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ep 06 “collective” | Tiphanie Yanique

Writing Home: American Voices from the Caribbean

September 23, 2021

“We are a collection of all the stories that have been passed down to us.” – Tiphanie Yanique

Award-winning writer and Virgin Islander Tiphanie Yanique joins Kaiama and Tami on this week’s episode of WRITING HOME. Tiphanie beautifully answers (and evades) our hosts’ questions about the relationship between poetic form and place, balancing beauty and pragmatism, and addressing racial inequality through participation in the publishing industry. Tiphanie hints at the themes that preoccupy her in her upcoming book Monster in the Middle – American colonial identity in the Caribbean, the impact of motherhood on her writing, and the nuns and mermaids she plans to somehow include in a future novel.

Tiphanie Yanique is a novelist, poet, essayist and short story writer. Her writing has won the Bocas Award for Caribbean Fiction, the Boston Review Prize in Fiction, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship and an Academy of American Poet’s Prize. She has been listed by the Boston Globe as one of the sixteen cultural figures to watch out for and her writing has been published in the New York Times, Best African American Fiction, The Wall Street Journal, American Short Fiction and other places. Tiphanie is from the Virgin Islands. She grew up in the Hospital Ground neighborhood in St. Thomas. She lives now with her family in Atlanta where she is a tenured associate professor at Emory University.

Reading List:
Tiphanie’s novels and poetry:
Monster in the Middle (October 2021)
Wife (2015)
Land of Love and Drowning (2014)
How to Escape From a Leper Colony (2010)

Works Tiphanie mentioned:
Alscess Lewis-Brown and the hurriku

photo credit | Roger Slavens