Renowned Authors and Poets Discuss Poetry, Photography, and Creative Writing at Williams College

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, executive assistant; tele: 413-597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., February 20, 2020—Teju Cole, Ishion Hutchinson, and Rowan Ricardo Phillips—the Williams College W. Ford Schumann Distinguished Visiting Professor in Democratic Studies for spring 2020—will host a conversation titled “Silent Poems, Talking Pictures, and the Infinite Playlist” at Williams College. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Wednesday, March 4, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the MainStage at the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance.

This joint conversation will feature the voices of three prominent authors and poets. Teju Cole is the Gore Vidal Professor of the Practice of Creative Writing at Harvard University as well as a novelist, photographer, critic, curator, and author of five books. From 2015 to 2019, he served as the photography critic of The New York Times Magazine. His novella, Every Day is for the Thief, was named one of the best books of the year by The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, The Root, The Telegraph, and The Globe and Mail. His novel, Open City, won several awards including the PEN/Hemingway Award, the New York City Book Award for Fiction, the Rosenthal Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Internationaler Literaturpreis. His most recent book, Human Archipelago, is a collaboration with the photographer Fazal Sheikh.

Ishion Hutchinson is the author of two poetry collections: Far District and House of Lords and Commons. Born in Port Antonio, Jamaica, he is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize, the Whiting Writers Award, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, the Windham-Campbell Prize for Poetry, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, among others. He currently teaches in the graduate writing program at Cornell University.

Rowan Ricardo Phillips is the author of three books of poems: The Ground, Heaven, and Living Weapon. He has also authored a book of literary criticism, When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness, and a non-fiction book, The Circuit: A Tennis Odyssey. He received the Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the GLCA New Writers Award for Poetry, the Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award, the PEN/Osterweil Prize for Poetry, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting. He teaches and directs the Poetry Center at Stony Brook University and is part of the Program of Creative Writing’s faculty at Princeton University. He currently serves as the W. Ford Schumann Distinguished Visiting Professor in Democratic Studies at Williams College.

This event is sponsored by the W. Ford Schumann ’50 Program in Democratic Studies as part of the Schumann Fund Initiative on Race and Democracy.


For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel, or call the Office of Communications 413-597-4277. The map can also be found on the web at