, and was a finalist for the PEN best essay book of the year award for  Portrait of My Body.  His anthology Writing New York received a citation from the New York Society Library and honorable mention from the Municipal Art Society’s Brendan Gill Award.

After working with children for twelve years as a writer in the schools, he taught creative writing and literature at Fordham, Cooper Union, University of Houston, and New York University.  He currently holds the John Cranford Adams Chair in the Humanities at Hofstra University, and also teaches in the M.F.A. graduate programs at Columbia University, The New School, and Bennington College.

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