Carmen Gillespie

Carmen Gillespie is a professor of English and director and founder of the Griot Institute for Africana Studies at Bucknell University.  In addition to individual scholarly articles and poem publications, she is the author of the literary critical works, A Critical Companion to Toni Morrison, A Critical Companion to Alice Walker, and is the editor of Toni Morrison: Forty Years in the Clearing. Carmen has also published a poetry chapbook, Lining the Rails and two poetry collections, Jonestown: A Vexation, the 2011 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Prize winner, and The Blue Black Wet of Wood, the Two Sylvia’s Press 2016 Wilder Series Poetry Prize winner.  The titular poem of the latter collection was shot as a Motionpoem film short by Sundance award-winning director, Malik Vitthal, and was premiered at the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis.  Carmen’s awards include an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship for Excellence in Poetry and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and a Fulbright scholar. Essence magazine named Carmen one of its 40 favorite poets in commemoration of the magazine’s 40th anniversary. Her latest poetry collection, The Ghosts of Monticello:  A Recitatif, was a semi-finalist for the 2016 University of Akron Poetry Prize and a finalist for the 2016 Cleveland State, Open Book Poetry Prize and is the winner of the 2016 Stillhouse Press Poetry Contest. She shares her life with her wondrous daughters, Chelsea Gillespie and Delaney Bakst.


See Carmen Gillespie on Saturday, October 14 at 3:30 p.m. in Merten Hall, Room 1202, George Mason University. Click here for details.