Carmen Gillespie is a Professor of English and the Director of the Griot Institute of Africana Studies. She also serves as the Bucknell University Arts Coordinator. Her research, writing, and teaching interests are in American, African American, and Caribbean literatures and cultures and creative writing.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Emory University

Teaching Interests

  • American literature
  • African American literatures and culture
  • African American women writers
  • Toni Morrison
  • Caribbean literatures and cultures
  • Popular culture
  • Creative writing

Scholarly Interests

  • American literature
  • African American literature
  • Caribbean literature
  • Creative writing

Current Projects and Research Interests

Prof. Gillespie's is currently at work on two scholarly book projects: Doormouth: Life Stories from the People of Barbados, "No Clamor for A ...": Vernacular and the Collapse of Meaning in the Fictions of Toni Morrison, and a book of poetry, The Facts in the Case Are These:.

Recent Awards

  • In 2008, Professor Gillespie's book, A Critical Companion to Toni Morrison was nominated for an award as the best single authored book on the works of Toni Morrison. In 2005, A recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship for Excellence in Poetry, Carmen has also been a Fulbright scholar and a Cave Canem Fellow and has received awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. In 2010, Gillespie was named one of Essence magazine's 40 favorite poets in commemoration of the magazine's 40th anniversary. She is the 2010 winner of the Naomi Madgett Long Poetry Prize for her collection Jonestown: A Vexation.

Selected Publications

In addition to journal and poem publications, Professor Gillespie is the author of the books A Critical Companion to Toni Morrison (2007), A Critical Companion to Alice Walker (2011), and editor of Toni Morrison:  Forty Years in the Clearing (2013). She also has a published a poetry chapbook, Lining the Rails (2008) and a poetry book, Jonestown: A Vexation (2011), which was the winner of the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Prize.

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